Around the world, 1.3 billion people live on less than US $1.25 a day. Left with few options, some resort to clearing land for subsistence agriculture, cutting down trees for firewood and selling illegal timber on the black market, often at prices far below the wood's real value. The small income they derive from these destructive activities is rarely enough to lift them out of poverty.
What We’re Doing
It is pointless to tell an impoverished family or community to put down the axe without providing an alternative. Through technical assistance, the Rainforest Alliance and its partners work with farmers and forest managers to provide them with the tools and know-how to manage their natural resources. Those that meet rigorous environmental, social and economic standards can use the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal to differentiate their products, reach new markets, negotiate better prices, improve their access to credit and lift themselves and their communities out of poverty.
We also help indigenous groups and local communities to establish and operate sustainable tourism businesses, which can provide them with an economically viable alternative to deforestation. Through training and verification, we encourage tourism entrepreneurs to hire local employees and source their goods and services from local businesses, creating an economic ripple effect within communities and surrounding areas.
Evaluating Our Impact
To make sure that we are as effective as possible, we routinely conduct and evaluate impact studies on our work and continually adjust our approach. Find out what these studies have to say about how we are helping people earn sustainable livelihoods.