The Year in Pictures: 2010

The Rainforest Alliance enjoyed a particularly productive 2010. We relaunched two websites, introduced new certification standards, expanded our work to other countries and crops, and added more educational resources for students and teachers. A look at some of the highlights of the past year…

With the launch of a new Sustainable Agriculture Network Standard for sustainable cattle ranches, the Rainforest Alliance began tackling the social, environmental and economic problems associated with cattle ranching -- the leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon.

Peat swamp forests store enormous quantities of carbon and are the world’s largest single source of emissions caused by deforestation. This year, a new methodology was developed to measure the greenhouse gas emissions avoided through the conservation of peat swamp forests, and the Rainforest Alliance was one of two organizations to assess the methodology before it earned formal approval.

We also participated in the development of new climate criteria that will help farmers decrease their greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for changing climatic conditions and increase the amount of carbon sequestered on their lands.

To make it easier than ever for travelers to support environmentally and socially responsible tourism businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean, we launched SustainableTrip.org, a database of hotels, bed and breakfasts, resorts and tour operators that have been certified by a third-party sustainable tourism certification program, verified by the Rainforest Alliance or recommended as being sustainable by a reputable organization.

In recognition of businesses and projects that have achieved significant, measurable sustainability milestones, the Rainforest Alliance released a new verification mark, which we award to forest carbon projects, tourism businesses and (select) forestry enterprises that meet either our own standards or those of other organizations with which we are aligned.

We provided training and assistance to over 100 community and indigenous forestry businesses, and began working with community foresters in Ghana and Cameroon. In our training workshops, foresters learn methods for improving the management of their businesses, increasing productivity and improving their marketplace competitiveness.

The Rainforest Alliance created the foundation for a web-based sustainable sourcing platform for forward-thinking companies interested in making, fulfilling and marketing long-term commitments to sustainable sourcing. (For details on its launch, check the SmartSource section of our website.)

In the northern Petén region of Guatemala, we’ve introduced GuateCarbon, a project that provides communities with a financial incentive to keep their forests standing -- payment for the carbon sequestered in their forests. During its 20-year lifespan, GuateCarbon is expected to prevent an estimated 16 million tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

For the first time, coffee farmers in Papua New Guinea and tea farmers in Sri Lanka earned Rainforest Alliance certification. We also awarded the first-ever sugarcane certifications in Brazil and El Salvador.

A number of companies launched new products bearing the little green frog seal. Among them, Second Cup in Canada; Galaxy chocolate in the UK; Tetley Tea in the UK; American Airlines in the US; Medaille d’Or in Switzerland; RONA in Canada; and Clearwater Paper in the US.

We developed new educational tools to help students understand climate change and the role forests play in stabilizing our climate. These new resources were unveiled at teacher-training workshops in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve.

The Rainforest Alliance sent 18 representatives to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties 16 (COP16) in Cancun, Mexico -- the annual conference in the global effort to address climate change. Read about the conference outcome.

In 2010, the Rainforest Alliance's web-based Learning Site -- which includes facts about rainforest plants and animals, online games, virtual storybooks and activities, and comprehensive resources for teachers -- received more than 1,093,000 page views and downloads.

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