This report summarizes the work of the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Tourism Program, supported by the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund (IDB/MIF). The document includes a brief of the strategies implemented to promote sustainable management practices among tourism businesses and tour operators in Latin America, to enhance their competitiveness and international exposure and to raise consumer awareness and demand for sustainable tourism services. It also quantifies the results achieved from 2007 to 2011.
The long-term environmental, social and economic benefits of Rainforest Alliance certification are undeniable. When farms meet the comprehensive criteria of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) Standard, not only do they protect forests, provide habitat for wildlife and ensure the rights and well-being of workers, their families and their communities -- they often see increases in productivity and receive price premiums.
The World Resources Institute and the Forest Legality Alliance studied mahogany that was sourced from small community-run forestry cooperatives in Honduras' biodiversity-rich forests, examining two approaches to minimizing the risk to importers of sourcing illegal wood. The first approach involved establishing strong relationships with suppliers and the second was to prefer certified wood. Among other things, the study found that chain-of-custody certification was a useful tool for enhancing assurances of legality.