Asia

Staggering Biodiversity, Urgent Threats

What's at Stake

The vast continent of Asia contains an astonishing diversity of landscapes and distinct ethnic groups—as well as wildly divergent threats to its forests, people, and wildlife. Asia’s abundance of plant and animal species, as well as its wealth of  indigenous knowledge, hangs in the balance.

Forest cleared for new palm planting in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Forest cleared for new palm planting in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Photo credit: Chris Wille

Rapid Forest Loss

The world's third largest tropical forest, after the Amazon and Congo rainforests, is in the archipelago of Indonesia. But forests here have been cleared at an alarming rate to make way for paper pulp and oil palm plantations. And every fall, fires set to clear forests for agricultural expansion rage, threatening not only precious forests and wildlife, but the communities in the region.

Mother and baby orangutan

Mother and baby orangutan. Orangutans are a critically endangered species, with populations continuing to decline.

Photo credit: iStock

Headed for Extinction

Orangutans, rhinos, and elephants all face extinction in Asia. Habitat loss related to the expansion of oil palm plantations have decimated both orangutan and elephant populations. Only about 100 Sumatran rhinos are said to exist today because their populations have been wiped out by poaching, and fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers remain.

Our Work

Our Work

The Rainforest Alliance works with farm and forest communities across Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam, Myanmar, and China. While training and certification cannot solve entrenched poverty or systemic inequities, they are powerful tools for widespread, incremental improvement to the health of ecosystems and communities.

Trainer Harki Sidhu discusses Integrated Pest Management with members of the Smallholder Tea Association of Doom-Dooma in Assam, India.

Trainer Harki Sidhu discusses Integrated Pest Management with members of the Smallholder Tea Association of Doom-Dooma in Assam, India.

Photo credit: Suvashis Mullick

The Challenges of Reform in Assam's Tea Sector

Tea industry expert Harki Sidhu explains the realities of Assam's struggling tea estates. 

Learn more about how we are working to achieve our mission.
 
Our Impact

Our Impact

The Rainforest Alliance works across many commodities in Asia, from forestry to tea and coffee production. Despite centuries-old challenges in some countries, we’ve achieved substantive gains in livelihoods and the health of forests and biodiversity.

Maternity leave

2X as likely to have access to maternity leave

on certified farms vs. noncertified farms

In Tamil Nadu, India, a study of 400 farmworkers on seven Rainforest Alliance Certified™ tea estates and one noncertified estate found a significantly higher percentage of workers had access to maternity leave (79% on certified estates vs. 40% on noncertified estate). Source: 2013. Assessing the poverty impact of sustainability standards: Indian tea. Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, London.

Better Working Conditions on Certified Tea Estates

In Tamil Nadu, India, a study of 400 farmworkers on seven Rainforest Alliance Certified tea estates and one noncertified estate found a significantly higher percentage of workers on certified estates had contracts and annual paid leave, sick leave, and maternity leave.

Decrease in air pollution in Kalimantan, Indonesia

31% decrease in air pollution

on FSC certified forests in Kalimantan

In Kalimantan, Indonesia, FSC certification significantly reduced deforestation by 5 percentage points and air pollution by 31 percent compared to the rates of control villages in noncertified logging concessions. Source: 2015. Social and Environmental Impacts of Forest Management Certification in Indonesia. PLoS ONE

Decrease in Deforestation and Air Pollution in Kalimantan, Indonesia

In Kalimantan, Indonesia, FSC® certification significantly reduced deforestation by five percentage points and air pollution by 31 percent, compared to the rates of control villages in noncertified logging concessions.

Learn more ways we are achieving real results.
 
Get Involved

Get Involved

Join us to help rebalance the earth.

Burning forest

Clearing natural forests is forbidden on Rainforest Alliance Certified oil palm plantations, which helps to protect the habitats of endangered wildlife species.

Sumatran tiger

Did you know cinnamon is harvested once every 10-15 years? Or that cinnamon farmers share land with endangered Sumatran tigers?

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