The Rainforest Trust SAVES Challenge
Each and every day, rampant habitat destruction pushes wildlife ever closer to the edge of extinction. We can dramatically reduce this unnecessary loss by Safeguarding Areas Vital to Endangered Species.
Through our SAVES Challenge, Rainforest Trust has committed to raise $50 million as a challenge match that will direct a total of $100 million to establish new Protected Areas to save the world’s most endangered species.
Since 1988, U.S.-based Rainforest Trust and its local conservation partners have strategically created over 100 new Protected Areas toward our goal of protecting 50 million acres of vital habitat by the year 2020.
As part of the SAVES Challenge, Rainforest Trust seeks to form new strategic alliances with in-country organizations that share our goal of creating new Protected Areas in the tropics for IUCN Endangered or Critically Endangered species.
By joining the SAVES Challenge, both donors and the conservation community can unite to make a major and lasting impact to protect the world’s most imperiled wildlife.
Establishing New Protected Areas
Rainforest Trust collaborates with local organizations to safeguard areas vital to endangered species by creating permanent Protected Areas in regions most at risk of habitat destruction. These Protected Areas are established through direct land purchase and acquisition, the designation of national parks and other government Protected Areas, or the creation of community conservation areas whose borders are managed and maintained by forest guards to ensure lasting protection.
Rainforest Trust is dedicated to fostering strong partnerships and empowering conservation leaders within their own countries. Our simple model has proven highly effective for almost 30 years and has saved over 18 million acres.
Some of the most endangered species survive in the last fragments of natural habitat that are often privately owned and unprotected. In many cases the only option is to purchase those properties and protect them. For example, in Colombia, we have supported Fundación ProAves to acquire many private properties to establish a strategic network of 20 nature reserves for Critically Endangered birds, mammals and amphibians.
By working with local NGOs that have strong relationships with governments and communities, we are helping to expand Protected Area networks in priority regions. For example, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we assisted our local partner Lukuru Wildlife Research Foundation to create the 2.2-million acre Lomami National Park, which is home to global stronghold populations of Bonobos, Okapis and a host of other threatened species. This is the first national park to be declared in the country in four decades.
Engaging community support in the protection of local wildlife habitat is vital to the success of our long-term conservation strategy. In Peru, Rainforest Trust’s partner Center for the Development of an Indigenous Amazon (CEDIA) collaborated with local indigenous communities to petition the government to formally declare the 3.3-million-acre Sierra del Divisor National Park in 2015. The communities will now participate in actively safeguarding the new park, which secures the final link in a 67-million-acre Andes-Amazon Conservation Corridor.
Saving Species from Extinction
Our focus is always to strategically preserve threatened habitat for the most gravely endangered species – no matter how big or small. In South Africa, Rainforest Trust’s partner acquired properties to create a 900-acre reserve to protect a key population of the Geometric Tortoise. Experts believe this community represents one of the last viable populations of the species in the world.
Photo by Luis Claudio Marigo
Join Us to Support the SAVES Challenge Today
Rainforest Trust is leading partners worldwide to create 50 million acres of new Protected Areas for endangered wildlife, but we need your help to make this ambitious goal a reality.
Every dollar donated to the SAVES Challenge and our many conservation projects across the planet will be doubled by a generous friend of Rainforest Trust, who has offered a matching gift challenge up to $50 million.
100% of gifts to the SAVES Challenge will be used to support the creation of new Protected Areas at our many project sites across the globe – these gifts will not fund Rainforest Trust’s overhead or operating costs, which are supported by our board of directors and a few key foundations.