Rainforest Action Network preserves forests, protects the climate and upholds human rights by challenging corporate power and systemic injustice through frontline partnerships and strategic campaigns.
World Centric has been supporting RAN since 2010, the second year of our giving program. They are a rare exception to our program in that our grant goes into their Community Action Grants fund, supporting a wide range of projects that they select. RAN then reports back to us on the projects they were able to fund with our donation.
Indigenous and frontline communities are the best stewards of the world’s rainforests and the best organizers against climate change. History has proven that time and again — and that is why RAN created the Community Action Grants program. This program provides crucial and rapid funding for people fighting in their own communities across the globe to protect millions of acres of forest, to keep millions of tons of carbon in the ground, and to protect the rights and self determination of local communities. We fund 2 types of Community Action Grants:
Protect An Acre
Protect An Acre grants support grassroots leadership and local organizations in forest regions to protect threatened forest lands (logging, mining, etc) and to protect the human rights of communities that have co-existed with and depended on these regions for generations. These grants are critical to help local activists regain control of sustainably managed traditional territories.
Climate Action Fund
The Climate Action Fund (CAF) supports frontline communities directly challenging the fossil fuel industry. CAF provides small grants (generally $2,500 or less) to local groups tackling the root causes of climate change — the extraction and combustion of dirty fossil fuels such as coal and oil
An example of a community action that we are supporting is CONCANAWEP Federacion Waorani:
In 2019, the Waorani’s campaign against the Ecuadorian government’s proposed auction of their ancestral territory to the international oil industry resulted in a historic victory. In addition to protecting 500,000 acres of Waorani ancestral land from oil, it set a critical legal precedent for other Indigenous Nations impacted by the same oil auction. The decision by the three-judge panel of the Pastaza Provincial Court permanently voids the consultation process with the Waorani undertaken by the Ecuadorian government in 2012, indefinitely suspending the auctioning of their lands to oil companies. The now final verdict also jeopardizes the contemplated auctioning of 16 oil blocks that cover over 7 million acres of Indigenous territory by providing an invaluable legal precedent for other Indigenous nations across the Ecuadorian Amazon. The success of the campaign was made possible through a combined strategy of territorial mapping, strategic litigation, and global communications outreach. In 2020, the Waorani organization of Pastaza CONCONAWEP will work to scale their historic legal precedent to protect 7 million acres of neighboring Indigenous territories. Through this project over the next year, CONCONAWEP will work to: strengthen organizational capacity through training and operations support while expanding relationships with stakeholder communities through future planning and visioning assemblies; strengthen Indigenous rights by enforcing compliance of the court sentence for the Waorani’s case through hearings before the UN in Geneva, the UN in New York City, the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights in Quito, community assemblies and workshops with a focus on deepening local understandings of legal rights, digital campaigning, and building alliances with Indigenous Nations of the southern Ecuadorian Amazon (Sápara, Shiwiar) and Indigenous organizations (CONFENIAE, CONAIE) to use the Waorani’s legal precedent to defend 7 million acres of rainforest threatened by an oil auction; strengthen women’s leadership through capacity building and real world experience in implementation projects in support of their communities; and to develop alternative education pilot projects across Waorani communities with a vision to expand the model into communities of other Indigenous Nations. The education pilot projects will focus on integrating ancestral knowledge and traditional ways of learning into the day-to-day curriculum of standard schooling in Indigenous communities. The end goal is guaranteeing the survival of Indigenous cultures and ways of life that inform the decisions the next generation will make over the future of their forests.