The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany ended on Friday and most news outlets are reporting a “mixed-bag” of step-wise progress and discouraging stalemates. Our climate program director, Jeff Hayward, shares a synopsis of the session’s achievements and failings.
In the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico—where great biodiversity meets immense cultural and linguistic diversity—live the indigenous community of Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec. The Rainforest Alliance’s education manager Maria Ghiso recently visited the community to meet with students at Bachillerato Integral Comunitario Ayuujk Polivalente (BICAP) and introduce them to the basics of climate change and the role forests play in the carbon cycle. During the visit, students also reflected on how indigenous communities around the world might be affected by climate change and examined what these changes might mean for their own community.
Later, students were invited to explore the issues they were most passionate about at a film workshop hosted by Cornea Films. Entitled “Cuentamelo Filmando”(in English, “Tell Me About It”), the workshop encouraged students to examine environmental issues within their community through the production of a stop-motion animation film. The kids were involved in every aspect of the production, writing the movie script, designing the set and creating costumes. The film–which is narrated in the local indigenous language mixe–talks about the importance of respecting nature and local traditions.
Watch the video to see their creativity (and commitment to conservation) at work.Read the rest of this entry »
Calling all UK tea and coffee companies, coffee shops and cafes…do you serve up a little green frog with your coffee, tea or hot chocolate? Do you source your beans or leaves from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms?
If the answer is yes, then WE NEED YOU! Read the rest of this entry »
The road to Rainforest Alliance certification is different for every farming community, but training is often an important component. Our team of experts support farmers and producer groups as they implement the Sustainable Agriculture Network Standard on their farms—organising training workshops and diagnostic visits and providing training materials such as posters, manuals, videos and an online training platform. Here, the Rainforest Alliance’s technical capacity manager Reiko Enomoto shares her experience working with lead farmers in Madagascar to develop training materials for other farmers within their community…
I never imagined that the cocoa farmers we work with in Madagascar lived deep within the forest. To get to them, we drove two days by car on a very bad road. (The road didn’t really look like a road at all. It was more like a huge puddle.) Eventually, there was no more road, so we carried our luggage on our shoulders and walked for one whole day–crossing through several rivers–until we got to the farming community. Upon arrival, I discovered that there was absolutely no electricity. I knew I’d need to forget about internet (and communicating with my colleagues outside of Madagascar) until I came out of the village. I stayed in a hut made of bamboo and leaves, bathed in the river and called the forest my bathroom.
Monday 10th June saw the UK SAN Public Consultation Workshop take place in Farringdon, London. This workshop, part of a global consultation process, provided a chance to thoroughly review the current SAN standards; suggesting changes, updates and revisions to be included in the next version of the standard, due for publication next year.
This global review aims to ensure the standards continue to be a robust and credible certification scheme. The numerous workshops are taking place around the world providing a chance for companies, farmers, NGOs and academics to come together to discuss the changes and additions that need to be made. Read the rest of this entry »
Climate change is impacting on the lives of many smallholder producers throughout the tropics. At the same time, agriculture is a major contributor to this global phenomenon by emitting greenhouse gases (GHG) through for example the use of fertilisers, the processing of products and also as a major driver of deforestation. The Rainforest Alliance is addressing climate change challenges at many levels, from engaging and working with producers to tackle climate change issues, to actively participating in the development of standardising GHG accounting across the agricultural sector. One such standard that we are involved with developing is the “Green Coffee Product Category Rules”, which works on setting out the criteria that should be considered when attempting to quantify the emissions – also know as a carbon footprint – associated with the cultivation and processing of coffee.
Tourism in Latin America was the focus of a seminar held today, hosted by Branding Latin America at The Savoy Hotel in London. Travel companies, airlines, embassies and the media attended the annual event that aims to update the industry on developments in tourism throughout Latin America.
As experts in sustainable tourism, we were invited along to contribute to the event. Mercedes Tallo, our director of sustainable value chains delivered a well-received presentation on how tour operators can support sustainability… Read the rest of this entry »