MappingForRights, an initiative of the Rainforest Foundation UK, is an online platform which brings together expertise in the fields of participatory mapping, geo-spatial technologies and policy development concerned with community and indigenous land rights and improved forest governance in the Congo Basin. The website provides related governments, policy makers, NGOs, researchers and communities with the following key features:
Interactive Map - Providing easy access to accurate geographical information about the presence, land use and rights of indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities in the Congo Basin. Serving as a repository for participatory maps and other work that has been carried out by various organisations in the region, it is intended to enable forest communities themselves to demonstrate their presence in the forest; decision-makers and the private sector to take account of and recognise this presence; and to assist the international community in designing programmes concerned with those rights and ensure that forest communities are equitable beneficiaries of future developments. Through the online interactive map, authorised users will be able to view community occupation and forest usage in the context of other claims on, and users of, the forest, such as logging activities and strictly protected areas. The map also contains embedded geo-referenced multimedia content which provides insights into the culture, livelihoods and concerns of the communities.
Forest Zone – Providing news, views and analysis on the latest policy developments in the Congo Basin and elsewhere with thought-leadership pieces from key individuals concerned with land and forest governance. Users can access multi-media content, guest blogs, discussion and a news round-up from other sources.
Resource Portal - A repository of technical, legal and training resources for communities, NGOs, government agencies and others working on mapping, zoning and other land and spatial forest governance related issues. The site’s resources include participatory mapping tutorials, research publications, infographics and much more, organised by theme and by country.
The Rainforest Foundation UK was founded in 1989 by Sting and Trudie Styler, after they saw first-hand the impact the destruction of the Amazon rainforests had on the Kayapo Indians’ way of life. This sparked the Foundation’s first campaign which, in 1993, resulted in the protection of 27,359 km² of indigenous peoples’ land. The Foundation has expanded and diversified since, and has worked in more than 20 countries to date towards the mission of “supporting indigenous peoples and traditional populations of the world's rainforest to protect their rainforest homes and fulfill their rights to land, life and livelihood”.
Deforestation and the destruction of rainforests are major contributing factors in the build-up of CO2 emissions and the warming of our planet. The main focus of the Rainforest Foundation UK is to protect and save the natural resources of the rainforests by working with those who know the forest best – indigenous peoples and traditional forest dwellers. Instead of purchasing land or conserving forests purely for their biodiversity-value, the Rainforest Foundation puts people at the centre of its programmes, and promotes the establishment of community rights over rainforest lands, tackling the root of problems related to deforestation and paving the way for local people to benefit fairly from the use and protection of forest resources.