Innovation That Matters

5 Innovative Ideas That Help Protect Rainforests

Innovation Snapshot

With #WorldRainforestDay in mind, here are some of the most creative innovation we've seen that aim to protect rainforests and raise awareness.

According to the organisers of World Rainforest Day, the planet loses about 40 American football fields — or 4,000 yards — worth of rainforests every single minute. Additionally, deforestation causes 15 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions that fuel climate change, which is more than all of the cars in the United States and China put together.

With another World Rainforest Day upon us (22 June), we thought we’d look back into the Springwise archive to unearth some of the most creative ways we’ve seen businesses and other organisations help protect rainforests and raise awareness.

1. MONITORING SYSTEM PROTECTS BRAZILIAN RAINFORESTS

Rainforest Connection uses advanced technology to monitor the rainforest and hence seek to put an end to illegal deforestation.

It has developed bio-acoustic monitoring that uploads rainforest sounds to a platform, which can be accessed and shared worldwide. This real-time data helps inform land management, policy changes and resource distribution. By monitoring the sounds of the rainforest, the organization is also able to pick up on sounds related to poaching.

Read more about Rainforest Connection.

2. WORLD’S FIRST NATURE-BACKED FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT

The venture capital group Single.Earth has developed a way for landowners to earn money for under-utilising their land. Their online platform allows forests, wetlands and other natural areas to generate income by being left alone – eliminating the need for their owners to sell their resources in order to turn a profit. Instead, owners are rewarded for preserving ecosystems.

Single.Earth works by tokenising privately-owned natural resources and areas of ecological significance. Companies and organisations can then purchase the tokens and thus own fractional amounts of the lands and resources. Importantly, investors also receive carbon offsets on their token purchases. 

“Knowing that we’ve saved an immensely biodiverse rainforest or restored a degraded land back to a healthy ecosystem where animals return – and at the same time secured the local communities a decent income – is what keeps us going,” Single.Earth’s CEO and co-founder Merit Valdsalu told Springwise.

Read more about Single.Earth.

3. HEALTHCARE DISCOUNTS DISCOURAGE LOGGING TO SAVE THE RAINFOREST

Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) is a non-profit that provides healthcare discounts to villagers who refrain from logging the forest — an act that is hugely damaging to the local endangered wildlife, including 10 per cent of the world’s orangutan population.

ASRI is helping to prevent this by giving villages that stop logging up to 70 per cent off of their medical bills. As a result, the human and natural health of the region has vastly improved; logging has reduced, and infant deaths have fallen by 60 per cent.

Read more about ASRI

4. HOTEL BOOKING PLATFORM OFFSETS CARBON EMISSIONS TO HELP PROTECT RAINFORESTS

The Denmark-based hotel booking platform Goodwings offers subscription-based access to more than one million hotels worldwide at wholesale rates. But it doesn’t spend on advertising and instead uses the money to buy carbon credits that support the Envira Amazonian Project in Brazil.

Its business model is built on partnerships, with a global network of 100 nonprofit partners in over 40 countries acting as their ambassadors and marketing channels. The money saved on advertising then gets redirected towards projects and people who are actively working towards the SDGs.

Read more about Goodwings. 

5. BRAND CAMPAIGN FEATURING A MONKEY’S TINDER PROFILE RAISES BIODIVERSITY AWARENESS

Back in 2016, The Body Shop launched a conservation campaign via Tinder and the hashtag #helpreggiefindlove, to raise awareness of its commitment to endangered species.

By swiping right on Reggie the monkey, users received information on his habitat, the Khe Nuoc Trong forest in Vietnam — which is being affected by deforestation — and receive discount codes to spend online. 

Read more about The Body Shop’s campaign.