Rainforest Exchange promises to revolutionise climate financing

A new tech platform from Health In Harmony is promising to upend established funding models for forest regeneration and conservation projects. 

Rainforest Exchange is the latest technology produce looking to help tackle the environmental emergency, this time by overcoming one of the major obstacles to progress – monetary support.

green trees on mountain under white clouds during daytime

Designed by Health In Harmony, the software differs from traditional NGO and climate finance programs in that it has been developed by and for Indigenous People and Local Communities (IPLCs), and essentially acts as a route for donors to send funding directly to these individuals and groups. 

Announced in October, the offering will be showcased at next month’s COP27 conference in Egypt, wherein a larger audience will be introduced to the idea of ‘Radical Listening’. This process has directly informed how Rainforest Exchange has been created, with communities living in tropical forests invited to partner with Health In Harmony and contribute ideas and solutions to both the immediate and longer term climate threats they themselves are facing. 

These proposals and initiatives are now open for direct donations through the software, which allows users anywhere in the world to explore the various projects that are either proposed or underway, choose those they want and have the ability to assist in through donations, and then automatically send their money to those working on the ground. 

Those offering support are also given real time reports showing their actual impact, with advance satellite data and machine learning delivering an overview of carbon sequestration levels, forest degradation status, and biodiversity and community health. 

‘Rainforest Exchange is revolutionary because it is a scalable solution to the climate crisis. It  highlights the genius of rainforest communities and enables the international community to directly finance their important work,’ said Devika Gopal Agge, Chief Development Officer at Health In Harmony. ‘We have a short amount of time to make a difference, but now we have the path, the knowledge and the resources to bring forth the change the Earth needs. The future of forests, people, and the planet’s well-being rests in our ability to work together.’ 

In June, a report identified that 92% of global tree planting project between 2000 and 2012 had focused on the wrong places, were actually detrimental to biodiversity and had very little chance of succeeding in their aims. 

Image: imaad whd


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