Commonwealth NGOs
related to forestry

bullet1 GLOBAL

bullet2 World Rainforest Movement

HQ situated in Uruguay


Type of NGO:  NGO,

Interest in Forestry: central

Contact method: email : 


The World Rainforest Movement is an international network of citizens' groups of North and South involved in efforts to defend the world's rainforests.

It works to secure the lands and livelihoods of forest peoples and supports their efforts to defend the forests from commercial logging, dams, mining, plantations, shrimp farms, colonisation and other projects that threaten them.

The World Rainforest Movement was established in 1986 and initially focused its activities on the flaws in the FAO and World Bank's "Tropical Forestry Action Plan" and countering the excesses of the tropical timber trade and the problems of the International Tropical Timber Organisation.

In 1989, the WRM published the "Penang Declaration" which sets out the shared vision of the WRM's members. As well as identifying the main causes of tropical deforestation and singling out the deficiencies of the main official responses to the deforestation crisis, the Declaration highlights an alternative model of development in the rainforests, based on securing the lands and livelihoods of forest peoples.

In 1998, the WRM published the "Montevideo Declaration" and launched its campaign against monoculture tree plantations that are increasingly being promoted particularly in the South. These plantations, promoted as "planted forests", are resulting in a number of negative social and environmental impacts on local communities. This campaign aims at generating conscience on and organizing opposition to this type of forestry development.

The WRM has been part of the Global Secretariat of the Joint Initiative to Address the Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation, a process linked to the work of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests.

In May 2000 the WRM published the "Mount Tamalpais Declaration", urging governments to not include tree plantations as carbon sinks in the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and to address industrial emissions separately from tree plantations.

In May 2002, a number of NGOs and Indigenous Peoples Organizations attending the 4th Preparatory Meeting for the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), felt the need for the global community to recognize community-based and indigenous forest management as a viable tool for alleviating poverty and to ensure forest conservation and the livelihoods of forest-dependent peoples. The Global Caucus on Community-Based Forest Management was thus born. The WRM is one of its board members and South American Focal Point.

In January 2003, during the Third World Social Forum held in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, a group of Latin American NGO representatives established the Latin American Network against Tree Monocultures, appointing the WRM as its Secretariat. The Network has been coordinating efforts at the continental level to oppose the plantation model based on tree monocultures and to promote a type of forest use that makes conservation and the improvement of forest peoples' livelihoods compatible.

In January 2004, during the World Social Forum held in India, the WRM participated in the elaboration of the "Mumbai Forest Initiative", a draft statement of principles aimed at being a first contribution to initiating a global process based on solidarity links between movements, groups and peoples working on issues relating to forests at local, national and international level.

The WRM distributes a monthly electronic bulletin in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese, to serve as an information dissemination tool of local struggles and on global processes which may affect local forests and peoples. The bulletin is distributed to more than 10,000 individuals and organizations in 131 countries around the world. The WRM also disseminates relevant information and documentation through its bilingual English/Spanish web site.

The WRM International Secretariat is headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay.