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The Forest Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The mission of The Forest Foundation is to assist artisans, producer groups and other entrepreneurs living in and around areas of high biodiversity. These areas are critical to our needs, both now and for future generations. They are also necessary because of their intrinsic value and beauty. Our goal is to develop model programs in sustainable business and rural development. We want to use market-based initiatives to create not only incentives for sustainability, but also products that internalize the costs and benefits of protecting, conserving, and restoring these natural areas. We want to enable everyone to make conscientious choices that create opportunity, protect these “last great places,” and build a better world. Rapid loss of biodiversity, globalization and overpopulation are rapidly affecting communities tied to these important resources. It is imperative that we understand how we are connected to these areas, through our consumptive behavior, and to consume more sustainably, properly valuing both human and natural capital. Support must be given in education, resource and business management to promote sustainable livelihoods. It is each of our livelihoods, how we make a living, that unites us in community and responsibility. We hope to grow out from these diverse watersheds, tops of mountains, wetlands and coral reefs, from these natural areas new models of sustainable development from which we can all learn, share and benefit.

Results: The Forest Foundation has coordinated the Green Booth at the NC State Fair for over 17 years, reaching tens of thousands of fair-goers with pro-environmental messages. In addition, the Forest Foundation has facilitated over $1.5 million in sales of Fair Trade goods produced in the third world to help communities protect biodiversity hotspots. In the past few years the Forest Foundation's green jobs training program has taught dozens of participants how to make sustainability a part of their career.

Target demographics: local and global citizens improve our shared natural environment.

Geographic areas served: Durham, North Carolina

Programs: Green Tracks, a green jobs training program, grassroots environmental education initiatives such as coordination of the Green Booth at the NC State Fair, facilitation of Fair Trade entrepreneurship, and consultation services for social entrepreneurs seeking to prioritize people, our planet, and profit, in that order.

Community Stories

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Rating: 5

The Forest Foundation works to support causes to promote sustainable lively hoods around the world through sale of fair trade products and efforts to protect local and forests abroad. The office of the Forest Foundation at the GOAL site (Gas Oil and Light Campus) also has a green business on site that gathers used vegetable oil from restaurants and processes it into bio diesel to run a fleet of taxis, buses, vans, and more to serve the communities needs and they also have rickshaw transporation as well. They support community efforts to hire and train those in need of employment. They consult local businesses and educate the public. They also have the oldest running green booth at the NC State Fair (16 years running). Most importantly they coordinate projects and support other non-profits, student groups, and community efforts toward sustainably living and environmental justice.