Animated Short

Faiths for Forests - IRI Colombia in Action

Fernao Spadotto, Gabriela Sanchez

The Interfaith Rainforest Initiative is mobilizing the world's religions to protect rainforests and the rights of indigenous peoples.

The IRI Colombia country program is bringing this mission to life in the country, bringing the country’s most prominent religious leaders into dialogue and cooperation with Colombia’s indigenous peoples, leading NGOs working on forest protection, the United Nations and a number of other stakeholders to create a powerful program of work on forest protection.

In just two years, IRI Colombia has managed to launch more than 33 local chapters across the country in those areas where forests face the greatest threats, positioned religious leaders to accompany land-use planning councils in over 10 districts, secured political commitments from mayors and other elected officials to protect forests and the rights of indigenous peoples, secured a commitment in the country’s National Development Plan to end tropical deforestation, facilitated training on the spiritual and scientific basis for protecting forests for thousands of religious leaders, facilitated meetings with the President and various Ministers to brief them on the initiative and call for greater ambition in protecting forests as a moral and ethical duty, and undertaken powerful public outreach campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of the deforestation crisis.

This animation video tells the story of their work on education and awareness raising, mobilization of action coalitions across the country, influencing laws and public policies on forests, and exerting pressure on the private sector to change their policies and practices.