WCI Launches New Charity to Support Indigenous Communities in Southeast Asia

International non-profit organization Wildlife Conservation International (WCI) has announced the public launch of Forests for People, a new charitable entity in New Zealand to support and enhance the welfare of indigenous communities in Southeast Asia.

The new charity can receive tax-deductible donations from individuals, businesses and philanthropic organizations in New Zealand and direct them to projects that will provide a sustainable economic future for disadvantaged communities at the forefront of the environmental crisis.

While WCI has been supporting a range of humanitarian projects across Southeast Asia for the past 25 years, the establishment of Forests for People as a separate entity not only provides a tax benefit for supporters in New Zealand but also opens up the door for individuals and organizations to specifically support the humanitarian aspects of the work.

The projects supported by Forests for People address the Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations in 2015 that aspire to end poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth, all while tackling climate change and working to preserve rainforests and their biodiversity.

“Our planet is facing a global extinction crisis that is not only threatening the fragile biodiversity of our rainforests but also the welfare of indigenous communities who have been dependent on rainforest resources for centuries,” said Leif Cocks, founder of WCI.

“To survive this extinction crisis, it is imperative that we empower indigenous communities to become stewards of their own forest resources and help them transition to new forms of sustainable agriculture to replace traditional practices, made unsustainable through the reduction of their lands,” Cocks continued.

Wildlife Conservation International (WCI) is a registered charity in Australia, Canada, The Netherlands (EU), New Zealand and the United States, and manages the following projects: The Orangutan Project, International Elephant Project, International Tiger Project, and Forests for People. Forest for People is a registered charity in New Zealand.