Rainforest Trust

Rainforest Trust is a US-based nonprofit environmental organization founded in December 8, 1988 by Byron Swift, a dedicated and experienced conservationist.[3] The organization is focused on the purchase and protection of tropical lands to strategically conserve threatened species. Rainforest Trust was formerly known as World Land Trust-US and World Parks Endowment. In 2006, then World Parks Endowment affiliated itself with World Land Trust, a UK-based nonprofit environmental organization, and became World Land Trust-US, as both organizations were dedicated to minimizing their costs in order to allow donated funds to flow to real habitat conservation projects on the ground.[4] On September 16, 2013, as part of celebrating the organization's 25th anniversary, the World Land Trust-US changed its name to Rainforest Trust.[5]

Rainforest Trust
FormationDecember 8, 1988 (1988-12-08)[1]
Founded atNew York[1]
HeadquartersWarrenton, Virginia, United States
Revenue (2016)
$15.7 million[2]
Formerly called
  • World Parks Endowment
  • World Land Trust-US

Rainforest Trust supports the purchase of large tracts of land by local NGO's working across tropical Asia, Africa, and Latin America for the purposes of protecting it, in a fashion similar to the Nature Conservancy by making use of land trusts. The organization also seeks to help in-situ conservation measures by providing training, capital and equipment for environmental stewardship in economically impoverished areas.

Most acres are permanently protected for an average of less than $100 per acre. As of 2017, Rainforest Trust has helped protect 18,000,000 acres (73,000 km2) of habitat.[6]

Byron Swift was the CEO of the organization from 1988 until 2012 when Paul Salaman became the CEO. Mark Gruin is currently the acting CEO.

Robert S. Ridgely, President Emeritus, is an expert on neotropical birds, on which he has published several books, is a longtime conservationist, and is the co-discoverer of the jocotoco antpitta.

Project examples


  1. "Certificate of Incorporation of World Parks Endowment, Inc" (PDF). Rainforest Trust. 1988. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  2. "2016 Audited Financials" (PDF). Rainforest Trust. 2017. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  3. "Byron Swift - SourceWatch". www.sourcewatch.org. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  4. "October 2006 - World Parks Endowment becomes World Land Trust-US". World Land Trust-US. October 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-02-20. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  5. Salaman, Paul (2013). "World Land Trust-US Becomes Rainforest Trust". Rainforest Trust. Archived from the original on 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  6. "Environmental Year-in-Review 2017" (PDF). Rainforest Trust. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
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