Author Archives: Will Tucker

Will Tucker is the Senior Communications Associate at Forest Trends. He is a writer with a background in climate change communication, history, and public health.


Amazonian Tribe Shares the Secret of Treating Snake Bites

What are the biggest hazards of life in the Amazon rainforest? Many outsiders might peg snakes at the top of the list: the region is home to dozens of venomous snakes, among other fearsome reptiles, fish, insects, and mammals.

But the Yawanawa, a tribe of 1,250 people living at the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, have never regarded snakes as much cause for alarm – not even those whose fangs pack a potent punch. In fact, the community hasn’t seen …

Surui and Yawanawa Etch Their Past into the Future

Across the Americas, indigenous and traditional communities have long struggled to assert their stories into a history written largely by foreign newcomers – one which continues to drown out pre-colonial voices. But in the Brazilian Amazon, the Yawanawa and Paiter Surui indigenous tribes are doing their part to set the record straight – in two newly released books that document their histories in their own words.

For the Yawanawa and Surui, who are currently experiencing a renaissance after reclaiming their …

Yawanawa Indigenous Leaders Tell Their Comeback Story at TEDWomen 2016

Laura Soriano and her husband, Chief Tashka Yawanawa, will be recounting the powerful story of how their tribal community rebounded from near extinction during a talk at the TEDWomen 2016 conference in San Francisco on Thursday, October 27, at 11 am PDT.

When Laura Soriano arrived in her new husband’s native community 16 years ago, the Yawanawa people were in danger of becoming a lost culture of the Amazon rainforest, like other indigenous cultures gone extinct in the region.

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Debunked: Eight Myths about Carbon Offsetting

CnVYCDsWcAARjWLLet’s preface this post with an indisputable fact: buying carbon offsets isn’t going to solve climate change. No one (outside of the climate denial camp) disputes that avoiding climate catastrophe will require a deep decoupling of the economy and greenhouse gas emissions. But when Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace surveyed companies that buy carbon offsets, it found that they’re using carbon markets to accelerate this deep transformation, rather than to create a green-tinted perpetuation of the status quo.

So, keeping …

Amazon Cuisine Can Spark a New “Rainforest to Table” Movement

What do rainforests, local village traditions, and high cuisine have in common?

Chefs and other creative thinkers are planting the seeds of a “Rainforest to Table” movement that combines food production and forest protection – saving the Amazon’s forests and nourishing its people.

IMG_2808Latin American chefs and non-profit organizations, including Forest Trends and Canopy Bridge, are exploring new ways to bring the Amazon’s vast pantry of healthy ingredients and traditional cuisines to tables in indigenous villages and …

Forest Trends Helps Brazil’s Yawanawá People Build Common Ground

Photo by Beto Borges

Nestled deep in the Brazilian Amazon along the Peruvian border, the state of Acre contains about 15 million hectares – most of which remains pristine virgin rainforest – within a space roughly the size of Florida. It’s also home to thousands of indigenous people, who serve an invaluable role as stewards of the so-called Earth’s Lungs, the Amazon rainforest. Supporting these communities is critical to both preserving their cultural heritage and achieving our global climate goals, …

Cambodia’s Crackdown on Illegal Logging Leaves Room for Doubt

Editor’s note: This post was revised on March 3, 2016 to reflect a previous update.

Last month, Cambodia’s prime minister created a national committee charged with curbing illegal wood trade on the country’s eastern border with Vietnam, and the government and military conducted raids to seize illicit timber and investigate high-profile business leaders allegedly involved in the trade.

The Cambodian press was quick to describe the move as a “crackdown” and some environmentalists hailed it as a “good

The COP21 Waiting Game Continues; Where Does REDD+ Stand?

It’s Friday afternoon and many of the negotiators in Paris are still recuperating after a sleepless night spent hammering out the biggest remaining sticking points in the global climate agreement. COP21 President and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has pushed back the timeline for a final agreement to Saturday afternoon, which gives negotiators and ministers some breathing room while also upping the urgency quotient.

On paper, REDD+ is in great shape as it appears in the “penultimate” draft released last …

New UN Draft Text Signals Smooth Sailing at COP21, for Now

On Thursday morning, the UNFCCC injected a bit of excitement into an otherwise quiet mid-week at COP21 when it released the most recent draft of the negotiating text. The revised version (comprised of the overarching draft agreement and the accompanying decisions) looks a lot like its predecessor. From the perspective of forests, that’s really not a bad thing, since that earlier version already mentioned them in the mitigation and finance sections.

One of the primary objectives heading into the first …

FT Fellows: Helping Forest Trends Stay Global and Nimble Since 2000

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Partnership is at the heart of Forest Trends’ mission; it’s “in our DNA.” Since Forest Trends was founded in 1998, the organization has strived to remain at once small, global, and nimble – able to respond quickly to emerging opportunities and challenges in the conservation arena. Our versatility in large part depends on our ability to forge partnerships with key actors in business, government, civil society, and elsewhere. Forest Trends connects actors who might appear “unlikely allies,” fostering constructive relationships …