Earth Island Institute

Earth Island Institute
Earth Island Institute logo.

The Earth Island Institute was founded in 1982 by environmentalist David Brower.[1] It organizes and encourages activism around environmental issues and provides public education. Funding comes from individual members and supporting organizations. Through fiscal sponsorship, it provides the administrative and organizational framework for many individual projects that would otherwise be duplicating administrative requirements. It is based in Berkeley, California.

Some of the projects have enjoyed significant success: a consumer-led boycott resulted in 100% of American tuna becoming dolphin safe.[2] The Earth Island Institute also provides dolphin safe certification for canned tuna producers.

The Mangrove Action Project was originally part of the Earth Island Institute, but became a separate organization in March 2007.[3]

Earth Island has presented the Brower Youth Awards, named for founder David Brower, to six young environmental leaders since 2000.[4]

Earth Island Journal has been published by the institute for 20 years.[5] It includes environmental reporting and commentary from around the world.


The Borneo Project

The Earth Island Institute has taken on a number of projects, one of which is The Borneo Project, at the helm, director Brihannala Morgan.[6] The goal of the project is to provide international support for indigenous and locally-led campaigns to protect rights in Borneo and to advocate for mechanisms that will support communities in conserving their forests.

In which case, it must be understood that The Borneo Project does not initiate its own campaigns, instead it respond to the needs of its local partners, and provide whatever support best suits their programmatic and campaign needs. This comes in the form of providing small grants, online actions, sign on letters, and international advocacy on forest and climate issues. The local partners and allies in Malaysia and Indonesia that The Borneo Project is in contact with include the Borneo Resources Institute (BRIMAS), Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS), Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM or Friends of the Earth Malaysia) and Uma Bawang Residents Association (UBRA).[7]

Forest and Climate Policy

One of the ongoing programs that The Borneo Project is engaging on is the conservation of our climate by supporting and working on the international policy Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). In Borneo, forests are annually destroyed through logging or burning, the carbon that is released into the atmosphere is the climate-changing greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. The destruction of forests is responsible for up to a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – more than every plane, car, truck, ship, and train on the planet combined.[8] The support for REDD not only helps to reduce green house gases in Borneo; it can also deliver benefits such as poverty alleviation to the communities who live in and rely on the Borneo forests.

REDD is currently only a small part of the global market for carbon, and REDD carbon credits are mostly sold to companies and people who are interested in reducing their emissions voluntarily. This may change – as the international agreements on climate change are renegotiated. This will then provide a much larger market for REDD credits, and will dramatically increase REDD’s impact in the forests of Borneo.[9]


External links

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