Our Team in the Field

The Sustainable Tropics Alliance

The Sustainable Tropics Alliance is a strategic partnership of independent, non-governmental organizations that draw on research, multi-stakeholder engagement and local knowledge to improve rural livelihoods through sustainable low emissions land use and natural resource management in key regions of the Tropics. The founding members of the Alliance are Earth Innovation Institute (Brazil, Indonesia, Colombia), Pronatura-Sur (Mexico), the Instituto del Bien Comun (Peru), the Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (Brazil), and the Greenbelt Movement (Kenya).

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Five principal pillars define progress toward low-emission rural development. These five pillars may be considered universal goals, while the process by which a region may achieve these goals is highly dependent on the context and conditions specific to that region.

The Alliance is developing common approaches to promote low-emission rural development (LED-R) that emphasize locally informed and designed solutions that integrate into or can scale up to sub-national and national level policies and programs. The Alliance serves as a platform for the Alliance partners to work together at a global scale in support of policies, institutional arrangements and market mechanisms that support sustainable, low-emission rural development throughout the Tropics. The strength of this network lies in its ability to share lessons learned and to collectively design low-emission rural development strategies that may serve as models for other regions.

The Sustainable Tropics Alliance seeks to address the lack of an effective policy, market and institutional framework for changing prevailing models of rural development, in which agricultural frontier expansion (whether for large-scale commodity production or subsistence) drives tropical deforestation and forest degradation which in turn drives the degradation of a range of other ecosystem services on which local and regional communities depend, including water sources, fish and game, timber, and soil resources.

Instead, the STA supports a low-emission rural development (LED-R) model that is explicitly evidence-based, participatory, iterative, adaptive, and focused on sub-national regions defined by administrative or watershed boundaries. The LED-R model is based on the premise that the relationships between actors and the resource base are key to changing the current high-emission model of rural development. These actors include governments, financial institutions, large-scale producers and extractors, smallholders, indigenous peoples and traditional communities, and civil society.


Tropical Forest Champions
Subnational jurisdictional approaches: Policy innovation and partnerships for change
The State of Jurisdictional Sustainability: Synthesis for Practitioners and Policymakers
The Twenty-Year-Old Partnership Between Indigenous Peoples and the Government of Acre, Brazil
The Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force Global Committee for Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities
About the Sustainable Tropics Alliance


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Green Belt Movement
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