We create accelerated solutions.

About Rainforest Rising

Based in Nevada City, California, we are in the business of accelerated climate solutions. We are a non-profit organization of conservationists, business people, and coalition builders who recognize the need for swift effective responses to the converging crises of global warming, ecological imbalance, and pandemic extinction. Our response to these crises is both an accelerated reforestation and a way for groups of individuals to take action with large-scale impact.

About Rainforest Rising

Founder Alaric Balibrera and Eric Radcliffe survey potential restoration sites in northern Sumatra

Our Mission

Planning tiger habitat restoration with National Geographic Fellow, Rudi Putra, Sumatra, 2019

Our Mission

Our mission is to regenerate forests, reduce global warming, and save critically endangered species from extinction with your help

We partner with federal and state agencies, private enterprise, and local conservation organizations to implement large-scale forest restoration.

Because a small group of generous donors pay our salaries and overhead,

100% of your funds are used to equip drone fleets, generate seedpods, and send teams to endangered forests.

We prioritize the habitats of mega-fauna in critical danger of extinction – orangutans, gorillas, tigers, elephants, rhinos – but there are forests around the world that urgently need restoration.

We go where trees are needed.

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

– Robert Swan

Meet our founder, Alaric

How I arrived here is simple. I’m not a newsmaker or a Fortune 500 CEO. What brought me here was a broken heart. I believe there’s a trail of broken hearts the size of a superhighway belonging to all of us who recognize the profound impact 8 billion humans are having on the planet. Maybe you’re the owner of one of those broken hearts and that’s why you’re here too. I feel that that this planet is my mother. And my only home. She is alive, beautiful beyond words, and I owe everything to her. If you’re still reading you probably feel similarly, and if you do, we are allies. We are the people who refuse to leave an uninhabitable home to our children.

For years I tried to help but options were few and frustrations were many. Heartbreak was my constant companion as species after precious species vanished before my eyes. There was so much bad news if I tried to name them we’d be here all day. Eventually the sheer scope of it and how little difference I seemed to be able to make burnt me out. I needed hope. So instead of looking at the problems I began to look for solutions. But because the destruction was so immense, I knew what I was looking for had to be big. Really big. Able to restore habitats faster than they’re being destroyed.

I refused to believe that all our futures led to extinction and collapse. There are alternate futures, even beautiful futures – but how to get there? I stopped giving my energy away to the bad news and drilled for ways to take action instead. Action with impact.

Action on the scale of whole landscapes.

What I didn’t know was that I was looking for something that didn’t exist yet.

But it was about to be born.

As if on cue to take the threat to the next level, the megafires came. Remember? These were no ordinary fires- global warming had leveled them up. They were monsters of destruction. As I write this right now in August 2020, California has over 750 active forest fires and five of them are in the top 6 all-time biggest. There’s a giant inferno five miles from my house. My neighbors are fleeing. My car is packed with keepsakes and heirlooms. We are ready to make it out the door in 60 seconds. The droughts, fires, and heat have shattered last year’s records, which shattered 2018’s records, which shattered 2017’s, which shattered 2016’s. This year broke all those records in a single week. Before fire season even got started.

There will be more than a million fire refugees this year.

Next year will be worse.

In the last three years Australia, California, the critical rainforests in the Amazon and Indonesia, even the frozen Arctic have all seen monstrous ongoing infernos. They mark the shift. Remember back before these fires, in 2016? There was doubt as to whether climate change still was yet to come. With the arrival of these colossal fires we now know:

Climate change is here now.

Record temperatures rise continually. In its 2019 infernos, Australia lost a billion animals! That’s too large a number for the human mind to even conceive . Species are now going extinct by the hundreds per day. Per day. This is a global 5-alarm fire.

When the megafires arrived I was still drilling for solutions. I had focused on the global hotspots of biodiversity and the big species who were in the most trouble – tigers, great apes, rhinos. I’d identified where their habitats overlapped with the hotspot forests. Yet the critical piece was still missing. Restoring their habitat is the only way to keep them from going extinct but planting by hand was not working. It was too slow, too labor intensive, and it has consistently failed to restore forests for 70 years now – in other words, since they started trying. Now at this last minute, with so many key species standing on the very brink of extinction, the question boiled down to this: how could we hope to restore habitats if it required planting billions of trees quickly?

I asked everyone I knew this question. Then someone mentioned, Why not drop tree seeds out of a plane? A spark happened! Planes wouldn’t work; too expensive, too unwieldy, too imprecise. But that spark lit the way and I followed. I discovered that in industrial agriculture software engineers had just successfully created machines that could plant seeds by the billions.

There was the answer. Drones. The technology had just arrived.

Drones are a game-changer. They’re cheap. They’re reliable. They’re precise. They’re automated. They can be radically scaled up. They can plant in places humans can’t. Most important of all, a single team can plant millions of seeds in a single week.

This vital new hope came together in the nick of time. Rainforests are in deadly trouble. Droneseeding was going to be viable within a year or two and we could take it to the rainforests.

So to find the first restoration site in the oldest rainforest in the world, I packed my bags and left for Sumatra.

Now in 2020, droneseeding is viable but there are still only a handful of droneseeding companies in the world. I encourage you to reach out to them as well. I don’t care about being first, or best, or biggest. I care about planting trees.

All we need to make this a reality is each other. The only way we can reforest the world is together. Our pilot project, the tiger habitat, is ready and waiting for us. Our partners are ready. The site is waiting. We need 12 drones.

With your help we can build this movement into an unstoppable community of givers, guardians, and champions for our planet.

With this movement we can reforest the world.

 

Meet the founder, Alaric

It’s time to step up and swing for the fences.