Deforestation hurts everyone.

The world has lost one third of its forests. As a result, countless species of animals are threatened with extinction - 60% of our planet's vertebrate wildlife populations were lost in just the last 40 years, primarily due to habitat destruction. Indigenous lifeways and community livelihoods are being destroyed, the earth is warming, and rainfall is more erratic, causing both floods and droughts.

But an end of deforestation is possible

Women’s leadership is crucial to forest restoration and protection.

Increasing evidence shows that women's participation and decision-making in management of local forests significantly improves forest conditions and conservation. And in particular, leadership by indigenous women, who have lived in sustainable balance with the natural world for generations, is crucial to preserving life on the planet alongside thriving communities.

WEA empowers women’s leadership to reverse deforestation.

In recognition of the critical role that women play in protecting forests and the acute support needed to grow their impact, WEA has built the capacity of women forest protectors around the world.

In Indonesia

WEA Leaders restored 20 square miles of coral reefs and 13 miles of shoreline, while integrating local communities in decision-making, generating sustainable jobs, and collectively benefitting 40,000 people.

In Sumatra

WEA Leaders prevented the destruction of 10,000 acres of forest and protected the indigenous lifeways of 250,000 people. Their success set a precedent for future court decisions to protect Indonesian forests threatened by extractive industry.

In India

WEA Leaders are restoring forests through native species, protecting forests and economies through non-timber forest-based livelihoods, and developing responsible tourism to generate local livelihoods while protecting wild places.

WEA partners with grassroots women-led forest restoration and protection initiatives, investing in their skills, tools, and resources to strengthen and accelerate their critical work. 

Learn how our forest protection initiatives are making an impact.

Through access to resources and tools, women forest protectors are planting trees and conserving forests around the world.


acres of forest protected in Sumatra


people in local communities now generating forest-safe income


Indigenous peoples whose forest lifeways are protected


pounds of carbon sequestered in Kenya

Our forest protection initiatives are active in Indonesia, Kenya and Uganda, with more locations coming soon. Using our signature accelerator model, we partner with local NGOs to provide community-centered programs that empower grassroots women leaders with everything they need to create positive change.

This work includes:

  • Planting and conserving mangrove forests
  • Launching forest protection microenterprises
  • Creating alternative livelihood opportunities
  • Outreach efforts to educate communities

Protecting our forests means protecting our future.

Support this work with a one-time donation today. All donations are tax deductible and 100% of your gift goes directly to our forest protection initiatives.

WEA is fiscally sponsored by Earth Island Institute (EII), a 501(c)(3) organization. EII has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator - America's largest independent evaluator of non-profit organizations - for our efficient use of funds.