The Rainforest Center
in Darmstadt Germany
Why a rainforest center in a non-rainforest region?
The protection of the remaining rainforests is not decided in the rainforest countries, but in the industrialized nations of the Global North. In Europe, North America and the richer countries of Asia, we consume rainforest products in the form of wood and paper, use huge areas of rainforest to grow palm oil, soybeans, rubber and other products, or are jointly responsible for rainforest destruction through mining or hydroelectric power plants. Germany is one of the largest consumers of products from rainforest countries and we therefore bear great responsibility for the preservation of the rainforests through our daily purchasing behavior. But the connections are complex and rainforest products are not always immediately recognizable as such. Palm oil, for example, can be found in almost every second supermarket product. Information, education and advice are necessary in order to understand connections and to understand one's own responsibility. We devote ourselves to this task. In addition, we try to support rainforest protection projects in as many global rainforest regions as possible, both financially and through information, linking or supporting petitions.
In our efforts to preserve the rainforests, we can look back on twenty years of experience in rainforest countries. Center manager Klaus Berger was involved in the protection of the North American coastal rainforests for over 10 years, lived in the temperate rainforests of New Zealand for a year, traveled to the rainforests of the southern Himalayan region, lived and worked in Thailand, Cambodia and Kenya. His Kenyan wife comes from the Kakamega region, Kenya's only rainforest. Together they run an agroforestry project in western Kenya.