Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Food, forests and climate

Rainforest Action Network plans educational fundraiser in valley

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy image Metro Graphics

    The endearing image of a tiny, pop-eyed tree frog has swayed millions—including the all-powerful Disney—to protect the interests and life in rainforests around the globe, inspired by a tenacious environmental group based in San Francisco.
    The Rainforest Action Network is coming to the valley to raise funds at a reception and fireside chat entitled “Our Food, Our Forests, Our Climate,” Thursday, Jan. 30, starting at 6 p.m. Those who attend will be advised of the location.
    Engaging in the conversation is global sustainability leader and Sun Valley native Aimée Christensen, national bestselling author of “Diet for a Hot Planet” Anna Lappé, and RAN Executive Director Lindsey Allen.
    Lappé and Allen, with moderation by Christensen, will present an intimate discussion about the intersection of forest destruction, climate change and human rights, which is at the heart of Rainforest Action Network’s work.
    A focus of the conversations, too, will be on RAN’s newest campaign to fight palm oil plantations, for which large swathes of forest are cleared. Some key points of interest will include examining the repercussions of the global consumption of palm oil, which is found in everything from granola bars to cookies, as well as what immediate action can be done about it.

RAN was dubbed by the Wall Street Journal as “some of the most savvy environmental agitators in the business.”

    Christensen is founder and CEO of Christensen Global Strategies, which collaborates with industries, governments, organizations and individuals worldwide to develop solutions for a strong, clean global economy, healthy communities and protection of natural resources. Trained as an environmental and energy lawyer with deep experience in energy policy in Washington, D.C., she brings two decades of experience in climate change and sustainability strategy to the corporate, investment and philanthropic sectors.
    Lappé is founding principal of the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund. A widely respected author and educator, she is known as an expert on food systems and as a sustainable food advocate. Lappé’s work has been translated internationally and featured in The New York Times, Gourmet and Oprah magazine, among many other outlets.
    Named one of Time magazine’s “eco” Who’s-Who, she is currently the head of the Real Food Media Project, a new initiative to spread the story of the power of sustainable food using creative movies, an online action center and grassroots events.
     Allen is executive director of RAN, with a track record for pressuring and inspiring some of the world’s largest corporations to protect rainforests. Allen has spent her career preventing commodity expansion into globally critical forest areas, and has played a central role in achieving some of the most significant corporate policy commitments to protect forests over the past decade.
    A veteran environmental and social justice activist, Allen has expertise in organizing communities to engage in powerful mass mobilizations and direct actions. Allen helped foster a commitment by the Disney Corp. to stop using paper connected to the destruction of rainforests.
    RAN was dubbed by the Wall Street Journal as “some of the most savvy environmental agitators in the business.”
     Seating is limited. Reservations can be made at The first 50 tickets purchased will include a RAN tote bag made of organic cotton, a signed copy of Lappé’s “Diet for a Hot Planet” and local eco-goodies. Tickets are $100. Sponsorships are available at $500 and up. Seating is limited and the location will be provided upon RSVP.

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