After experiencing firsthand the devastating impact of Amazonian rainforest destruction on indigenous people, Trudie Styler—producer, director, human rights activist, environmentalist and organic farmer—founded the Rainforest Foundation Fund with her husband, Sting, in 1989. Styler’s annual Rainforest Foundation Benefit Concert, Sting & Friends, will mark its 23rd anniversary April 3 at Carnegie Hall in New City.
The benefit is a celebration of hope and the human spirit.
“I’ve been very fortunate in life, and I’ve had many opportunities to see the world and meet some extraordinary people,” Styler says. “Having witnessed environmental
catastrophe and the human suffering that results, I feel a responsibility to do what I can to try to make a difference.”
A firm believer in the “power of the individual,” Styler is a tireless advocate for “being true to oneself and taking a stand.” She believes that “we have a real opportunity to build a new global economy based on environmental conservation.”
Styler’s annual benefit concert has raised millions for rainforest relief and—importantly—awareness about rainforest devastation. “It’s true that deforestation continues, but I believe that we are beginning to see some major changes now in attitude,” Styler says. “It’s becoming more widely accepted that deforestation is the biggest single cause of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. And economics are now playing a part. I think we are actually on the cusp of a major shift in how economics and environmental conservation are connected. The Brazilian government is taking a tougher stance on illegal logging in the rainforest, and indeed the National Institute for Space Research has said that between August 2010 and July 2011 deforestation dropped 11 percent from the previous year. So I have hope.”
Now operating in 23 countries, the Rainforest Foundation has helped indigenous communities gain legal rights to protect more than 100,000 square kilometers of rainforest and projects that it can help save 1 million more.
While being on the front lines means bearing witness to shocking realities, Styler remains optimistic. “The resilience of the human spirit is always remarkable and inspiring,” she says. “For every harmful deed, there are many more acts of compassion and, ultimately, this supports my continued faith in human nature.” rainforestfund.org
OSM ONLINE > Read the extended interview at organicspamagazine.com/trudie-styler
Sharing the Strength
“Staying fit is vitally important to me,”Trudie Styler says. “Good nutrition is the cornerstone of good health, mental clarity and high energy levels, and I’m passionate about the value of organic food. Exercise is another key ingredient. I work out most days, and the time I spend on staying strong and mobile pays back dividends in terms of my energy, how much I can get done every day, and my quality of life.”
To share her routines with everyone, Styler created a five-DVD set of yoga, Pilates and dance workouts with celebrity trainer James D’Silva. gaiam.com