Although tropical rainforests cover only about 6% of the earth's land surface (less than half the area they covered not so very long ago), they are important centres of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
There are 3 main regions of tropical rainforest: in Central and South America, in West and Central Africa, and in Southeast Asia. The Amazon Basin forest is the largest, covering 6 million sq km. Rainforests are perhaps the most threatened ecosystems globally due to large-scale human activity. Each year, some 140,000 sq km of rainforests are destroyed. The most endangered rainforests are those in West Africa, Central America and South-East Asia. Although large areas of rainforest remain in Central Africa and South America, they, too, are disappearing at an alarming rate.
Tropical forests play an important role in maintaining biological diversity, sequestering and storing carbon, global climate regulation, disease control, and pollination. In addition to ecosystem services, tropical forests also provide resources to people. For example, the sustainable exploitation of non-timber forest products such as fruits, medicinal plants or herbs are critical for the survival of local communities and mankind in general.
WWF is committed to conserving the world's rainforests, not only for the incredible wealth of plants and animals that live in them, but for the benefit of people. Sustainable enterprises providing goods and services with a neutral or positive impact on the environment and tropical forests have started, but are still relatively few in number and at an early stage.
Selection criteriaEnnovent will facilitate a process jointly with WWF Switzerland to select the best enterprises. One winner out of five finalists in each category (Idea, Startup and Company) will be selected. Each finalist and winner in the categories will be selected based on the following selection criteria:
1. Internal Screening: The applications will be screened using the basic selection criteria. All applications meeting the criteria will be released for voting by making the application visible online.
2. Popular Vote: The process will enable everyone to vote for their favourite applications. Five applications with the most votes for each category will be selected and given higher priority during the Expert Pre-Selection.
3. Expert Pre-Selection: An Expert Panel of 15 members will review all applications, allocate them to the respective categories, screen and rank them. The highest ranking applications from each category are selected and the final top 5 applicants and additional runner ups are presented to the Final Jury. Expert panel is comprised of a tropical forest expert, an impact investor and a social development professional.
4. Challenge Jury: Eventually a Challenge Jury of 5 members will combine the results from the Popular Vote and the Expert Pre-Selection and select the Winner and 4 Finalists in each enterprise category. The Challenge Jury is comprised of a WWF representative, a tropical forest expert, an impact investor, a social entrepreneur and a development professional.
After positive internal screening, all applicants will have to provide a short business plan and financial model. Additionally, WWF will conduct a due diligence on the applicants with regard to potential reputation risk.
ProfileEnnovent is managing the WWF Switzerland Tropical Forest Challenge on behalf of WWF Switzerland.