Rhett A. Butler founded Mongabay.com in 1999 out of his passion for tropical forests. He called the site Mongabay after an island in Madagascar.
Since then, Mongabay has grown into the world’s most popular rainforest information site and a well-known source of environmental news reporting and analysis. Today Mongabay draws more than 2.5 million visitors per month and publishes stories in nine languages. It is commonly used as an information source by mainstream media, including The Economist, Bloomberg, National Geographic, and the Associated Press. Mongabay is also widely recognized as an accurate and trust-worthy source by civil society organizations as well as development agencies.
Over the years Mongabay’s impact has been substantial. Articles on the site have sparked protests in Madagascar against a French shipping company transporting timber logged illegally from rainforest reserves and helped block destructive projects like a plan to log 70 percent of Woodlark Island off New Guinea for a giant oil palm plantation. Mongabay.com stories have influenced investment flows, including a decision to spare Cameroon’s rainforests from logging in order to win payments from the carbon market. Stories and photos have even inspired art.
In 2012 Mongabay.org was formed to facilitate the development of new education and journalism initiatives and leverage its existing network, traffic, and reputation. Mongabay.org aims to raise awareness about social and environmental issues relating to forests and other ecosystems.
The first project under Mongabay.org was the launch of Mongabay.co.id, an Indonesian environmental news service run by a team of Indonesians. In 2016 Mongabay launched the Spanish-language Mongabay-Latam and in 2018, Mongabay-India.
Meet the whole global team at Mongabay.org
The Mongabay Board
- Dr. Brodie Ferguson (Chairman of the Board) is an anthropologist and forest carbon project developer working with indigenous communities in Colombia and Brazil (Colombia/USA)
- Alyson Blume (Secretary of the Board) is a UX designer at Wexus Technologies, a start-up that is working to make agriculture more energy and water efficient. (USA)
- Cynthia M. Adams is currently CEO of GrantStation and has spent her career helping nonprofits identify and secure the funding and raising funds to help set-aside public lands in Alaska (Mexico/USA)
- Mark Cappellano is a conservationist and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. He is a managing partner of several ventures and is active with several other NGOs (USA).
- Holt Thrasher has more than 35 years’ experience in investment banking, information technology, and consulting. He is currently Founder and CEO of Synovia Capital, an investment fund focused on ecosystem management within the data analytics sector. Holt is an active conservationist and nature enthusiast and serves as Trustee and Treasurer of the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation and was formerly Chairman of the National Audubon Society.
- Penn A. Butler is an attorney specializing in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and corporate restructuring (USA)
- Peter Riggs was the founder and director of the Forum on Democracy & Trade before joining the Ford Foundation as a program officer. He is now an advisor at CLUA (USA)
- Steve McCormick is the former president of The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the former president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy (TNC). He now runs The Earth Genome, a global, open-source database on ecosystem services and natural capital.
- Tim Kelly is the former president of the National Geographic Society, conceiving of and leading the development of the National Geographic Channels (USA)
- Triona Gogarty is a speech-language pathologist and elementary school teacher with 35 years experience working in early development and literacy (USA)
- Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, is a primatologist, author, and conservation icon. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a UN Messenger of Peace (UK)
- Dr. William F. Laurance is a rainforest ecologist now based at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. He was formerly at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution (Australia/USA)
- Dr. Peter Raven is a botanist who was formerly the director of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Today he is President Emeritus of the institution. (USA)
- Aida Greenbury an Indonesian forester who for 13 years worked on sustainability issues at Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), one of the world’s largest integrated forestry, pulp and paper groups. Aida left APP in May 2017 to become an independent sustainability advisor. (Indonesia)
- Dr. Christopher Herndon is a physician focusing on reproductive health and ethnobotanist with experience in Peru, Suriname, Colombia, and Venezuela (USA)
- Rhett A. Butler is the founder of Mongabay.com and Mongabay.org (USA).
- Press Coverage
- Founder Rhett Butler