International Conservation Caucus Foundation Honors Jeff Bezos, Lauren Sánchez, the Bezos Earth Fund and Chairwoman Kay Granger for Conservation Leadership at Congressional Awards Gala
WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 25, 2023 – On Tuesday evening, the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) presented Jeff Bezos, Lauren Sánchez, and the Bezos Earth Fund with the Good Steward Award and Chairwoman Kay Granger with the Teddy Roosevelt® International Conservation Award at its U.S. Congressional International Conservation Leadership Awards Gala at the Waldorf Astoria in Washington, D.C.
Jeff Bezos delivered the keynote address, emphasizing that those who have pioneered nature conservation have been curious explorers and inventors who have redefined the impossible. They have much to teach us today. Other prominent speakers included Paraguay President Santiago Peña, House Speaker Emeritus Kevin McCarthy, and CEO of the Global Environment Facility Carlos Manuel Rodríguez.
“We don’t just survive because of nature, we also soar because of it. Nature feeds our spirit and brings us together,” said Jeff Bezos, chair of the Bezos Earth Fund. “Today, around the world, there are nearly 300,000 protected areas, large and small – up from virtually zero 150 years ago. There is hard work ahead and much reason to be optimistic.”
The United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus includes more than a third of the U.S. Congress and over a fourth of the U.S. Senate. The ICCF, the secretariat for the Caucus, has hosted its awards dinner since 2006. The event brings together a diverse group of Republicans and Democrats, global business leaders and NGOs, foreign dignitaries and American celebrities, volunteers, and professionals for a common cause to elevate America’s role in conservation and celebrate leadership in international conservation.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to honor several individuals and organizations for their outstanding leadership and commitment to conservation," said John Gantt, President of ICCF. "The power of public and private partnerships will help shape the future of conservation and change the way the world thinks about conservation."
The ICCF Good Steward Award, which recognizes outstanding individual leadership in conservation, was presented by Senator Chris Coons to Jeff Bezos, Lauren Sánchez, and the Bezos Earth Fund for their commitment to addressing climate change and nature protection. The Earth Fund is the largest ever philanthropic commitment to climate and nature protection, investing $10 billion in this decisive decade to protect nature, drive systems-level change, and create a just transition to a low-carbon economy.
Chairwoman Kay Granger — introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham — was presented with the ICCF Teddy Roosevelt® International Conservation Award, which recognizes outstanding conservation leadership in government. Granger was granted the award in recognition of her leadership in consistently securing and growing U.S. investment in international conservation and her commitment to combating the illegal wildlife trade.
For the past 20 years, ICCF’s mission has been to advance U.S. leadership in international conservation through public and private partnerships and to develop the next generation of conservation leaders in the U.S. Congress. ICCF convenes a council of leading business and NGO partners to support policymakers on innovative solutions to conservation challenges and operates throughout Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Past ICCF award recipients include The Prince of Wales, Prince Albert II of Monaco, former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, actors Harrison Ford and Edward Norton, Rob and Melani Walton, among others.
About the Bezos Earth Fund
The Bezos Earth Fund is transforming the fight against climate change with the largest ever philanthropic commitment to climate and nature protection. We’re investing $10 billion in this decisive decade to protect nature and drive systems-level change, creating a just transition to a low-carbon economy. By providing funding and expertise, we partner with organizations to accelerate innovation, break down barriers to success and create a more equitable and sustainable world. Join us in our mission to create a world where people prosper in harmony with nature.