Jane Goodall Institute and Bezos Earth Fund Unite to Safeguard the Heart of Africa


Often referred to as the “heart of Africa,” the Congo Basin is home to 10,000 plant species, 400+ mammal species, 70 percent of Africa’s forests, and 75 million people.

Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) have led conservation efforts in the Congo Basin for 30 years. The Bezos Earth Fund is partnering with JGI to scale conservation across an area roughly the size of Connecticut focused in three regions covering 701,660 hectares in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and five regions covering 805,828 hectares in the Republic of the Congo (RoC).

“Expanding conservation across the Congo Basin is a triple win — it sustains livelihoods, protects beloved species, and mitigates carbon emissions,” says Dr. Cristián Samper, Managing Director and Leader of Nature Solutions at the Bezos Earth Fund.

JGI will work with Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) as well as the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN) in the DRC and Ministry of Forest Economy (MEF) in the RoC. The work includes local capacity building, monitoring of biodiversity threats using cutting-edge mobile technologies and new high-resolution satellite sensors, and the development of sustainable livelihoods through climate-smart agroforestry and markets.

The $5 million grant to JGI furthers the Earth Fund’s commitment to strengthening protected areas in the Congo Basin and protecting 30% of land and ocean by 2030. JGI joins a larger coalition of Earth Fund grantees in the region, working together to advance the 30x30 goal in Africa.

Protecting landscapes across the Congo Basin is key to regulating our planet’s climate. Home to the second-largest tropical rainforest on Earth, forests in the Congo Basin sequester over 1 billion tons of carbon. Critically, its intact peatlands store over 30 billion metric tons of carbon. If disturbed, these wetland ecosystems could release years' worth of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

“Dr. Goodall has inspired generations by demonstrating the interconnections between all life on Earth and our responsibility to protect it,” says Samper. “The Bezos Earth Fund aims to embody this ethos in the Congo Basin and beyond.”

Our Newsletter

Stay Informed