Preserving what remains. Restoring what we’ve lost.
Initiatives that protect, restore, and sustainably manage ecosystems have a crucial role to play in protecting biodiversity, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and sustaining and improving lives. The human footprint has grown in the past century; today less than 30% of the planet remains wild and a million species could face extinction. Nature solutions could provide about one-third of the mitigation needed by 2030 to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, while also improving the resilience of ecosystems to climate and strengthening communities and livelihoods that depend on forests, fisheries, and other ecosystems. The Earth Fund will advance nature solutions in critical ecosystems to safeguard the health of our planet and the wellbeing of people around the world.
Safeguarding Nature to Stabilize Climate
Halting deforestation and increasing sustainable land use could deliver up to 30% of climate mitigation needed by 2050. We will protect 53 million hectares of critical ecosystems in the Amazon, Africa, and Central America and build momentum by 2030. We will work with communities to help them prepare for climate change impacts in these areas. These efforts will safeguard 11.3 billion metric tons of CO2, reduce climate change vulnerability for 14.2 million people, and leverage over $750M in additional funds.
Partners: National and local partners in each geography, including: PROFONANPE (Peru), Patrimonio Natural (Colombia), TNC (Colombia), Global Environment Facility, WWF ($60.55M)
Mangroves for Community and Climate
Mangroves — nature’s thin green line between land and sea—store three to four times more carbon per hectare than tropical forests, and they protect coastal communities from storm surges. WWF will increase conservation and restoration of one million hectares of mangroves through a combination of strengthening the protection and management of standing mangroves and restoring lost and degraded areas in Colombia, Fiji, Madagascar, and Mexico. We will work with local communities to help build their resilience to the impacts of climate change, improving livelihoods.
Partners: A number of national (e.g., Fijian Ministry of Waterways and Environment), regional (e.g., Codechocó), and local partners in each geography, WWF ($28.8M)
Land & Carbon Lab
Monitoring the carbon pulse of the earth is critical to ensuring we meet our climate goals and safeguard nature. Using satellite and drone technology, coupled with AI-informed algorithms, Land & Carbon Lab will provide real-time information on land use changes and embedded carbon flux at a very fine scale for the entire world. Harnessing the data revolution, it will power solutions for sustainable landscapes, enabling entrepreneurs, local communities, companies, governments — anyone who wants or needs — to participate in new, nature-based economies.
Partner: World Resources Institute, Google, University of Maryland ($62.5M)
Harnessing the Power of Plant Root Systems
Every year, plants capture hundreds of billions of tons of CO2 through photosynthesis and then funnel large amounts of carbon into the soil. This project leverages work in genetics, genomics and biochemistry to enhance this carbon-storing ability of plant roots so that they can capture excess atmospheric carbon. By focusing on prevalent crop plants—which can be readily scaled up within the existing agriculture infrastructure — this project aims to mitigate the effects of climate change, develop more resilient plants and improve soil health.
Partners: the Salk Institute for Biological Studies ($30M)
Advocacy and Education for Natural Climate Solutions
Ecosystems which store carbon, including forests, soils, riparian areas, and wetlands, are critical for biodiversity protection and climate change resilience. This project takes a two-pronged approach to developing and implementing policies that enable the scaling of these natural climate solutions. First, protect and expand carbon sinks through enhanced advocacy, litigation, and persuasive actions in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and E.U. The project will also educate policymakers on the benefits of reforming policies, incentives, and crop insurance programs across the agriculture industry.
Partners: Natural Resources Defense Council, in partnership with Native Movement, Wild Heritage Institute, Stand Earth, Nature Canada, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), and Environmental Defence, Canada ($18.75M)
Consensus on Carbon Credits
Carbon credit markets can be an effective approach to mitigating carbon use, incentivizing alternative energy adoption, and storing carbon emissions. However, they face obstacles including confusion about the potential for carbon storage and tepid confidence regarding the integrity of carbon credits. This project will develop a definition and requirements and consensus among leading NGOs for high-integrity carbon credits supporting tropical forest protection. It will then pursue research on emerging nature-based solutions including temperate forests, soils and oceans to build a pipeline of high-integrity credit opportunities.
Partners: Environmental Defense Fund, Emergent, Meridian and Woodwell Climate Research Center ($25M)
The Seaweed Solution
Seaweed sequesters carbon during growth, utilizes zero freshwater, could help shift diets, and disrupts land-intensive food production. Seaweed farming has the potential to revolutionize how we think of food security, ocean health, and climate mitigation. Through this initiative, we will drive increased public acceptance of seaweed as a climate solution and increases in demand for animal feed, proteins, and biodegradable packaging, resulting in significant greenhouse gas reductions. This work sets the stage for large scale seaweed farming that could deliver transformational climate benefits.
Partners: 24+ partners in more than 7 countries, including Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, Oceanium Ltd, Global Seaweed Coalition, Ocean Rainforest, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, WWF ($10.65M)
The Emerald Edge: Protecting Living Carbon Resources
The Emerald Edge is one of the most productive carbon sinks on Earth, spanning 100 million acres of forest along the Pacific Coast of Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. Benefitting from long-established relationships with Indigenous First Nations, Alaska Natives and coastal tribes, in partnership with TNC, are leading sustainable economic and community development. Through the work of Indigenous partners in the area and leveraging local government support, the project will help to sequester 3.5 million metric tons of CO2 through permanent protection of over 100,000 hectares of old growth forest. This project will help galvanize a $3 billion commitment from the Canadian Government for Natural Climate Solutions.
Partners: The Nature Conservancy, Nature United, the Hesquiaht, Ahousaht, and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, Sealaska Native Corporation, the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, and other community partners ($33.33M)
Transforming Indian Farming
Every year in Punjab and Haryana, two small Indian states just north of Delhi, 12 million tons of crop residue are burned by rice and wheat farmers, accounting for nearly half of Delhi’s air pollution. Promoting Regenerative and No-Burn Agriculture (PRANA) will transition 250,000 farmers — especially small and marginalized farmers — to regenerative practices using practical and effective methods and technologies. This will mitigate CO2 emissions, save water, and improve the quality-of-life through the establishment of non-burn practices.
Partners: The Nature Conservancy, the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK) Farm Science Centers, the Punjab Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institute, and others ($33.33M)
Delivering a Natural Climate Solutions Toolkit
Trategic protection, restoration, and improved land management activities could help achieve up to one third of the global greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to stabilize the climate. To achieve the full potential of Natural Climate Solutions, we need tools grounded in science and data to inform decision-making. The NCS Activation Toolkit uses state-of-the art mapping, data collection, field-testing, and impact evaluation tools to accelerate the implementation of NCS across the globe and keep 1 billion metric tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere by 2030.
Partner: The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with Clark University, Conservation International, and several local agencies and organizations ($33.33M)
Accelerating restoration in Kenya, Madagascar, and Mozambique
Eden Reforestation Projects partners with local leaders to produce, plant, and protect native tree species in geographies around the world that have been affected by deforestation. Funding will support programs that plan to plant at least 35 million trees and expand the capacity of tree production systems in Kenya, Madagascar, and Mozambique.
Partner: Eden Reforestation Projects ($5M)
Preparatory and Design Grants – September 2021
In addition to the major grants described above, the following smaller grants have been made in preparation of potential future programs.
Defining the Goals Under the 30x30 Commitments
This year countries are making “30x30” commitments to protect and conserve 30% of the planet by 2030. WCS, IUCN and a broad coalition of stakeholders are working to bring together definitions of area-based conservation measures as appropriate mechanisms for implementation. Building consensus for an equitable and practical approach, the typology will integrate elements that target both socially just and ecological effective conservation outcomes.
Partners: Wildlife Conservation Society and International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s World Commission on Protected Areas ($0.45M)
Building Support for the 30x30 Target
This project is mobilizing support for the global target of protecting 30% of land and ocean by 2030. The aim is to expand the “High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People” by increasing the number of countries that are committed to the 30x30 goal to more than 100, secure a global agreement on 30x30 at the COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2022, and help build capacity within countries for implementation towards 2030.
Partners: National Geographic Society and the Campaign for Nature ($1.5M)
Ensuring a Sound Monitoring System for 30x30
Beyond formal protected areas, other areas are managed in ways that conserve biodiversity, ecosystem services, local culture, and other public goods. This project will set the stage for more thorough accounting of progress towards 30x30 by working with local partners to catalyze official recognition and mapping of these essential “Other Effective Conservation Measures” (OECMs) in key regions. The project will also convene partners around a shared road map towards understanding effectiveness of protected and conserved areas as a basis for conservation action and resource prioritization.
Partners: UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), United Nations Foundation ($0.45M)
Preparing for Scale-Up of African Landscape Restoration
This project will lay groundwork for a major scale-up in African landscape restoration. Africa provides an extraordinary opportunity for restoration, and there are promising efforts underway including AFR100, an initiative of more than 30 African countries to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land back to productivity. This grant will support seven partner organizations to design and mobilize financial mechanisms, ensure pipeline development of projects, engage development finance institutions and farmer networks, and identify intermediaries that can support scaling.
Partners: World Resources Institute, Dalberg Consulting, and other partners ($0.58M)
Grants Made Following COP26 – December 2021
The Congo Basin is home to 70% of Africa’s forests and is one of the most important places for biodiversity and carbon stocks on the planet – yet only 17% of the area is protected today. Each year large areas are lost to deforestation, while remaining forests are degraded by logging, mining, agriculture, roads, fuelwood collection, hunting and other pressures. Grantees will work together to create more than 11 million hectares of new protected areas, including the rights to 5 million hectares of lands for local communities. They will also work to strengthen the management of more than 60 million hectares of protected and conserved areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo.
Innovative Finance for Conservation in Gabon
The Enduring Earth collaboration will provide critical deal capital to close a Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) in Gabon. This investment will help achieve protection of 30% of its forests, freshwater, and oceans with significant biodiversity and climate/carbon stock benefits while ensuring permanent financing and benefits to local communities through supporting an economy based on conservation and sustainable forest management. Protecting Gabon’s forest and freshwater systems is an important piece in advancing consolidation of the Congo Basin, a critically important region for the planet’s climate and biodiversity.
Partners: Enduring Earth, Government of Gabon, OELO, Panthera, Wildlife Conservation Society among others ($30M)
Expanding protected areas in the Congo Basin
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) will support the protection of 167,000 hectares (in Bitule, Omate and Kanyama) and expand work in Maiko National Park by 1,000,000 hectares. This project will support capacity building, equipment, and park infrastructure. Additionally, FFI will steward participatory processes for community forest management and directly engage local communities in protected area management and improving local livelihoods (e.g., through patrols and monitoring).
Partners: Fauna & Flora International ($5M)
Support for indigenous peoples and local communities in the Congo Basin
This project will support indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLC) groups to secure the titles to 1 million hectares of land in the Congo by 2026. The Tenure Facility will provide financial and technical support to IPLC organizations and networks on the ground, enabling them to build partnerships with champions in governments to advance the legal recognition of collective land rights. The Tenure Facility will support projects at subnational, national, and regional levels in the Congo Basin and will select projects based on field appraisals, monitoring, audits, and government approval.
Partners: The International Land and Forest Tenure Facility ($10M)
Advancing Key Biodiversity Areas in the Congo Basin
Working with the Key Biodiversity Areas partnership, this project will accelerate 30x30 in the Congo Basin through the creation of new protected areas, improved management of protected areas, and partnership with Indigenous Peoples and local community groups. Specific areas of focus include mapping biodiversity hotspots in the Congo Basin. This map would serve as an input to the broader maps developed by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre of United Nations Environment Program that give a baseline of protected areas against which progress can be monitored.
Partners: Key Biodiversity Areas partnership ($2.5M)
Expanding protected areas in the Congo Basin through local and indigenous stewards
Rainforest Trust will support the creation of 2 million hectares of new or expanded protected or conserved areas in the Congo Basin by 2025 by re-granting and matching 85% of Bezos Earth funding to local organizations and Indigenous Peoples groups that steward protected and conserved areas. The initiative will save species from extinction and maintain critical ecosystem function, mitigate climate change by reducing emissions and locking up carbon for the long-term, and safeguard or enhance the protection of human rights and the livelihoods of local and indigenous people.
Partners: Rainforest Trust ($5M)
Scaling-up collective land rights and locally led conservation in the Congo Basin
This project will build capacity of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, particularly the women within them, to secure their rights to their territories and design conservation and management plans for those lands. More specifically, this effort will accelerate community-level action to advance rights and conservation, strengthen local organizational capacity, establish a community-based monitoring and reporting system, track global progress on securing community rights and conservation, and foster strategic. It will be implemented in coordination with the Network of Indigenous and Local Populations for the Sustainable Management of Central African Forest Ecosystems (REPALEAC) and RRI’s coalition in the Congo Basin.
Partners: Rights and Resources Initiative, the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities, and the Campaign for Nature ($10M)
Advancing implementation and finance for Congo Basin conservation
This project will be devoted to four key pillars with a focus on the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo, that cover more than 75% of the Basin’s forests. These pillars focus on strengthening management effectiveness of protected areas and other conserved areas, identifying additional high integrity forests for conservation as both community managed lands or protected areas, supporting the delivery of strategic national 30x30 implementation processes and financing plans, and supporting the development of a Technical and Financing Facility to accompany IPLCs in securing forest tenure and strengthening local forest governance.
Partners: Wildlife Conservation Society ($40M)
Monitoring protected areas of the Congo Basin
This project will support to convene a consortium of national and international partners to work with the governments of countries in the Congo Basin (Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon) to achieve rapid, meaningful, and measurable progress towards national targets and global ambitions for 30x30. UNEP-WCMC will support identification, recognition, and mapping of existing protected and conserved areas as well as target-setting and priority designation for new protected and conserved areas. This project will also monitor progress toward 30x30 goals on a monthly basis and help partner countries become world-leaders for monitoring the effectiveness of national networks of protected and conserved areas.
Partners: UN Environment Program World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)
Home to more than 12% of all species and a diversity of indigenous cultures, The Tropical Andes is one of the most diverse regions on the planet. It stores some 200 gigatons of carbon in forests and other ecosystems and includes the headwaters of the Amazon River. To advance conservation in the Tropical Andes, grantees will support the creation of more than 48 million hectares of new protected areas, secure the rights to 19 million hectares of lands for local communities, and strengthen the management of more than 108 million hectares of protected areas in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
Declaration and management of protected areas across the Tropical Andes
The Conserva Aves partnership will replicate and adapt its successful Conserva Colombia model, which helped protect more than 200,000 hectares over the last decade, to create more than 1 million hectares of new protected areas in the Tropical Andes with a focus on key biodiversity areas and some of the most endangered species. This will include soliciting proposals from NGOs, Indigenous Peoples groups, and community organizations for declaration and management of protected areas. Conserva Aves will fund some of these proposals and will provide technical support to deliver sound management and long-term financing plans.
Partners: Conserva Aves Partners: Birdlife, Audubon and American Bird Conservancy ($12M)
Creation of protected areas while supporting Indigenous Peoples and local communities
Conservation International will work to conserve at least 9.2 million hectares of rainforest in the tropical Andes by 2024, while supporting Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLC) and collaboratively designing sustainable financing. Work will include (1) helping create 1.1 million hectares of new protected areas and strengthening management of 8.1 million hectares; (2) supporting IPLC through funding, training and technology; (3) designing long-term financing mechanisms to support sustainable nature-based economies and establish long-term revenue flows for conserved areas; and (4) facilitating collaboration and information exchange across organizations and initiatives.
Partners: Conservation International ($20M)
Accelerating Inclusive Conservation in Ecuador and Bolivia
The Enduring Earth collaboration will work with governments, communities, and local partners to advance inclusive, rights-based and effective conservation in the Tropical Andes, enhancing management and participatory governance of 30M ha in Bolivia and 40.3M ha in Ecuador. Building on current momentum, we will strengthen enabling conditions for durable financing and effective management of protected area systems and Indigenous territories by developing a shared vision for protected and conserved areas and participatory processes; completing feasibility assessments; and supporting participatory planning and governance as well as greater accountability.
Partners: Enduring Earth and Local Partners ($4M)
Support for indigenous peoples and local communities in the Tropical Andes
This project will support indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLC) groups to secure the titles to 5 million hectares of land in the Andes by 2026. Specifically, the Tenure Facility will provide direct financial and technical support to IPLC organizations and networks on the ground, enabling them to build partnerships with champions in governments to advance the legal recognition of collective land rights. The Tenure Facility will combine grants with specialist expertise in support of projects at subnational, national, and regional levels in the Tropical Andes and will select projects based on the results of robust field-based appraisals, monitoring, audits, and government approval.
Partners: The International Land and Forest Tenure Facility (Tenure Facility) ($20M)
Advancing Key Biodiversity Areas in the Tropical Andes
Working with the Key Biodiversity Areas partnership, this project will advance 30x30 in the Tropical Andes through helping establishment of new protected and conserved areas to be targeted at the most important sites for nature. It will do so through supporting the identification of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), by establishing KBA National Coordination Groups in the Andes. The project will support them to convene stakeholders, including Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, mobilize data and identify KBAs, develop data management tools to facilitate the process, and support decision-makers to utilize the results.
Partners: Key Biodiversity Areas partnership and Birdlife International ($2.5M)
Indigenous peoples’ guardianship in the Tropical Andes
Nia Tero will strengthen and expand Indigenous-led initiatives to safeguard an additional 4.2 million hectares of Indigenous territories in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Beyond contributing to Indigenous peoples’ guardianship of thriving forest landscapes, Nia Tero will work to ensure that Indigenous peoples’ rights to their territories and resources are fully upheld in the implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, including the recognition of their customary lands and governance systems.
Partners: Nia Tero ($15M)
Expanding protected areas in the Tropical Andes through local and indigenous stewards
Rainforest Trust will support the creation of six million hectares of new or expanded protected or conserved areas by 2025 in the Andes and Western Amazon by re-granting and matching 85% of Bezos Earth funding to local organizations and Indigenous Peoples groups that steward protected and conserved areas. The initiative will save species from extinction and maintain critical ecosystem function, mitigate climate change by reducing emissions and locking up carbon for the long-term, and safeguard or enhance the protection of human rights and the livelihoods of local and indigenous people.
Partners: Rainforest Trust ($15M)
Creating and maintaining conservation areas at scale in Andean countries
This project will support a regional initiative to create and maintain conservation areas at scale across 13 priority landscapes. Re:wild will work with a number of partners in the Andean countries to protect at least 30% of their lands in globally important areas for biodiversity by 2030 by securing legal protection, reinforcing protected area management systems, scaling local and Indigenous solutions to climate change, establishing sustainable funding mechanisms, and removing subsidies to extractive industries. Re:wild will also use high-profile communications to help support local partners and their efforts.
Partners: Re:wild ($25M)
Scaling up recognition of collective land rights and locally led conservation in the Tropical Andes
This initiative will accelerate community-level action to advance rights and conservation, strengthen local organizational capacity, establish a community-based monitoring and reporting system, track global progress on securing community rights and conservation, and foster strategic coordination between Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendant Peoples. It will be implemented in coordination with COICA (Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin), and other rightsholders and women’s networks from RRI’s coalition in the Tropical Andes.
Partners: Rights and Resources Initiative, the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities, and the Campaign for Nature ($15M)
Advancing national 30X30 strategies in Amazon-Andes
The Wildlife Conservation Society will support Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia to develop and operationalize national 30x30 strategies; strengthen existing protected areas, other conserved areas, and communal lands in a suite of highly-biodiverse landscapes; designate new conservation areas within these landscapes and beyond; and consolidate an enabling environment for greater direct access by partner Indigenous Peoples and local communities to direct financing and other resources.
Partners: Wildlife Conservation Society ($20M)
Monitoring protected areas in the Tropical Andes
This project will support to convene a consortium of national and international partners to work with the Governments of countries in the Tropical Andes (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru) to achieve rapid, meaningful, and measurable progress towards national targets and global ambitions for 30x30. UNEP-WCMC will support identification, recognition, and mapping of existing protected and conserved areas as well as target-setting and priority designation for new protected and conserved areas. This project will also monitor progress toward 30x30 goals on a monthly basis and help partner countries become world-leaders for monitoring the effectiveness of national networks of protected and conserved areas.
Partners: UN Environment Program World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) ($2.55M)
GALAPAGOS AND EASTERN PACIFIC
This initiative will support planning of the world’s largest transnational marine protected area in the Galapagos and Eastern Pacific, which was announced at COP26 by the Heads of State of Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.
Establishing the world’s largest transnational marine protected area
This project will support the planning and establishment of the world’s largest transnational marine protected area, including waters of Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. Re:wild will support processes to engage local communities and other stakeholders, advocacy campaigns, management plans and other planning and establishment needs. The project will also help unify a larger coalition of local and international organizations to support ridge-to-reef management, sustainable financing mechanisms and capacity building for law enforcement and monitoring within and across the region.
Partners: Re:wild ($5M)
In support of The Bezos Earth Fund’s $1 billion commitment to restoration made at COP26, grantees will advance restoration efforts in communities across the U.S. Grantees efforts will include the implementation of urban forestry and ramp up of restoration across 20 sites. In Africa, funds will support non-profit organizations and small to medium enterprises that are restoring land, with a goal of a major scaling up of African restoration by COP27 in late 2022.
Restoring Urban Environments in the United States
Groundwork USA, the national support organization for a network of Groundwork Trusts devoted to restoring and revitalizing the natural and built environment of low-resource communities, will work with Trusts to increase climate resilience through urban forestry, green infrastructure, and other nature-based solutions and increase collaboration between urban environmental justice action and large-scale land restoration efforts through a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Partners: Groundwork USA ($6M)
Accelerating restoration across the U.S.
This project accelerates nature-based solutions across the U.S. by engaging the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s extensive network of grantees, partners, and programs to competitively award grants. These grants identify and fund landscape-scale restoration by investing in projects that sequester and store carbon and increase biodiversity while meaningfully engaging underserved communities, including low-income communities and communities of color. Restoration activities include reforestation, urban tree-planting and stormwater infrastructure, riparian restoration, and soil management on working lands.
Partners: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) ($30M)
Advancing restoration in Africa
This initiative supports reforestation for AFR100, a country-led effort to bring 100 million hectares of land in Africa into restoration by 2030. The portfolio will generate 9,500 livelihoods, plant 14.8 million trees, and transform over 21,000 hectares of degraded land with robust monitoring tools to the top 100 restoration implementers. It will create both economic and ecological benefits for local African communities, and lay the foundation for an ambitious political and fundraising push in the lead-up to COP27.
Partners: One Tree Planted ($15M)