Our goal is to ensure the long-term ecological integrity of the Amazon. Extensive, continuous forest cover is necessary for the Amazonian forests to regulate global climate, provide clean water and sustain wildlife. To that end, we have invested $218 million in forest conservation and supporting strategies.
Over the last 10 years, we have helped bring 150 million hectares — nearly one-third of the original forest cover of the Amazon — under sustainable management. And while development pressures remain a threat, improved land-use policies have dramatically slowed the rate of deforestation.
Our work in the Amazon blends three strategies:
- Creating protected areas in partnership with NGOs and government agencies
- Fostering sustainable local economies that value the forest
- Enhancing the value of standing forests by enabling local communities to earn compensation through global carbon markets
This approach is rooted in what we’ve learned over a decade of working in the Amazon: that while the establishment and effective management of protected areas can substantially reduce deforestation rates, protected areas alone are not enough. The long-term health of the Amazon also depends on the sustainable use of forests outside of protected areas. And that means tipping the economic balance in favor of sustainable forest management.
Where we work
We are working to reduce deforestation through a variety of strategies. Our efforts include support for:
Transforming frontier economies:
- Protected-area systems in Brazil, Peru and Colombia
- Specific, high-priority protected areas in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia
Enhancing the value of standing forests:
- Sustainable, legal timber harvesting and deforestation-free cattle ranching in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Pará
- Creating models of integrated land-use management in the Andean frontier
Our work is currently focused in regions that were chosen because of their vulnerability and their potential to test approaches that, if successful, can be replicated in other areas.
- Appropriate assessment and mitigation of the environmental impacts of infrastructure projects, such as roads and dams, in the Andean headwaters of the Amazon
- Establishing strong national and local frameworks for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) in Brazil, Peru and Colombia
- REDD aims to make forests more valuable standing than they would be cut down by creating a financial value for the carbon stored in trees. Under this system, developed countries would pay developing countries carbon offsets for their standing forests.