The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has granted $8 million to The Nature Conservancy to protect forest areas in the Costa Rican Osa Peninsula. This is one of the largest private donations ever given to a conservation project in Central America.
The grant will ensure the Peninsula will be protected from rapidly growing threats such as illegal logging, gold mining, poaching, and unsustainable agricultural practices and development.
“By working collaboratively with local, national and international partners, together we can ensure this land will remain for generations to come,” said Steve McCormick, president of The Nature Conservancy. “This grant will not only allow us to immediately protect the most threatened areas of the Osa, but we will be able to build the capacity of our partners for the long-term protection of this amazing habitat.”
The Nature Conservancy will execute this project as part of the Osa Campaign, a collaborative conservation and fundraising effort between the Conservancy, Conservation International, the Costa Rica-U.S. Foundation for Cooperation and the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy.
“The Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica is one of the most important locations for biodiversity on our planet,” said Jennifer Cruz, program officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “We are delighted to support the work of The Nature Conservancy and their local conservation partners in building a partnership with the government of Costa Rica to conserve this beautiful and unique landscape.”
The Osa Peninsula harbors more than 300 species found nowhere else in the world and many other that are endangered, including jaguars, white-lipped peccaries, tapirs and harpy eagles. More than 375 bird species, 700 species of trees, and the last large stand of tropical moist forest on the Pacific Coast of Mesoamerica are found in this area.
Funds will be devoted to protect the Piedras Blancas and Corcovado National Parks, and the Osa Biological Corridor that connects them. This will be done through activities such as: private lands conservation and ecological easements, capacity building and equipping of rangers, updating and development of management plans, and biological monitoring.
The Nature Conservancy has been working with local partners in Costa Rica for more than 25 years. In 1975, The Nature Conservancy helped the Costa Rican government create the 100,000-acre Corcovado National Park with one of the first international, assisted land acquisitions of 86,485 acres.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation was established in September 2000, by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and his wife Betty. The Foundation funds outcome-based projects that will measurably improve the quality of life by creating positive outcomes for future generations. Grantmaking is concentrated in initiatives that support the Foundation's principal areas of concern: environmental conservation, science, higher education, and the San Francisco Bay Area.