PALO ALTO, March 21, 2016 – The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, one of the world’s largest private conservation funders, announced a renewed commitment to its Andes Amazon Initiative with a new pledge of $100 million through 2020.
Today, the protected areas and indigenous lands in the Amazon basin cover nearly 400 million hectares – almost two thirds of the remaining forest. Since the Moore Foundation first began supporting conservation efforts in the region in 2001—with an aim to help secure the biodiversity and climate function of the Amazon basin—the area legally protected has nearly doubled. While this increase is significant, formal designation often does not ensure that effective conservation of those lands will be achieved in the long run.
“Over fifteen years, our grantees have helped conserve more than 140 million hectares in the Amazon,” explained Avecita Chicchón, Ph.D., Andes Amazon Initiative director at the foundation. “We are proud of their significant impacts in protecting forest cover and biodiversity. Threats to those lands have intensified, however, with increased and unsustainable logging, cattle ranching and soy farming, and poorly planned mining, hydrocarbon and infrastructure development. We want to help make sure that local communities and the management and finance structures for conservation units have the resilience and long-term resources they need so conservation gains can withstand current and foreseeable pressures.”
For the next five years, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Andes Amazon Initiative will continue its focus on three priority strategies to help reinforce and advance effective management of protected areas and indigenous lands across Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia that grantees have helped conserve:
- Individual conservation units. Creating and consolidating already existing individual indigenous lands and protected areas.
- Land-use planning. Conserving forest cover by incorporating protected areas and indigenous lands into relevant state, municipal or district jurisdictional development and land-use plans.
- Protected area systems. Securing long-term, effective funding mechanisms for national park systems, as well as effective monitoring and management systems informed through participatory processes.
“National parks represent an extraordinary and effective means of conserving countries’ natural legacies, often with global implications—for example, they can help nations achieve their National Determined Contributions and its climate agreement forest conservation pledges coming out of COP21," explained COP20 President and Peruvian Minister of the Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal. “But to endure, park systems require precisely the kind of sustainable finance mechanisms that Moore and many other partners are helping to promote.”
“Working at these different scales, from individual conservation units to land-use mosaics to national park systems, we believe we can help create a regional conservation infrastructure. This approach will help ensure the long-term resilience and durability of the exemplary gains in forest conservation that our Andes Amazon Initiative grantees and others have worked so hard to accomplish,” said Guillermo Castilleja, Ph.D., the foundation’s chief program officer for Environmental Conservation.
About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements, and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Follow @MooreFound or visit www.moore.org.
**Announcement also available in Spanish or Portuguese.