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Conservation International Statement: “Bezos Earth Fund is an Investment in our Collective Future”

December 6, 2021

Organization to Expand Work in Andes-Amazonia Thanks to Grant

Arlington, VA (December 6, 2021) – Conservation International’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. M. Sanjayan, released the following statement today in response to the Bezos Earth Fund announcement of  $443 million in grants to organizations focused on climate justice, nature conservation and restoration, and tracking critical climate goals. 

Conservation International was awarded $20 million to expand its work in Amazonia alongside Indigenous peoples, local communities and partner organizations. The gift to Conservation International is part of a larger, multi-organization $151 million grant to help conservation efforts in the tropical Andes.

“The Amazon is the ecological jewel of the world, home to half of Earth’s tropical forests, 3 million species, and 31.5 gigatons of irrecoverable carbon. It’s also hurtling toward disaster. As vast tracts of Amazonia are lost to deforestation and wildfire, the region is approaching a tipping point: Creeping desertification risks the forest’s ability to regulate rainfall, maintain biodiversity, sequester carbon and support millions of Indigenous peoples.

“Over the past 35 years, Conservation International has worked with local partners to conserve more than 100 million hectares — or 14 percent — of critical lands in the Andes-Amazon region. By 2024, across Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, we will support the creation of over 1.1 million hectares of newly conserved areas, improve management of over 8.1 million hectares, and bolster the livelihoods of more than 60,000 people. We will work in direct partnership with Indigenous peoples and local communities, supporting their leadership and strengthening their land rights, while also designing sustainable financing mechanisms that deliver durable impact.

“Without the Amazon, there is no human life on Earth — and this $20 million grant by the Bezos Earth Fund is an investment in our collective future. Alongside Indigenous peoples, local communities and partner organizations, we will not only protect vital land — we will build a transformative movement. With the Amazon approaching a point of no return, action can’t come soon enough. The eyes of the world are on us.”

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About Conservation International Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. Conservation International works in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International's work on Conservation NewsFacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

About The Bezos Earth Fund ‍The Bezos Earth Fund is Jeff Bezos's $10 billion commitment to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and other actors that will drive climate and nature solutions. By allocating funds creatively, wisely, and boldly, the Bezos Earth Fund has the potential for transformative influence in this decisive decade. Funds will be fully allocated by 2030—the date by which the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals must be achieved.