The French Facility for Global Environment, Conservation International to support world’s Vital Reserves

March 21, 2024

€2.5 million investment aims to address both climate and biodiversity crises in Amazonia

PARIS (March 21, 2024) – The French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and Conservation International jointly announce a €2.5 million investment aimed at addressing the intertwined crises of climate change and biodiversity loss in the Amazon.

This support is in addition to the previous commitment of €13 million provided by the French General Directorate of the Treasury and marks the first government funding entirely dedicated to safeguarding Earth's Vital Reserves – crucial areas containing Irrecoverable Carbon stores and high biodiversity in diverse ecosystems like forests, mangroves and peatlands. These reserves are pivotal in mitigating the most dramatic effects of climate change.

The funding will benefit the protection and conservation of significant biodiversity as well as 235 million tons of Irrecoverable Carbon across the Amazon rainforest. This initiative is aligned with the commitment shared by Conservation International and the FFEM to assisting local and regional communities in preserving the Amazon.

“This project is a great example of the Alliance for the Conservation of Rainforests that France helped to launch in 2019 with a threefold strategy: preserving, restoring and sustainably managing forests and their ecosystems,” said Stéphane Cieniewski, Senior Adviser on Environment and Climate at the French Treasury. “To achieve these objectives, we need to find concrete solutions to our common problems, not by putting tropical forests under a cloister, but by involving the Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) who live in and are from the forest, and who are its first guardians.”

Designated as "Vital Reserves", these areas contain high concentrations of Irrecoverable Carbon and biodiversity. Emphasizing inclusivity, climate resilience and sustainable finance, the project aims to develop innovative financial models to ensure the long-term integrity of these regions.

“By investing in the world’s Vital Reserves, the Government of France is advancing future-defining science while also making good on their bold commitment to support Protected Areas and local and Indigenous conservation efforts in the Amazon,” said Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International. “Together, we’re piloting a new model for how partnerships can harness science and on-the-ground action to maximize impact. We must address the climate and biodiversity crises in tandem, and the Vital Reserves do just that: they secure the carbon we must protect to avoid climate catastrophe while safeguarding some of the world’s richest hotspots of biodiversity.”

“Tropical forests are one of the major ecosystems for climate regulation, both in terms of carbon storage and systemic circulation of water on Earth. However, deforestation and climate change are undermining these critical functions and feeding in a downward spiral,” said Stéphanie Bouziges-Eschmann, Secretary General of the FFEM. “This project will set the stage for unlocking new financing streams for these Vital Reserves that are underfunded, while leveraging the strength of IPLCs who currently manage more than a third of Earth’s areas of Irrecoverable Carbon and biodiversity.”

Conservation International plans to collaborate with governments and IPLCs in Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana and Peru to conserve Irrecoverable Carbon and biodiversity. These regions were selected for their rich biodiversity and unique species, forming Vital Reserves through a combination of Protected Areas and Indigenous territories.

The specific initiatives in each country include:

  • Bolivia: Establishing a conservation corridor connecting reserves and Indigenous lands, safeguarding 64 million tons of Irrecoverable Carbon and various endangered species.
  • Ecuador: Linking territories and national parks to protect 17 threatened animal species and 7.3 million tons of Irrecoverable Carbon.
  • Guyana: Preserving mangroves and old-growth forests across 495,000 hectares to protect diverse wildlife and 69 million tons of Irrecoverable Carbon.
  • Peru: Creating the Lower Putumayo Communal Reserve to safeguard 95 million tons of Irrecoverable Carbon and protect Indigenous lands housing jaguars, tapirs and other unique species.

These regions, facing potential threats from mining, illegal logging and agricultural expansion, will serve as blueprints for future conservation efforts in other critical areas.

The partnership between France and Conservation International contributes to the Our Future Forests-Amazonia Verde initiative, supporting IPLC conservation endeavors across the Amazon. This collaboration sets a precedent for establishing similar Vital Reserves globally, addressing climate change and biodiversity crises while respecting local cultures and knowledge.

To learn more about Irrecoverable Carbon and view a global map of its distribution, click here.


About Conservation International: Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through fieldwork, science, policy and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help societies and nature thrive alongside each other. Follow Conservation International's work on Conservation NewsFacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube

About the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM): The French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) is dedicated to the global environment preservation and to the development, through co-financing of innovative pilot environmental projects in developing countries. It supports initiatives that generate local environmental, social and economic benefits. Created in 1994 by the French government, the FFEM has co-financed 400 projects to the tune of €500 million through grants, 70% of which are located in Africa and the Mediterranean. The FFEM operates over the different components of the environment: biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, international waters, pollutants and ozone layer. The FFEM’s approach involves supporting pilot projects to learn lessons from them and disseminate their innovations on a larger scale. | X/Twitter : @FFEM_Fr | LinkedIn : lien

About the General Directorate of the Treasury: The General Directorate of the Treasury is part of the French Ministry of Economy and Finance. It advises the minister and proposes policy options on issues ranging from national economic policy to international economic policy. The Directorate General of the Treasury also represents and promotes French economic interests abroad by supervising the economic services of embassies and ensuring permanent representations to international organizations (IMF, World Bank Group, OECD, WTO, G20, G7 and specific committees of the European Commission, etc.). Follow the General Directorate of the Treasury on LinkedInX (formerly Twitter), Instagram and YouTube.

Related Content

Read the release in French here | Lire le communiqué en Français ici

Read the release in Spanish here | Lea el comunicado en Español aquí