Conservation International Honors Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sánchez with its Global Visionary Award

April 26, 2024

Award recognizes Bezos Earth Fund’s historic commitment to protecting nature, fighting climate change and supporting communities

NEW YORK (April 25, 2024) – At its annual gala dinner, Conservation International today honored Jeff Bezos, the founder and executive chair of the Bezos Earth Fund, and Lauren Sánchez, the Fund’s vice chair, with its Global Visionary Award. The recognition highlights Bezos’s and Sánchez’s unwavering dedication to addressing the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss by preserving Earth’s most critical ecosystems and supporting the local communities that safeguard them.

Editors, please note: Photos of tonight's event will be available on, and additional photos and coverage will be posted on Conservation International's Instagram account, @conservationorg.

Conservation International CEO Dr. M. Sanjayan presented the award, which was followed by a conversation between Conservation International Vice Chair Harrison Ford, Bezos and Sánchez.

"Jeff and Lauren are making history, not just with the sum of their investment in nature but also the speed of it. They understand that the time to start reversing nature loss and climate change is now — not ten minutes or ten years down the road," Sanjayan said. "It's not easy to change entire systems, but that's precisely what they've set out to do. And they're bringing everyone to the table – communities, businesses, governments – while promoting the wisdom of Indigenous peoples who have stewarded their lands brilliantly. This is collective action with scale and speed, both top-down and bottom-up.”

The Bezos Earth Fund has an extraordinary goal: By 2030, it will distribute $10 billion to fight climate change and biodiversity loss. To date, the fund has issued more than 230 grants designed to conserve the nature that people rely on for their livelihoods and well-being. It’s the largest philanthropic commitment ever made to fight climate change and protect nature and sets an unprecedented standard for investing in a sustainable and healthy future for all.

In a landmark agreement in 2022, governments worldwide pledged to safeguard 30 percent of the planet's land and sea by 2030. The Bezos Earth Fund is not just supporting this global goal but actively advancing it through bold action and by fostering public and private partnerships.

The Fund’s initiatives include backing a 600,000 square kilometer network of nine Marine Protected Areas across Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. The fund has also committed $100 million to support the "Unlocking Blue Pacific Prosperity" initiative — the largest conservation effort ever. Led by Pacific Island nations, this initiative will establish sustainable management across the entire Blue Pacific Continent, a marine area five times the size of the United States. The fund is also working to protect the Congo Basin, a region that sequesters vast amounts of planet-heating carbon, is rich in biodiversity and is home to 75 million people.

Across the tropical Andes and the Amazon, Conservation International and the Bezos Earth Fund have partnered with governments, Indigenous peoples and local communities to establish 3.5 million hectares of new conservation areas and strengthen the management of more than 12 million hectares of protected areas and Indigenous lands in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. By bolstering regional management, the effort supports the durable protection of critical carbon sinks and wildlife found nowhere else on Earth. 

The gala dinner event, hosted by Andrés and Lauren Santo Domingo at The Grill in New York, included remarks from:

  • Nia Tero Founder, President and CEO & Conservation International Founder and Chairman Peter Seligmann
  • Conservation International CEO Dr. M. Sanjayan
  • Indigenous activist and Conservation International Board Member Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
  • Conservation International Board Member and actor Shailene Woodley, who delivered the evening's closing remarks

Past Conservation International honorees include U.S. President Joe Biden (then-former U.S. Vice President), former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and environmental advocate and Conservation International Vice Chair Harrison Ford.


About Conservation International: Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork 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 people and nature thrive together. Go to for more, and follow our work on Conservation NewsFacebookTwitterTikTokInstagram and YouTube.

About the Bezos Earth Fund: The Bezos Earth Fund is transforming the fight against climate change with the largest ever philanthropic commitment to climate and nature protection. We’re investing $10 billion in this decisive decade to protect nature and drive systems-level change, creating a just transition to a low-carbon economy. By providing funding and expertise, we partner with organizations to accelerate innovation, break down barriers to success and create a more equitable and sustainable world. Join us in our mission to create a world where people prosper in harmony with nature.