The Brazilian government, World Wildlife Fund, and their partners have announced the launch of a $215 million fund that aims to ensure the long-term protection of a hundred and fifty million acres of the Amazon rainforest.
Designed to provide a "transition fund" for the Brazilian government's Amazon Region Protected Areas program, the public-private "ARPA for Life" partnership is being spearheaded by the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund, the Linden Trust for Conservation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Supporters of the fund also include the government of Germany, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, and Giving Pledgers Vicki and Roger Sant.
Created in 2002, the ARPA program comprises 15 percent of the Brazilian Amazon and the largest network of protected areas in the world. The funding — which will be frontloaded to enable the Brazilian government to boost its internal funding and assume full funding responsibility in perpetuity in about twenty-five years — will be used in part to add twenty-two million acres of rainforest to the hundred and twenty-eight million acres currently protected under the program.
"The explosion in demand for natural resources has made our parks and world heritage sites vulnerable," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund. "So we convened leading financial thinkers and philanthropic partners to create a plan for a first-of-its-kind bridge fund to ensure ARPA’s inspiring success story can be told forever."
"Much of conservation practice is based on fighting a never-ending battle against external threats," said Larry Linden, founder of the Linden Trust. "But there are some ecologically important places we can save if we act now and put the right measures in place — money, contracts, and other legal agreements, organizational structures, all in support of an agreed-upon vision. With this approach, all the associated parties gain something far more impactful than anything they could do separately."