Amazon has announced a $10 million grant in support of efforts to conserve, restore, and advance sustainable forestry, wildlife, and nature-based solutions to climate change across the Appalachian Mountains.
According to the company, families across the country own 290 million acres of America's forests, more than the federal government or the forest industry, and have an opportunity to help reduce carbon in the atmosphere and slow climate change through sustainable forest management and restoration that conserves and maintains the ecosystems of forests for the benefit of present and future generations.
To advance that opportunity, and as part of its efforts to be net-zero carbon by 2040, the online retailer will partner with the Nature Conservancy, the American Forest Foundation, and the Vermont Land Trust on two projects, the Family Forest Carbon Program and Forest Carbon Co-ops, the first projects to be funded through Amazon's $100 million Right Now Climate Fund. The Family Forest Carbon Program will open up carbon credit markets to small family forest owners, with Amazon working to expand the program in the Appalachians and other areas of the United States, while the Forest Carbon Co-op program will help owners of midsize forests use sustainable forest management and protection measures to earn income through the carbon credit market. The grant from Amazon will support efforts to expand the program in climate resilient forests across the Appalachians, develop a scientific approach to regional carbon impact measurement, and enhance the project verification methodology.
"These projects will conserve forests and wildlife for future generations — and the planet — and help remove carbon from the atmosphere," said Amazon vice president of sustainability Kara Hurst. "Amazon's Right Now Climate Fund will be investing $100 million in nature-based climate solutions like these that tackle the climate crisis while also having a positive economic impact in the community and in nature."
"Family forest owners are a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to tackling climate change," said Lynn Scarlett, chief external affairs officer at the Nature Conservancy. "But many of America's nearly eleven million family forest owners may face barriers that prevent them from taking action. Those who own small acreages have not been able to access existing carbon markets — which can provide income as well as help sequester carbon on their lands — due to high development costs. This funding from Amazon will, for the first time, allow small-scale forest landowners to tap into the economic opportunity linked to the carbon sequestration and storage potential of U.S. forests."