The Nature Conservancy in Arlington, Virginia, has announced funding totaling $26 million from the Peter Hawkins Dobberpuhl Foundation in support of conservation projects in Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia. The commitment also will trigger a matching gift to support TNC's work in Tennessee, where the foundation is based.
One of the largest gifts ever made for on-the-ground conservation efforts in Africa, the commitment includes $22.5 million in grants and $3.5 million in impact investment capital. TNC will allocate $7 million of the total, including a seven-year zero-interest loan of $3.5 million, to the Northern Rangelands Trust, its local partner in Kenya, to scale the Livestock to Markets initiative, a conservation financing program that focuses on sustainable livestock grazing.
The commitment also includes $6.7 million for the Tuungane project, a multi-partner collaboration designed to address the interconnected challenges of population growth, poverty, and natural resource consumption in western Tanzania; $6 million for conservation efforts in the Loisaba Wildnerness, a sixty-thousand-acre Kenyan ranch that is rich in wildlife, serves as a critical elephant corridor, and provides grazing land for herders as well as ecotourism jobs for locals; $3.3 million in support of efforts by local communities and authorities to improve natural resource management within the sixteen-million-acre Kafue Ecosystem in western Zambia; and $3 million for the Elephant Protection Initiative, a multi-region effort to protect habitat and improve security for elephants in Africa while raising awareness and reducing demand for ivory in China.
"TNC is doing the right thing by bringing their resources and expertise to the marketplace to make a greater conservation impact, but it is not without risk," said Joel Dobberpuhl, the foundation's president. "Like any venture it is important to provide them with flexible capital. Innovation is alive in conservation and it’s definitely alive at the Nature Conservancy."