The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has announced more than $90 million in grants to advance efforts to decouple food production from negative environmental impacts.
The grants will support a series of collaborations involving national and international conservation organizations and the foundation's own Forests and Agriculture Markets, Conservation and Financial Markets and Oceans and Seafood Markets initiatives. Funds awarded through the foundation's forest initiative will support a collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation, the Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund aimed at scaling more sustainable, deforestation-free production of beef and soy globally by leveraging the influence of domestic and multinational companies to incentivize the adoption of practices aimed at preventing deforestation in the Amazon basin and the Cerrado and Chaco regions of Paraguay.
Funds awarded through the conservation and finance initiative will support collaborations with Ceres, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and WWF aimed at shifting the food sector away from production practices that degrade natural ecosystems and supporting informed decision making by businesses and capital markets based on effective disclosures. And grants awarded through the foundation's seafood markets initiative will support the collaborative efforts of FishWise, Seafood Watch, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, WWF, and the New Venture Fund to protect marine and coastal ecosystems by improving aquaculture practices and the health and abundance of wild-capture fish stocks.
More than $40 million of the funding for the three initiatives will be reserved for responding to needs that emerge as the work unfolds, while half the funding will be re-granted to other organizations whose expertise may be needed to achieve the initiatives' goals.
"The anticipated global population growth and related demand for richer diets, including more protein, sugars and oils, will place unprecedented pressures on our natural resources," said Aileen Lee, program director for the conservation and markets strategies and incoming chief program officer for environmental conservation at the Moore Foundation. "Now more than ever, the need to produce food without causing severe environmental degradation is essential to maintaining the productive capacity and integrity of the earth’s ecosystems."