The Gordon and Betty Moore and Wyss foundations have announced grants totaling $15 million to the Andes Amazon Fund in support of conservation efforts in the Andean Amazon headwaters region of South America.
The funding, which includes $5 million from Moore and $10 million from Wyss, will be re-granted to organizations working to consolidate the conservation status of approximately 20 million hectares — including at least fifteen protected areas and fifteen indigenous lands in the Amazon regions of Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador; promote the sustainable finance of Peru's national parks system through the country's Natural Legacy Initiative; and designate an additional 800,000 hectares in Peru to secure connectivity and formalize protection, while supporting local civil society organizations in their work to cultivate new supportive constituencies for conservation at local and national levels.
The Amazon headwaters region is home to the world's greatest concentration of biodiversity and abundant endemic species, especially along the eastern flank of the tropical Andes. Approximately 19 million people live in the region, including 1.4 million indigenous people living throughout the Amazon basin in traditional territories, which are often effective conservation bastions with important wildlife populations and low deforestation rates.
"The collaboration between foundations can be a powerful tool for increasing efficiency for grantees and providing the resources needed to have outcomes at a greater scale with more durability," said Andes Amazon Fund executive director Adrian Forsyth. "The fate of the Amazon is such a huge issue for planetary health that the pooling of resources and sharing of agendas is just what is needed."