The Wyss Foundation has announced that it is expanding its international conservation work and, as part of that effort, has awarded grants totaling $4 million to the Andes Amazon Fund over the past year.
Working in the headwaters region of the Amazon in Peru, which contains an estimated one-fifth of the world's supply of fresh water, forty thousand plant species, and three thousand freshwater fish species, the fund collaborates with governmental and nongovernmental partners to establish newly protected areas, improve the management of existing protected areas, and secure long-term financing for the management of priority conservation areas. It also has supported efforts that, in the past year, resulted in the creation of the 966,000-acre Maijuna Kichwa Regional Conservation area and two additional conservation initiatives by the Peruvian government that protected more than a hundred thousand acres of rainforest.
Through assistance to local nonprofits working with indigenous peoples in the region, resources for mapping and data collection, and the creation of a fund for park management, the fund also supported the recent establishment of the 3.3-million-acre Sierra del Divisor National Park.
"Peruvian leaders, local organizations, and indigenous peoples are making remarkable progress toward conserving the wild forests of the Andes and the Amazon before they are lost to deforestation," said Hansjörg Wyss, a 2013 signatory to the Giving Pledge. "We are proud to support the Andes Amazon Fund and its efforts to ensure that Peru’s new parks and protected areas have the resources they need to fulfill their promise as economic engines for sustainable growth."