Amazon boss Jeff Bezos launched the Bezos Earth Fund last year committing $10 billion to the global fight against climate change. And this week the fund has pledged $1 billion to support conservation and biodiversity efforts, especially those driven by ‘local communities and Indigenous peoples’.
Initiatives in the ‘Congo Basin, the tropical Andes, and the tropical Pacific Ocean’ will be the first to receive support, as part of the fund’s goal to advance the 30×30 commitment – a ‘target to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030 to prevent mass extinctions and bolster resilience to climate change’.
“When people hanker for the good old days and glamorise the past, they’re almost always wrong. By most metrics, life is better than it was in the past. Global poverty rates are lower, infant mortality and life expectancies are better, and education rates are much higher,” said Jeff Bezos. “But there is a notable exception – the natural world is not better today than it was 500 years ago, when we enjoyed unspoiled forests, clean rivers, and the pristine air of the pre-industrial age. We can and must reverse this anomaly. By coming together with the right focus and ingenuity, we can have both the benefits of our modern lives and a thriving natural world. I hope this commitment inspires others to make their own pledges to protect and conserve nature and help in the fight against climate change. A job this big needs many allies.”
The fund is dedicated to supporting scientists and organisations tackling the crisis crisis, and the $1 billion advanced this week forms part of a three-part nature strategy, that will see money invested in landscape restoration and food system transformation – following the initial focus on conservation.
“Last year, global loss of primary forest equaled twice the emissions of all cars on the road in the US. To turn the tide on the climate crisis, we must stop destroying forests and other fragile ecosystems, and conserve and restore the world’s carbon sinks,” added John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. “The Bezos Earth Fund’s commitment of $1 billion to conserve and expand critical high carbon stocks comes at a pivotal moment as we seek to avoid the loss of irreplaceable biodiversity and further destabilisation of the climate.”