Jeff Bezos has placed an additional $1 billion into the Bezos Earth Fund to be spent on creating, expanding, managing, and monitoring protected and conserved areas of wilderness. Bezos announced the establishment of the Bezos Earth Fund on February 17, 2020 as a philanthropic initiative that would see him hand out $10 billion in donations to environmental groups to address the climate crisis.
The Bezos Earth Fund is Jeff Bezos’s $10 billion commitment to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and other actors that will drive climate and nature solutions. By allocating funds creatively, wisely, and boldly, the Bezos Earth Fund has the potential for transformative influence in this decisive decade. Funds will be fully allocated by 2030—the date by which the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals must be achieved.
The Amazon founder had offered few details on how exactly the money would be distributed last year but he’s offered up more information on the leadership, structure, and timeline of the Earth Fund, such as that for the next decade it will award about $1 billion a year. The money will take the form of grants to organizations working to preserve lands and secure Indigenous people’s rights in the Congo, tropical Andes Mountains, and across Oceania.
The first round of grant money went mostly to large, well-organized global conservation organizations. In November 2020 he announced the first 16 recipients who received a total of $791 million donations. The top donations went to The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund, which each received $100 million. Many of the grantees received funds for specific projects, while other recipients were able to re-grant the funds and donate to other nonprofits.
Earlier this month, the fund said it would give away $203.7 million by the end of 2021 to organizations advancing climate justice, supporting climate-oriented economic recovery projects and spurring innovation in pathways to decarbonization. Recipients of this round of donations include organizations such as Science Based Targets, Climate Power, Partnership for Southern Equity and WE ACT for Environmental Justice among others.
“Conservation is one of the most effective anti-poverty strategies we have,” said United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. “I warmly welcome this generous commitment, which will help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals.” We can and must reverse this anomaly,” Bezos added. “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.”