Bezos Earth Fund
Transformative $100 million gift boosts TNC climate action.
The Conservancy’s innovative efforts to develop natural climate solutions received a tremendous boost from a $100 million gift from the Bezos Earth Fund. The gift funds climate work in two critical regions—India’s agricultural states of Punjab and Haryana, as well as the Emerald Edge of coastal Washington, British Columbia and Alaska. The funding also supports efforts to replicate natural climate solutions on a larger scale. This gift, the second largest ever received by TNC, jump-starts our pioneering work to harness nature to reduce carbon emissions around the world.
How this gift will reduce carbon emissions:
Challenge: Farmers burn crop residue to prepare their fields for new plantings, generating climate emissions and deadly air pollution in neighboring cities.
Solution: Introducing new regenerative agriculture approaches—including no-till planting—ends the need for burning, saves water, increases farmer incomes, boosts soil health and stores carbon.
Challenge: The temperate rainforests of the Emerald Edge hold one of the world’s largest stores of carbon, but these forests are at risk.
Solution: Preserving coastal rainforests in partnership with First Nations peoples honors a vision of Indigenous-led stewardship while securing forests as storehouses of carbon.
Road Map to Refuge
As climate change forces species to move, new science is identifying habitats that can help them survive.
“Nature is changing and we can’t hold it steady, so we have to find a way to protect it while it shifts,” says Dr. Mark Anderson, TNC’s director of conservation science for the eastern U.S. Anderson helped lead the creation of TNC’s newly completed Resilient and Connected Landscapes mapping tool. In a sense, the tool serves as a map of “natural highways and neighborhoods” covering one-third of the continental U.S. The interactive map shows where plant and animal species have the best chance to move in response to growing climate threats—and find new places to call home. Studies show that each decade plants and animals have shifted approximately 11 miles north and 36 feet higher in elevation in response to the changing climate, making this project an essential conservation tool.
Siting Solar and Wind Power
Conservancy tools can help growth in renewables without harming natural lands.
The build-out of new renewable energy is underway, and at an unprecedented pace. Yet some of the most promising clean-energy sources, such as wind and large-scale solar installations, call for large areas of land. Scientists at TNC are showing how nations can meet global clean-energy goals while protecting natural lands.
The Conservancy’s Site Wind Right interactive mapping is helping industry accelerate planning while steering infrastructure development away from sensitive habitat in the Great Plains, and new strategies are doing the same for solar energy in California, Nevada and West Virginia.
In India, TNC’s new SiteRight tool is proving a necessary planning asset for the country’s rapidly expanding renewable-energy sector. Says TNC’s Dhaval Negandhi, an ecological economist, “If you don’t think about these impacts, they become conflicts that impede and slow down your project.” With India’s ambitious national clean-energy targets in place, the industry can’t afford build-out delays, so TNC’s smart siting tool offers a pathway to a new clean-energy future.
Honoring donor generosity with a Gratitude Forest.
To plant a single tree is an act of hope and faith in what’s to come. In Brazil’s Serra da Mantiqueira region in the endangered Atlantic Forest, TNC is planting seedlings one by one, bringing new life to deforested hillsides. With every tree planted, a Gratitude Forest is taking root and touching the sky—honoring the generosity of TNC’s most devoted advocates.
In appreciation of our donors, TNC is nurturing this forest in a place of great need and possibility. Downstream in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, people rely on the Mantiqueira’s forests to store and filter the water that makes life possible.
This Gratitude Forest is far from a single effort. It’s a piece of TNC’s inspiring Plant a Billion Trees campaign, beginning as a gift and then, like a seed, growing into a legacy for future generations.
Through the Gratitude Forest, TNC and partners are helping to restore the region’s living forests, inspired by our supporters, because we believe that the powerful act of planting a tree is an investment in the future of the planet.
Culture of Fire
Indigenous communities restore fire to the landscape.
Indigenous people, such as the Karuk, Yurok and Hupa peoples of present-day California, have been practicing controlled and intentional burns for millennia. Yet in many developed countries, these cultural fires, and their ecological benefits, largely disappeared by the 20th century often due to policies aimed at suppressing wildfire.
The declining health of many forests and grasslands now reveals the long-term costs of removing fire from landscapes that have been shaped by Indigenous fire stewardship. Holding back low-intensity fires can lead to bigger—in some cases catastrophic—wildfires that take a toll on human health, harm nature and put communities at risk.
Through intersecting connections in Australia, Canada and the United States, TNC is supporting the efforts of Indigenous communities to revitalize use of cultural fires in today’s context. In TNC’s North America fire programs, which conduct roughly 600 burns on 100,000 acres every year, we now help facilitate or fund workshops, learning exchanges and community-based trainings that support Indigenous communities’ efforts to bring the benefits of cultural burning to people and landscapes alike.