Sea fans and soft corals adorn a beautiful "coral garden" in Misool, Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Pacific Ocean.
A Coral Garden Sea fans and soft corals adorn a beautiful "coral garden" in Misool, Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Pacific Ocean. © Ethan Daniels

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MacKenzie Scott Pledges $25 Million to The Nature Conservancy to Address Climate Change and Ocean Conservation

Today, MacKenzie Scott announced a $25 million gift to The Nature Conservancy in support of the organization’s Blue Bonds for Conservation and U.S. Climate Action efforts. 

In response to this announcement, Jennifer Morris, TNC’s CEO said:

“The Nature Conservancy is honored to be among the great organizations that Ms. Scott has chosen to lift up with her incredible philanthropy. Her contribution comes at a critical time, when nature’s role in sustaining our health, our livelihoods and our well-being has never been more clear. This gift will make an outsized impact on our efforts to drive the innovation and collaboration needed to address the challenges of climate change and ocean protection at scale.” 

In 2019, TNC announced a plan to scale-up ocean conservation around the world, Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation.  Today, the organization is working with island and coastal countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and West Indian Ocean to restructure their national debt, freeing up long term funding to improve marine area management and create new marine protected areas in 20 countries over the next five years.  This effort has the potential to protect up to 1.5 million square miles (4 million km2) of the world’s most biodiversity-critical ocean habitats and secure $1.6 billion for ocean conservation.

“Science tells us that the world’s oceans are in trouble and that coastal communities and island nations are increasingly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including sea level rise, ocean acidification, and biodiversity loss” said Melissa Garvey, TNC’s Global Director of Ocean Protection.  “We have to act quickly to address these challenges, and philanthropy is the key that unlocks Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation; without it, we simply don’t have the capacity to work fast enough to meet our ambitious goals.” 

$10 million of Scott’s gift will go toward the Blue Bonds work, specifically: building capacity; engaging in multiple countries around the world to structure and close deals quickly; launching the science and planning to work to ensure successful conservation outcomes; and establishing systems of governance for the long-term protection of coastal and ocean areas.

The threat posed by the planet’s changing climate is substantial, which is why TNC leverages its scientific and policy experts to develop effective and sustainable solutions to some of the United States’ biggest challenges.  For decades, the organization has worked to site renewable energy with minimum environmental impact, advance clean energy policies, and protect and restore wetlands, grasslands, and forests.

“For decades, TNC has worked in all 50 states and at the federal level to build support for climate action, drive innovation and research, and advance natural climate solutions to build a low-carbon future,” said Lynn Scarlett, chief external affairs officer.  “This generous gift from MacKenzie Scott will help TNC catalyze swift, long-lasting action and develop the policies we need to address the climate crisis.”

$15 million of Scott's gift will go toward building broad support for durable, equitable policies and practices that moves the country toward a net-zero economy in a way that maximizes the role of nature and accelerates the transition to clean energy while avoiding impacts to people and nature.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.