Latin American Biodiversity Conservation

The Biodiversity Program of the Overbrook Foundation supports programs in Latin America, with a specific geography of Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and, in certain cases, other parts of Meso-America. Within those areas, there is a special emphasis on projects that engage local communities and promote sustainable livelihoods.

Below is a list of the Foundation’s 2014 grantees through its biodiversity portfolio.

Environmental Investigation Agency
Improving Biodiversity Conservation in Latin America - $55,000

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) uses pioneering undercover investigations to expose environmental crimes and campaigns for solutions to illegal logging and associated wood trade, illegal wildlife trade and other threats to our global environment, including climate change. The organization also identifies shortcomings in national and international laws, as well as in corporate natural resource sourcing and consumption habits, and promotes enforcement of the Lacey Act, as it did in 2013 with the investigation of the illegal timber trade in Russia, China, and the U.S. In 2014, it will help oversee the Obama Administration’s recent ban on the commercial sale of ivory in the U.S.

Valuation of the Extractive Production, as an Instrument for Consolidating Protected Areas in the Region of Terra do Meio / Pará – $45,000 (second payment of a two-year grant)

The Institute of Forest Management and Certification & Agriculture (Imaflora) is a nonprofit civil association, founded in Piracicaba, São Paulo in 1995. Its mission is to encourage changes in the forestry and agriculture sectors, and was born under the premise that the best way to conserve tropical forests is to give them a sustainable economic value, coupled with responsible management practices. With its “Valuation of the Extractive Production, as an Instrument for Consolidating Protected Areas in the Region of Terra do Meio / Pará,” Imaflora aims to provide market support to local farmers for selling their sustainably sourced products in the “Terra do Meio ” region. The project began in 2009 as a partnership with ISA (Instituto Socioambiental), and focused on three reserves: Resex Riozinho do Anfrísio, Rio Xingu, and Iriri, which together comprise 1.2 million hectares and have a population of about 120 families.

Root Capital
General Operating Support for activities in Ecuador, Mexico, and Nicaragua – $75,000 (second payment of a two-year grant)

Root Capital is a social investment fund that uses the tools of finance – including access to capital and financial management training – to support community-based enterprises that promote grassroots economic development and environmental stewardship in the developing world. It serves small and growing businesses (SGBs) rooted in rural, low-income communities in Latin America and Africa. These SGBs bring together hundreds and often thousands of farmers, creating sustainable livelihoods for them and their families. Root Capital plays an important role in unlocking SGBs’ potential to facilitate small-scale producers’ adoption of climate-smart practices that improve rural livelihoods and conserve natural resources. In Q1 and Q2 2013, Root Capital has disbursed more than $19 million in credit to 106 businesses.

Wildlife Conservation Society
Improving Rural Livelihoods through Natural Resource Conservation in the Pantanal of Brazil and Yasuni National Park, Ecuador – $50,000 (second payment of a two-year grant)
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. It does so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. In the Brazilian Pantanal and Cerrado and Ecuadorian Yasuní National Park, WCS works to design and implement economically productive activities that are sustainable, as well as conservation oriented. In the Pantanal, WCS works with local landowners and farm workers to adopt ranching systems that increase cattle productivity while reducing deforestation and conversion of natural grasslands.

Grantees by Year: 2014 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011