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
General Operating Support - $55,000

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a Washington D.C.-based independent campaigning organization committed to bringing out change that protects the natural world from environmental crime and abuse. EIA pioneered the use of undercover investigative techniques to expose environmental crime and other abuse against the natural world. The organization uses its unique evidence and advocacy expertise to campaign for solutions to illegal logging and associated wood trade, illegal wildlife trade, and other threats to the global environment such as climate change. Environmental Investigation Agency also identifies shortcomings in national and international laws, as well as in corporate natural resource sourcing and consumption habits, to develop dynamic strategies to successfully advocate new or improved policies, implementation and enforcement measures. In 2015, the organization’s objectives are to improve forest governance via tools such as the U.S. Lacey Act; support the Wildlife in Crisis efforts on stopping the illegal and unsustainable killing of, and trade in, threatened species including elephants, rhinos, and cetaceans; and to accelerate the phase-out of industrial global warming agents.

Nature & Culture International
Expanding Ecuador’s Ecosystem Service Payment Program within Ecuador and to Neighboring Countries - $40,000

Nature and Culture International (NCI) is an international nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1997 with the mission of conserving biologically diverse ecosystems, in concert with local peoples in Latin America. NCI has played the central role in the concrete protection of 13 million acres of rainforest and other imperiled tropical forest ecosystems by assisting local and indigenous communities, and national and regional governments, in establishing parks and reserves in order to achieve their ecosystem conservation goals.
NCI- Ecuador signed an agreement with the Ecuadorian government last year to help expand the Socio Bosque program over the coming years to conserve up to a million additional acres of critical forest land in Ecuador. In 2015, NCI-Ecuador proposes to identify an additional 200,000 acres of land in the Amazon and Andes under this same agreement with Ecuador’s government.

Root Capital
General Operating Support for activities in Ecuador, Mexico, and Nicaragua – $55,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)

Root Capital, a Boston-based nonprofit social investment fund, grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training and strengthening market connections for small and growing businesses. Root Capital clients include associations and private businesses that help create sustainable livelihoods by aggregating the products of hundreds, and often, thousands of farmers. As of third quarter 2014, Root Capital has disbursed more than $743 million in credit to 533 businesses. These loans have helped Root Capital clients improve incomes for more than 850,000 individuals and sustainably manage 1.5 million hectares of land.

Wildlife Conservation Society
Addressing Wildlife Trafficking at Multiple Scales: Ecuador and the Latin America Region – $50,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a U.S. nonprofit organization established in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. The WCS Latin America and Caribbean Program has been working for over two decades to address wildlife trafficking in the region through on-the-ground monitoring programs, adoption and implementation of new technologies, and local advocacy campaigns. To address wildlife trafficking both through informed future governance and conservation science, WCS will continue to implement and expand important conservation actions in Yasuní National Park in Ecuador to protect Amazon river turtles while developing a more long-term and visionary conservation strategy for the species whose numbers have been declining at an alarming rate due to demand for turtle eggs resulting from human consumption.

Grantees by Year: 2015 / 2014 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011