December Environment Program Grants Awarded!

December was a big month for grants at The Overbrook Foundation: on December 7, the Board approved a total of 39 grants, twenty in the Environment Program. Of these, nine focused on biodiversity, and eleven on sustainable production and consumption. Within the sustainability category, four of those had a particular emphasis on climate and youth education. In total, the Environment Program in December awarded $750,000 to its grantees, whose work is listed below. The Foundation is extremely proud of the work of all its grantees, and congratulates them on their success!

A grant of $50,000 was awarded to for General Operating Support, and for its efforts in bringing the climate fight to the fossil fuel industry with its "Do the Math" tour.

Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) received a $50,000 grant also for General Operating Support. ACE works to raise climate science literacy among teens, provide leadership training and opportunities, and inspire students to become climate leaders and innovators in the green economy.

Jointly with the Human Rights Program, Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) was awarded a $105,000 grant for its “Linking Human Rights and Environmental Protection in Columbia: Designing a first contact contingency plan with isolated tribes of the Amazon” project. The grant will be paid over a period of 36 months.

Amazon Watch received an $80,000 grant over two years for its Ecuador Rainforest Protection Program. The program seeks to (1) protect the Ecuadorian Amazon’s highly biodiverse tropical rainforests from multiple threats, including oil and gas drilling and massive transportation projects, and (2) simultaneously advance territorial rights for the region’s indigenous peoples and championing more ecologically sound economic development.

A $25,000 first-time grant was awarded to the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) for its “Building Business Voice and Power for a Sustainable Economy” initiative. ASBC members are innovative business organizations and companies - from Ben & Jerry's to Patagonia -  that counter the strategies of “old economy” businesses by instituting sustainability in their operations and advocating for sustainable policies.

As You Sow received a $70,000 two-year grant for its Consumer Packaging and E-waste Recycling Initiatives programs. As it noted in its influential 2011 report, $11 billion of recyclable materials are wasted annually. As You Sow is working to promote Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a proven strategy that shifts the responsibility for post-consumer waste from taxpayers and municipal governments to companies that produce the packaging, creating incentives for producers to capture that lost potential.

The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) received a $30,000 grant for its “Promoting Sustainable Tourism: Executive Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism” project. This Symposium will bring together up to 200 executives and experts who are breaking the mold of the conventional “all-inclusive” beach resorts, vacation home complexes, and mass market cruise tourism with more socially and environmentally responsible types of tourism.

Long-time Overbrook grantee Clean Air – Cool Planet received a $50,000 grant for "The Next Generation of Leaders: Sustainability on Campuses” program. Clean Air - Cool Planet also launched its new web-based version of its Campus Carbon Calculator™—the sector-leading greenhouse gas inventory and climate action planning tool used by over 2,000 colleges and universities.

For its Real Food Media Project and Food MythBusters campaign, Corporate Accountability International was awarded $25,000. Led by author Anna Lappé, Food MythBusters is a collaboration among a wide range of organizations working to directly challenge Big Ag’s marketing might with grassroots truth-telling about the true costs of industrial agriculture and the real potential of sustainable food and farming.

New Overbrook grantee Energy Action Coalition was awarded $40,000 grant for its 2013 PowerShift conference. A bi-annual initiative of the Energy Action Coalition, its mission to recruit 10,000 youth leaders from every walk of life in America to be the front line warriors in the fight for a clean energy future. Energy Action is a coalition of over 50 youth-led environmental and social justice groups working together to build the youth clean energy and climate movement.

ForestEthics received a $60,000 grant to be paid over two years for General Operating Support.  ForestEthics is one of the only groups that both publicly confronts corporations that destroy forests and mobilizes environmentally responsible corporations to speak out on environmental issues. It has led many of the world’s largest brands – including Staples, Office Depot, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Target, Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom – to adopt improved policies for paper procurement and usage.

Groundswell - a recipient of the 2012 D.C. Mayor's Office Sustainability award - received a $40,000 grant for General Operating Support. Groundswell's two main programs are (1) the Community Power Project, where Groundswell assists mission-based organizations purchase clean electricity at a reduced price, and (2) the Strong Homes Program, which helps homeowners and residents procure discounted home energy efficiency services as a group, reducing their energy usage and expenses.

The Overbrook Foundation awarded $90,000 to Imaflora (to be paid over a period of twenty-four months) for its “Valuation of the Extractive Production, as an Instrument for Consolidating Protected Areas in the Region of Terra de Meio/Para” program. Imaflora's 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.

Ioby received a $100,000 grant over twenty-four months for General Operating Support. Founded in July 2008, ioby (rhymes with Nairobi—stands for the opposite of NIMBY) is the only digital engagement platform specifically designed to direct an untapped source of citizen philanthropy to the environmental grassroots movement. As of September 1, 2012, ioby had leveraged the platform to raise and disburse nearly $500,000 in citizen micro-donations averaging $35, fully funding nearly 200 projects.

NatureServe was awarded a $30,000 grant for its “Working Group to Advance Conservation and Sustainable Use of Mexico’s biodiversity” program. NatureServe is a leading source for information about rare and endangered species and threatened ecosystems, and has a network of 82 conservation data centers in Latin America, the Caribbean, U.S. and Canada.

The Board awarded a two-year grant of $120,000 to People and Plants International (PPI) for its “Community-based forest management and conservation in Central Mexico; building links, networks and capacities” program. PPI is an independent non-profit formed by a network of specialists and practitioners with decades of experience, and believes that cultural diversity is inherently linked to biological diversity and that effective stewardship of the Earth must involve local people.

Pinchot Institute received a $30,000 grant for its “EcoMadera: Innovating a Sustainable Forestry Value Chain to Conserve Threatened Tropical Forests” program. The Pinchot Institute for Conservation is a U.S. based forest conservation NGO that focuses on emerging conservation challenges. In Ecuador, the Pinchot Institute provides technical assistance to a community forestry enterprise that is working to reverse rapid deforestation in the Chocó rainforest.

The Foundation awarded Pronatura Noroeste a $50,000 grant for its “Protection of the Cabo Pulma National Park region, Baja California Sur, Mexico: work plan for 2013” program. Prontaura saw its efforts develop into a recent victory, as the “Cabo Cortez” project in Cabo Pulma, intended to develop 5000 hectares of pristine sand dunes and dry forest desert vegetation to establish 18,000 hotel rooms, three golf courses, marinas, and an airport, was put permanently on hold by President Calderon in June 2012.

The Sustainability Funders received a $10,000 grant for General Operating Support. The mission of the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption (The Sustainability Funders) is to advance understanding, foster collaboration and enhance the overall effectiveness of grantmaking for a sustainable world. Its goal is to help catalyze and accelerate a shift to sustainable production and consumption and to promote a society that embraces sustainability.

Last (but not least!), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) received a two-year $100,000 grant for its “Improving Rural Livelihoods through Natural Resource Conservation in the Pantanal of Brazil and Yasuni National Park, Ecuador” program. 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.

Congratulations again to all our grantees!