The Overbrook Foundation recognizes the value of protecting endangered biodiversity and the vital environmental and social benefits it provides. The Biodiversity Conservation program area supports programs in Latin America, with a specific focus on Mesoamerica, where globally important species and ecosystems face a wide range of threats. The Foundation seeks out projects that create practical solutions to these threats, particularly those that promote sustainable livelihoods and engage local communities in conservation efforts.

Below are the Foundation’s 2018 grantees through its Biodiversity Conservation portfolio.

Amazon Conservation Team  

General Operating Support - $30,000 (first payment in a three-year grant)

The Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting South American rainforests through the empowerment of indigenous peoples and other local communities. Through its work in Colombia, Suriname and Brazil, ACT hopes to create an Amazon region of thriving biological and cultural diversity, conserved in perpetuity by local peoples able to utilize the best of traditional and western knowledge to protect their ancestral lands.

Asociacion de Comunidades Forestales de Peten (ACOFOP) 

Promoting the Development of an Innovative Community Forest Model for Biodiversity Conservation of the Mayan, Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala - $40,000

The Association of Forest Communities of Petén (ACOFOP) was founded in 1995 to conserve biodiversity and prevent deforestation in the Mayan Biosphere, Guatemala by promoting sustainable livelihoods. The Mayan Biosphere Reserve is Mesoamerica’s largest protected area and located within the heart of the tri-national “Maya Forest” shared with Belize and Mexico. To date, ACOFOP represents 24 community organizations and nine community forest concessions, representing about 14,000 individuals overall. 

Legacy Philanthropy Works 

Cabo Pulmo – East Cape Collaborative Conservation Project - $40,000

Legacy  Philanthropy Works (LPW) is a small California-based nonprofit organization that works to cultivate, collaborate, mobilize resources, and advance conservation and community initiatives. In Cabo Pulmo National Park, LPW is working to expand the national park and secure additional protected zones. Expanding the park and securing a protected zone around it is an imperative to protecting this unique coastal/marine region from increasing development pressures.


Mongabay: Latin America – Mongabay Latam - $75,000 (first payment in a three-year grant)

California-based Mongabay was founded in 1999 to increase interest in wildlife and biodiversity conservation. With now over two million readers per month, Mongabay has become one of the world’s most popular environmental news sources and has firmly established itself as a go-to site for broad and deep coverage of under-reported conservation issues in Latin America. 

Mongabay has launched Mongabay-Latam to support the production of impactful Spanish language conservation news reporting focused on Central and South American forests, including their land use management, the transparency of commodity supply chain, and innovations in conservation technology.

Root Capital

Helping Smallholder Farmers Adapt to Climate Change -  $50,000 (first payment in a two-year grant)

Root Capital, based in Massachusetts, is a nonprofit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing businesses. The project that Overbrook supports will promote the resilience of over 12,000 smallholder coffee families by providing loans and management training to 15 farmer cooperatives in the Guatemalan Highlands. 

Toledo Institute for Development and Environment

 Enhancing Community Engagement in the Sustainable Management of Marine Resources that they Depend on for their Livelihoods in the Payne’s Creek National Park, Belize Central America -  $35,000

The Toledo Institute of Development and Environment (TIDE) is a leading conservation organization with 18 employees in the Toledo District of Southern Belize. TIDE manages a portfolio of national and private protected areas and aims to manage these natural resources sustainably. TIDE works in three program areas: natural resource management, environmental education and sustainable development, and financial sustainability. This project focuses on natural resource management, environmental education, and communications and has the ultimate goal of conserving biodiversity in Port Honduras and Payne’s Creek National Park.

Ya’axché Conservation Trust

Strengthening Protected Areas Management through Innovative Technology and Community Participation for Long-Term Conservation within the Maya Mountain North Forest Reserve, Belize - $40,000

Ya’axché Conservation Trust is a Belizean conservation organization whose mission is to maintain a healthy environment and empowered communities. Ya’axché works to foster sustainable livelihoods, protected area management, biodiversity conservation, and environmental education within the Maya Golden Landscape in southern Belize.

Ya'axché's Protected Area Management program focuses on ensuring effective and efficient management of three protected areas by utilizing high quality scientific data to increase organizational, local, and national cooperation.

Grantees by Year:   2017  |  2016  |  2015