LATIN AMERICAN BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
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 2019 grantees through its Biodiversity Conservation portfolio
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 (MBR) 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.
General Operating Support - $30,000 (second 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.
Cabo Pulmo - East Cape Collaborative Conservation Project - $40,000
LegacyWorks Group (LWG) is a small nonprofit organization targeting select place-based conservation areas, primarily in the western USA and Mexico. LWG’s work in Cabo Pulmo, Mexico, is targeted to develop and implement a shared vision for conservation-based development in the East Cape National Park. This effort is led by Martin Goebel, a leading international conservationist who grew up in Mexico and started the international programs for groups including The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International.
Advancing Transforming Conservation - $50,000
Mongabay, a California-based environmental news service received a special grant on behalf of the Transforming Conservation coalition, a group representing nearly 30 international conservation organizations working to improve the practices of global sustainability worldwide.
Mongabay: Latin America – Mongabay Latam - $75,000 (second 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.
Central American Acceleration Programs - $50,000 (second payment in a two-year grant)
Pomona Impact is a new impact investment firm in Central America supporting companies finding innovative solutions to agriculture problems. Despite the terrific agricultural universities in the region, innovation and even the rate of adoption of existing agricultural technologies is remarkably low. Pomona is working to change that by launching the Innovation in Agriculture Initiative.
Helping Smallholder Farmers Adapt to Climate Change - $50,000 (second 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. This particular project 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.
General Operating Support - $35,000 (first payment in a two-year grant)
The Toledo Institute of Development and Environment (TIDE) is a leading conservation organization in the Toledo District of Southern Belize. TIDE manages three protected areas in the southern part of the country that range from ocean and lakes to mangroves and rainforests. The organization’s range of programs include natural resource protection, conservation biology and environmental education.
Ya’axché Conservation Trust is a Belizean conservation organization with over eighteen years of experience working in protected area management and biodiversity conservation in Toledo, the most southern state of the country. The organization works with local communities on conservation and agroforestry and is responsible for managing some of this small nation’s most prized protected areas.