RRI welcome Bezos Earth Fund grant to scale up locally-led climate and conservation solutions
Rights and Resources Initiative
06 .12. 2021  
3 minutes read

We are delighted to share that Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities (GATC) and Campaign for Nature (C4N), have received a grant from Bezos Earth Fund to jointly scale up the recognition of tenure rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendant Peoples in the Tropical Andes and Congo Basin.

Under this grant, RRI will work in partnership with the GATC – a coalition of organizations representing Indigenous and local communities across the Amazon Basin, Brazil, Indonesia, Central Africa and Mesoamerica, and C4N – a partnership of the Wyss Campaign for Nature, National Geographic Society, and conservation organizations across the world calling on policymakers to commit to a science-driven, ambitious new deal for nature. Their project, titled the Shandia Alliance for People, Nature and Climate, will scale up locally-led land rights and conservation between 2022 and 2025 to advance global conservation, climate and development goals in the Tropical Andes (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru) and the Congo Basin (the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo, and Gabon).

Launched in 2020, the Bezos Earth Fund is a US$10 billion commitment by Jeff Bezos to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and private-sector entities that are taking critical actions to combat the climate crisis, preserve and protect the natural world, and support climate justice.

In a press release issued today by the Bezos Earth Fund, Tuntiak Katan, General Coordinator of the GATC said:

“The GATC thanks the Bezos Earth Fund for daring to support land tenure rights and management, as a clear understanding that Indigenous Peoples are strategic partners to protect at least 30% of the planet for people, biodiversity, and to tackle the climate crisis. We invite the Bezos Earth Fund and other partners to continue working together long-term.”

What is the Shandia Alliance?

The unique partnership of the Shandia Alliance brings together leading networks of rightsholders with their allies in civil society to unlock the power of local peoples to preserve forests and biodiversity. The Alliance promotes the realization of the Shandia Vision and RRI’s 2030 goals and targets. The Shandia Vision proposes a new global architecture of climate and conservation finance that channels funding directly to Indigenous and local community organizations with territorial responsibilities.

Dr. Solange Bandiaky-Badji, RRI’s Coordinator said, “For too long, donors and governments have ignored the solutions that nature’s most trusted guardians have provided for us. We are deeply appreciative of the Bezos Earth Fund’s initiative in taking a first step toward correcting this historical injustice.”

Using the GATC’s Shandia Vision and RRI’s Path to Scale Framework as a roadmap, and C4N’s global government relations expertise, the Shandia Alliance will establish a framework specifically designed to provide financial and organizational support directly to local rights-holder organizations and networks.

Brian O’Donnell, Director of C4N said: “Historically, less than 1% of total climate finance has gone to the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who are leading efforts to confront the crises facing nature and climate. This Alliance will take a bottom-up approach and directly support these communities and their leadership. This is the first step in what will hopefully be a major new paradigm for climate and nature funding. We are grateful to the Bezos Earth Fund for their support of this Alliance.”

Expected Outcomes and Milestones

Under this grant, RRI, GATC and C4N jointly commit to undertake the following actions in the seven countries identified above:

    • Accelerate community-level action to advance rights and conservation.
    • Strengthen Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community organizations and their allies’ capacities at the local and global levels.
    • Establish a global community-based monitoring and reporting system.
    • Track global progress on securing community rights and conservation and foster strategic coordination between Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community organizations, donors, and implementation allies.

This grant will be critical in helping the Shandia Alliance deliver long-term results in countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia not currently captured in these initial target countries, added Bandiaky-Badji.

“This project’s outcomes, if realized, could establish a critical precedent and pathways for supporting local peoples across the world to achieve global climate and conservation goals while improving local prosperity.”

For questions about this project, contact Madiha Waris Qureshi.

For questions about the Bezos Earth Fund, please contact [email protected].


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