WASHINGTONBirdLife International, National Audubon Society and American Bird Conservancy (ABC), as well as RedLAC members, have been $12 millionFrom the Bezos Earth Fund For their “Conserva Aves” (“Conserve Birds”) initiative, an innovative collaboration that aims to help nations meet their international climate and biodiversity pledges and close the gap in the protection of key biodiversity areas.
Specifically, the $12 million grant will support local communities and Indigenous peoples to establish and strengthen 30-40 new protected sites (totaling 450-600,000 hectares, or 1.11 to 1.48 million acres) critical for threatened and migratory bird species in the Tropical Andes—in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Perú—by 2027. These forests and grasslands have some of the best biodiversity on Earth. They are winter homes to many beloved birds that spend the summer here, including warblers. Tanagers, grosbeaks and grosbeaks. Conserva AvesThese areas will also provide opportunities for people to make a living from nature, which will be beneficial to the local communities.
“This historic investment shows that the Bezos Earth Fund shares our determination to place nature at the heart of addressing the existential climate and biodiversity emergencies. Our global network of 117 partners, together with other collaborators, is uniquely equipped to provide the boots on the ground conservation action and scientific credibility to quickly scale up concrete action to save our planet. The Bezos Earth Fund’s support for the Conserva Aves initiative is exciting and deeply appreciated. As an Ecuadorean, tackling the most pressing issues facing threatened birds and biodiversity in the Tropical Andes is dear to my heart.” said Patricia Zurita, BirdLife’s CEO.
“Just over a month ago, at the UN climate summit, the world heard the urgent message to phase out unsustainable practices and speed up the protection of Neotropical areas to diminish the perils of climate change. Conserva Aves, is our response. This partnership gathers power of Latin American organizations to focus on transformational conservation that benefits people and biodiversity. It’s our answer to what birds so beautifully and wisely have been telling us we must do for decades”, said Aurelio Ramos, Audubon’s Senior Vice President for International Alliances.
“American Bird Conservancy is delighted to be part of this historic collaboration to save birds and biodiversity throughout the tropical Andes,” Mike Parr is the President of ABC. “ABC has invested more than two decades of conservation effort in the region, working with partners to prevent the extinction of some of the Andes’ most endangered bird species — the Royal Cinclodes and Long-whiskered Owlet among them. We’re thrilled to expand these efforts thanks to vision and support of the Bezos Earth Fund”.
“REDLAC environmental trust funds (ETFs), partners in Conserva Aves, have been mobilizing resources for biodiversity conservation for decades, with a significant involvement in promoting and facilitating the creation and sustainable financing of national and local conservation areas in important biodiversity hotspots. We have worked closely with environmental authorities, thousands of local GROs, and other NGOs to make conservation a reality on the ground. The support of the Bezos Earth Fund to Conserva Aves will not only allow us to increase save havens for important bird species, improve livelihoods for local communities, but will also promote regional coordination of South American organizations like ETFs, to work across borders, just like birds do along their migratory routes,” said Natalia Arango, Executive Director Fondo Acción, RedLAC member in Colombia.
Considered the most biodiverse region in the world, the Tropical Andes covers less than 1% of the world’s land surface, yet it is home to nearly one-sixth of all plant species on the planet, and more amphibian, bird, and mammal species than any other equivalent area.
Latin America is witnessing rapid progress in large-scale habitat degradation and habitat conversion, as well as alarming biodiversity losses. Protected areas as part of land and seascape approaches are a proven strategy for safeguarding biodiversity, mitigating climate change, improving water security, and supporting community adaptation to climate change through nature-based solutions. Conserva Aves is expected to contribute to national commitments in the biodiversity and climate conventions.
Conserva Aves brings a unique perspective to the conservation of endemic and threatened biodiversity by integrating priorities for migratory birds – many of which are in serious decline. Conserva Aves partners are focused on the conservation and protection of migratory birds. They also benefit a wide range of other species. Conserva Aves partners mobilize support from a diverse array, international actors. Conserva Aves is primarily concerned with North American breeding bird species that depend on the Tropical Andes region during the larger portion of their life cycles.
Conserva Aves will now be implemented in the country by a group of conservation organizations and environmental trust funds from each country that are part of the Network of Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Funds.RedLAC) and BirdLife national partners Asociación Armonia (Bolivia), Aves y Conservación (Ecuador), Asociación Calidris (Colombia), ECOAN (Perú), as well as the Jocotoco Foundation (Ecuador) and ProAves (Colombia).
The Bezos Earth Fund was launched in 2020. It is a $10 billion commitment that funds scientists, activists and NGOs as well as private-sector entities.
The National Audubon Society works to protect birds and the places that they depend on, today and tomorrow. Audubon works across the Americas through science, advocacy and education. Audubon has a wide network of partners, state programs, nature centers, chapters and other partners that reach millions of people every year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization that has existed since 1905. It believes in a world where wildlife and humans thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @audubonsociety.