Quick Response Biodiversity Fund

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New Fund Addresses Urgent Threats to Species Around the Globe

The Quick Response Biodiversity Fund (QRBF) is a partnership initiative led by 1% for the Planet, the Weeden Foundation, and the Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions Program at Resolve. QRBF matches expertise, funds, and urgent needs with a speed unparalleled in the conservation community, guided by a volunteer Advisory Council of fifty-five of some of the top global scientists in the biodiversity field. Key criteria in award selection are if and how the investment will help avoid extinction of rare species.

Launched in 2015, QRBF has made nine rapid, priority grants in globally important, highly threatened conservation sites. The fund has supported projects on each major continent: North America (1), Central and South America (6), Africa (1) and Asia (1). Looking ahead, QRBF seeks to increase the number of projects in Africa and Asia, in particular. To date, more than $208,800 has been raised for conservation land purchases, focused on biodiversity. Don Weeden, Executive Director of the Weeden Foundation, has said of the QRBF concept: “When the opportunity to acquire a critical piece of habitat arises, conservationists often need funds quickly to outbid other interested parties. But traditional sources of funding are often slow and cumbersome. The QRBF is designed to address this problem, and also to tap small companies and foundations as new sources of conservation funding. ”

The founding donors during the first year include the Weeden Foundation, and 1% for the Planet member companies Caudalie and The Wall Group.

“The QRBF exemplifies our belief that when we come together across sectors we can do smarter and more impactful work,” says Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet. “We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to engage our network in addressing critical biodiversity issues.”

The Fund has protected the best remaining habitat for charismatic megafauna such as the northern jaguar and Sumatran orangutan and elephant; other sites now conserve the world’s last best home for colorful rainforest parakeets, unique salamanders and frogs, and South Africa's geometric tortoise. QRBF’s second-year goal is to raise $1 Million per year and support 25-30 projects each year. “It is amazing what targeted funding can do to save the habitats used by endangered species, especially those with rather narrow ranges—often a single mountaintop or patch of or rainforest or swamp,” says Eric Dinerstein, Director of WildTech and the Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions Program at Resolve. “In a number of cases our donation has allowed recipients to leverage much larger sums of funding to undertake a more extensive land purchase than what our donation could finance alone. This is the future, a new conservation funding mechanism that combines rigorous science, urgent need, near-real time funding response, and zero overhead drawn from the grant—an all-volunteer army for conservation. All we need to do is to scale up as fast as we can.”

Individuals, businesses, and foundations can contribute to the fund. To learn more, please visit http://www.weedenfdn.org/Quick-Response-Biodiversity-Fund.htm.

About 1% for the Planet: 1% for the Planet is a global organization, leading a committed network of people working together for a healthy planet. Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, former owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, our network consists of more than 1,100 member companies and thousands of approved nonprofit partners in more than 40 countries. Brands whose products and services feature the 1% for the Planet logo give 1% of sales annually to nonprofit organizations dedicated to addressing the most pressing environmental issues,. Our members have invested more than $150 million in our planet since 2002. Look for our logo and visit http://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org to learn more.

About the Weeden Foundation: For its 40 years of existence, the Weeden Foundation’s primary mission has been to protect biodiversity. This New York-based family foundation has helped preserve more than 6 million acres of biologically important habitat worldwide, providing grants to hundreds of mostly small conservation organizations. The Foundation financed the first-ever debt-for-nature swap in Bolivia in 1992, a strategy that is now widely used by international conservation organizations.

About Resolve: During its first thirty years, RESOLVE helped create a new field—applying conflict resolution to the toughest natural resource, environmental, and public health challenges. Today, RESOLVE’s Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions program works with NGOs, governments, and foundations to apply innovative science and technology to dramatically improve how we monitor and protect endangered wildlife and their habitats. The Organization recently released an analysis of remaining tiger habitat, and developed a tool in Global Forest Watch to help tiger range states monitor forest loss in critical Tiger Conservation Landscapes in near-real time.

Media Contact: Margaret Kennedy, Weeden Foundation, mekennedy(at)weedenfoundation(dot)org

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Kate Williams
since: 01/2009
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