Rainforest Trust Announces $500 Million Commitment to Conserving 30% of the Planet by 2030

Aerial View of River in Rainforest, Latin America
Aerial View of River in Rainforest, Latin America

Part of the largest private funding commitment ever to biodiversity conservation

During a panel discussion with three heads of state and other funders at the Transformative Action for Nature and People, Rainforest Trust publicly committed to a transformative investment to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. The event was held as part of the United Nations General Assembly 76.

James Deutsch, Ph.D., CEO of Rainforest Trust announced that Rainforest Trust will provide $500 million to help ensure 30 percent of the planet is being protected and preserved in the most important places for biodiversity. He was joined in this pledge by eight other private funders of conservation, with the collective pledge totaling $5 billion—the largest private funding commitment ever to biodiversity conservation. The private funders include Arcadia; Bezos Earth Fund; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; Nia Tero; Rainforest Trust; Re:wild; Wyss Foundation; and the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation. Heads of state at the event pledged to improve and expand protected and conserved areas to deliver on 30 percent.

The nine private funders launched the Protecting Our Planet Challenge with the goal, over the next 10 years, of supporting the creation, expansion, management and monitoring of protected and conserved areas of land, inland water and sea, working with Indigenous Peoples, local communities, civil society and governments.

Since its founding in 1988, Rainforest Trust has safeguarded over 43 million acres across the tropics, working with local partners. It has saved and protected vital habitat across Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and the Pacific.

“Halting and reversing biodiversity loss and climate change requires expanded protected and conserved areas, especially in tropical forests—this has been Rainforest Trust’s mission for over 30 years,” said James C. Deutsch, Ph.D., CEO of Rainforest Trust. “Developing nations and Indigenous Peoples need financing to achieve this, which is why we are pledging to more than double our level of funding between now and 2030 and urging other private and public funders to do the same.”

Studies show that protected areas are one of the most cost-effective ways to safeguard nature, vulnerable human populations and climate, provided they are well-managed and respect the rights and needs of Indigenous populations and local communities. Research findings indicate that the conservation and effective management and guardianship of at least 30 percent of the planet in the most important places for biodiversity could protect up to 80 percent of plant and animal species, and secure 60 percent of the planet’s carbon stocks and 66 percent of the planet’s clean water.

The Protecting Our Planet Challenge urgently calls for additional private and governmental financial support behind 30 by 30 as the climate crisis is threatening communities and wildlife around the globe; 75 percent of the land and most of the oceans have been transformed by human impact; a million species are threatened by extinction in this century and the recent pandemic that still rages across the world and is linked to wildlife trade has killed more than 4.5 million people.

Deutsch added, “Developing nations are stepping up and committing to 30 percent protected by 2030 with extraordinary leadership and courage. Now developed countries need to come forward with financing to support this. Our $5 billion is a down payment on the planet. We challenge other private funders and especially public agencies—bi-lateral donors like the U.S. and China, and multi-lateral donors like the World Bank—to double their investment and commit now for the future of nature and people.”

Rainforest Trust would like to thank its many partners and sponsors who have stepped up to the challenge, including Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Grove Collaborative, PetFive, One Tribe, Ka’Chava, and One Million Acres.