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November 2, 2021

Protecting Our Planet Challenge

GLASGOW, Scotland, November 2, 2021 -- As we head into COP26 in Glasgow, growing worldwide consensus affirms the urgent need for transformational change. Much of humanity’s relationship with a living Earth is broken. We need bold action to protect and restore our connections with the diversity and abundance of life and take responsibility for our role in influencing climate and other Earth systems that sustain us.

The Protecting Our Planet Challenge is a $5 billion private funding commitment to support the protection of at least 30% of the planet by 2030. This largest-ever commitment of its kind is aimed at tackling Earth’s convergent climate, biodiversity, and human health crises.

Over the next decade the nine founding organizations of this commitment will support efforts to reach the 30% protection goal through strengthening and expanding protected areas and also by enhancing support for Indigenous guardianship of traditional territory. Prioritizing investment in the customary tenure of Indigenous peoples and their guardianship of territory is a bold shift, yet represents one of the most important, and most overlooked strategies for addressing the existential threats of climate change and biodiversity loss.

We will work together to support projects advancing enduring protection of 30 percent of the planet in the most important places for biodiversity and climate by 2030, building collective efforts behind a more equitable, carbon neutral and nature-positive future. Meeting this goal will require greater ambition, innovation and collaboration among governments, companies, and civil society to secure the mosaic of areas necessary for success. Yet this will only be possible if we also uphold the power and advance the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities as guardians of the irreplaceable places upon which we all depend.

The partners of the Protecting Our Planet Challenge are therefore both encouraged by and enthusiastically support the ground-breaking statement issued at the UNFCCC COP 26 on “Advancing Support for Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Tenure Rights and their Forest Guardianship”. This public-private joint commitment is an important step toward increasing support for the self-determined priorities of Indigenous peoples and local communities, and to securing or strengthening their customary tenure rights, as guardians of some of the world’s most intact and thriving forests.

The $5 billion Protecting Our Planet Challenge represents the combined 10-year investment plans of individual grantmaking organizations working independently to support protected and conserved areas across a diversity of lands and seas in both non-ODA and ODA-eligible countries. We anticipate that the Protecting Our Planet Challenge will invest at least $1 billion by 2030 to support Indigenous peoples and local communities in ODA-eligible countries. This is a conservative estimate as our overall investment in IPLC tenure and guardianship of territory globally will be considerably more.

Considering our global commitment to both Indigenous guardianship of territory and to ethical strengthening and expansion of protected areas, the partners of the Protecting Our Planet Challenge are developing shared guidance on core principles of practice that we will commit to and monitor as we deploy our resources, particularly relative to respectful engagement with Indigenous peoples and local communities.

We believe that by committing to a shared vision and statement, as well as set of shared principles, we will bring greater coherence and impact to our work in the Protecting Our Planet Challenge. We invite other donors to join us in our support to recognizing the critical role of Indigenous peoples and local communities in the protection of nature and a more sustainable future.


Signed by the Protecting Our Planet Challenge founding partners:

  • Arcadia Fund
  • Bezos Earth Fund
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
    Nia Tero
  • Re:wild
  • Rainforest Trust
  • Rob and Melani Walton Foundation
  • Wyss Foundation


Communications Contacts:

Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin: Simon Chaplin, simon.chaplin@arcadiafund.org.uk; Tami Shacham, tami.shacham@arcadiafund.org.uk

Bezos Earth Fund, Angela Landers, angela.landers@gmmb.com

Bloomberg Philanthropies: Daphne Wang; daphne@bloomberg.org; +1-646-771-1473

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation: Genevieve Biggs, genny.biggs@moore.org, +1-415-577-0094

Nia Tero: Tracy Rector, trector@niatero.org, +1-206-915-5171

Rainforest Trust: Vicki Bendure, vicki@bendurepr.com, +1-202-374-9259

Re:wild: Lindsay Renick Mayer, Lrenickmayer@rewild.org, +1-512-686-6225

Rob and Melani Walton Foundation: Nell Callahan, nell@frontwoodstrategies.com, +1-202-262-0721

Wyss Foundation: Greg Zimmerman, greg@wysscampaign.org, 847-848-2881


Founding Partners

Arcadia a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin

Arcadia is a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. It supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment. Arcadia also supports projects that promote open access and all of its awards are granted on the condition that any materials produced are made available for free online.

Bezos Earth Fund

The Bezos Earth Fund is Jeff Bezos's $10 billion commitment to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and other actors that will drive climate and nature solutions. By allocating funds creatively, wisely, and boldly, the Bezos Earth Fund has the potential for transformative influence in this decisive decade. Funds will be fully allocated by 2030—the date by which the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals must be achieved.

Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 810 cities and 170 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.6 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation: Gordon and Betty Moore established the foundation to create positive outcomes for future generations. In pursuit of that vision, we foster path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the San Francisco Bay Area. Our Environmental Conservation Program focuses on safeguarding the healthy ecosystems that sustain us.

Re:wild

Re:wild protects and restores the wild. We have a singular and powerful focus: the wild as the most effective solution to the interconnected climate, biodiversity and human health crises. Founded by a group of renowned conservation scientists together with Leonardo DiCaprio, Re:wild is a force multiplier that brings together Indigenous peoples, local communities, influential leaders, nongovernmental organizations, governments, companies and the public to protect and rewild at the scale and speed we need. Learn more at rewild.org.

Nia Tero

Everywhere Indigenous peoples thrive, their homelands and waters thrive, benefiting all peoples of this warming planet. This reality inspired Nia Tero’s mission of working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples to strengthen guardianship of the Earth. All of our work is alongside Indigenous peoples’ right, capacity, and acceptance of responsibility to sustain thriving natural systems within their collective territories. Our strategies fall into two interwoven pathways: 1) direct partnership with Indigenous peoples securing guardianship of their homelands and waters; and 2) efforts to expand recognition and support for Indigenous guardianship globally.

Rainforest Trust

Rainforest Trust creates and expands protected areas in rainforests and other tropical habitats by channeling private donor support to local partners. Since 1988, our cost-effective conservation model has protected 37 million acres, helping to save species from extinction, protect biodiversity, secure land titles for indigenous people, and prevent the release of carbon that causes climate change.

Rob and Melani Walton Foundation

Rob and Melani Walton Foundation: The mission of the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation is to elevate people, planet, and purpose by changing what people feel is possible and know is doable. The Rob and Melani Walton Foundation seeks partners who focus on the essential and interconnected elements of sustaining life, advancing all forms of knowledge, promoting understanding of healing, and increasing the sustainability of people and our planet.

Wyss Foundation

In 2018 Hansjörg Wyss and the Wyss Foundation met the nature crisis by launching the Wyss Campaign for Nature. Wyss has committed $1.5 billion to the Campaign before the end of this decade, supporting Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and nations in their efforts to protect 30% of the planet by 2030.