The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced a $50 million commitment to support conservation groups working to preserve eight biodiversity hotspots threatened by climate change.
Over the next five years, the foundation will fund efforts in the Lower Mekong region of Southeast Asia, the Eastern Himalayas, and Melanesia; Madagascar and the Albertine Rift in Africa; and the Insular Caribbean and southern and northern Andes in Latin America. Grantmaking will focus on consolidating the best science for estimating the vulnerability and resilience of biodiversity to climate change; building capacity among conservationists; developing new technologies that will help monitor climate change and its impact on biodiversity; and scaling up the effectiveness of interventions to restore and protect natural forests and climate-change resilient marine zones.
The commitment builds on MacArthur's long-standing efforts to conserve pristine land- and seascapes and strengthen training and research centers, civil society organizations, and government agencies concerned with the environment. Two years ago, the foundation commissioned a series of studies to better understand how climate change is affecting the biodiversity hotspots it is targeting with these grants.
"The scale and urgency of the climate change problem demands that the international conservation community step up its efforts," said MacArthur Foundation president Jonathan Fanton. "It is clear that for conservation to succeed in the face of climate change there must be shared science, coordinated action, and the capacity for rapid response, backed up with increased financial resources."