The three-year grant will fund ongoing projects to safeguard a wide range of habitats in five South American countries, ranging from a spectacular flooded forest in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, to the world's most biologically diverse national park in Bolivia, to the Caura River, a vast pristine watershed in Venezuela.
"This very generous grant from the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation will galvanize WCS's ongoing efforts to protect some of the most spectacular and biologically rich regions on Earth for generations to come," said WCS President and CEO Dr. Steven Sanderson. "We accept this grant on behalf of species such as pink river dolphins, jaguars, and scarlet macaws, whose ongoing protection becomes our continued responsibility."
The grant will help WCS establish a conservation network throughout the region that will provide support for a variety of conservation activities, as well as fund a student grants program. In addition, the grant will add new conservation sites into WCS's "Living Landscapes" program - an innovative methodology that looks at wildlife impacts in human-dominated areas beyond the protective boundaries of parks and reserves.
Along with sites in Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela, specific regions covered by the grant include Ecuador's Yasuní Region and the Yavari Miri landscape in Peru. Over the next 15 years, WCS plans to expand its programs in these regions to cover some 115,000 square miles, or about five percent of the Amazon Basin. Currently, WCS operates some 350 field conservation projects in 53 countries around the world.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation was established in November 2000,by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and his wife Betty. The Foundation funds outcome-based projects that will measurably improve the quality of life by creating positive outcomes for future generations. Grantmaking is concentrated in initiatives that support the Foundation's principal areas of concern: environmental conservation, science, higher education, and the San Francisco Bay Area.