There is a crucial, global effort underway to protect 30 percent of the earth’s lands, oceans, and waterways by 2030. Aptly named 30x30, this movement intends to stop some of the worst effects of climate change and our loss of biodiversity. President Biden’s administration is leading the U.S. contribution to this work through the America the Beautiful initiative.
Tribal Nations, through their nation-to-nation relationships with the federal government and their deep knowledge of the ecosystems they steward, bring unique tools and resources to the 30x30 movement. In the United States, Tribes oversee approximately 5% of the country’s landmass. The 95 million acres of land managed by the 574 federally recognized Tribal nations encompass some of the continent’s most critically important wildlife habitat, resilient landscapes, and irreplaceable cultural assets. Indigenous Peoples have been deeply connected to these ecosystems since time immemorial and have developed generations of environmental knowledge that has helped them nurture and steward lands and waters.
U.S.-based philanthropic support of conservation efforts led by Tribal Nations has been largely non-existent and has often been approached through a Western lens that disregards the knowledge of Indigenous Peoples. As Indigenous-led conservation and stewardship continues to prove effective and gain recognition as a critical strategy to achieve the goals laid out by 30x30, it is time for that to change. The federal government recognizes this as well and has ramped up funding for Tribally led conservation efforts. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced that it will prioritize 10% of conservation funding to Tribal Nations. Now is the time to capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity and bring public and private funding together to support conservation work led by Tribal Nations.
Native Americans in Philanthropy and Biodiversity Funders Group, in partnership with 15 leading funders, announced the launch of the Tribal Nations Conservation Pledge today at the White House Conservation in Action Summit. To date, funders have committed $102.5 million over the next five years to support Tribal-led conservation work. The pledge calls on foundations and philanthropists to allocate a self-determined percentage or amount of funding to support the biodiversity and conservation efforts of Tribes, inter-Tribal organizations, and Tribal consortia.
The leading funders that have already joined the Pledge and committed to supporting Tribal-led conservation are: The Alaska Conservation Foundation, The Christensen Fund, The Decolonizing Wealth Project, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The Grousemont Foundation, The JM Kaplan Fund, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Resources Legacy Fund, Re:wild, The Walton Family Foundation, The Water Foundation, The Wilburforce Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and The Wyss Foundation. The list will continue to grow as more funders commit to the Pledge.
The Tribal Nations Conservation Pledge demonstrates an important commitment to a new way of thinking about conservation that centers the people who are most impacted by climate and biodiversity crises but also hold the knowledge on how to best steward our lands and water. This Pledge represents a shift in climate funding by recognizing and supporting Native communities who have long been leaders in this work.
Funders can commit to the Tribal Nations Conservation Pledge by designating a self-determined amount of funding, or a percentage of programmatic spending, for Tribally led conservation efforts through grants of their own.
Funders can make a meaningful, monetary contribution to the Tribal Nations Conservation Fund. For more information or to make a larger donation, please contact Amanda Tello (Esselen/Mixtec), Grant Manager – Tribal Nations Initiative at atello@
Erik R Stegman, Chief Executive Officer
The Pledge provides a way for funders to participate in the Collaborative through their charitable giving while doing so within the guidelines of their respective institutions. The Pledge calls on funders to commit to a self-determined amount of funding, or a self-determined percentage of annual programmatic funding, to support the biodiversity and conservation efforts of Tribes, inter-Tribal organizations, and Tribal consortia.
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As the first caretakers of the land in these United States, Indigenous peoples have a special connection to the land, water, and many species that share their world. The Earth is a part of their culture, creation stories, and ways of life. Indigenous peoples have been stewards of the environment since time immemorial, preserving the land, water, and species that have sustained their communities for generations. They have long learned the delicate balance of sustainable practices while living in harmony with the environment.
Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) has launched a Tribal Nations Conservation Pledge & Funding Collaborative (the Collaborative) that calls on the philanthropic sector to make significant investments in biodiversity and conservation projects led by Tribal Nations. With support from Biodiversity Funders Group (BFG) and The Christensen Fund, the Collaborative provides a forum to strategize, share knowledge and educational resources, and participate in a funding mechanism to quickly move capital to Tribal Nations.
2023 Request For Proposals Opens For The America the Beautiful Challenge. Tribes are Encouraged to Apply To Support Their Locally Led Conservation Projects.
NFWF expects to award at least 10% of ATBC grant funding to Tribal and Native Nations and 3% to U.S. territories. Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP),as a part of their partnership with NFWF, will be providing all match for any granted Tribally led projects up to the 10% ATBC funding set aside for Tribal Nation grantees.
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Native Americans in Philanthropy Announce First of its Kind Tribal Nations Conservation Pledge and Fund to Distribute Millions to Native American Tribes for Environmental and Conservation Work in the U.S.
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