Long experience has taught Fauna & Flora International (FFI) that our partners around the globe are the ones best placed to tackle the inseparable biodiversity and climate crises. But the people on the front lines are in urgent need of far greater levels of support and investment. It is the effectiveness of grassroots conservation that will ultimately dictate how successful we are in protecting our one home.

With that in mind, we’re delighted that the Bezos Earth Fund has chosen to support the work of FFI and one of our key partners in Central Africa as part of Jeff Bezos’s $10 billion commitment to funding scientists, activists, NGOs and others actors working on climate and nature solutions.

The grants awarded include a number supporting the so-called 30×30 initiative, which aims to ensure that 30% of land and sea is formally protected by 2030. The Congo Basin has been identified as a key region in view of its importance for biodiversity, its carbon stocks and the demonstrable commitment of its governments to addressing the twin climate and nature crises.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the most important countries in the world for forests and biodiversity, harbouring numerous spectacular endemic species including the critically endangered Grauer’s gorilla. FFI has made a long-term commitment to DRC and has already worked there for several decades. Support from the Bezos Earth Fund will enable us to expand our vital work with our in-country partners to secure the future of this resource-rich area of Africa, and help protect the integrity of the wider carbon-rich Congo Basin rainforest.

Crucially, we will be able to broaden our remit in the vast Maiko National Park, a remote and challenging location that is in urgent need of protection, and extend our work with government partners in this neglected and threatened haven of biodiversity.

The future of life on Earth ultimately lies in the hands of grassroots organisations and the communities they represent. It makes total sense – both morally and economically – to support the local initiatives that are making such a crucial contribution to the seismic change we need to see globally. We have high hopes that this grant from the Bezos Earth Fund could be a game-changer for our community-led conservation efforts in DRC.