For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations

Press Release

USAID is supporting three new efforts in the Amazon region to prioritize environmental conservation, reforestation, and socio-economic development, including the Agency’s largest ever program in Ecuador in support of conservation and Indigenous Peoples. As a result of efforts like these, USAID helps conserve as well as catalyze sustainable conservation and investment in more than 45 million hectares of forests across the Amazon Region, an area larger than California.

In Ecuador, USAID is launching a product led by local partner Fundación Pachamama, who will work with seven Indigenous nationalities in the central and southern Amazon. The initiative will support Indigenous groups and local communities to improve natural resources management and access sustainable economic opportunities, reducing deforestation, forest degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions within their territories – approximately 4.2 million hectares. With an investment of $4.8 million in FY 2020 and FY 2021 funding, this is the agency’s biggest project yet in Ecuador to protect the Amazon rainforest and support Indigenous Peoples as leaders of conservation.

Additionally, USAID welcomes developments and successes from other efforts it has supported in Brazil.

Previously announced in 2019, USAID provided a $15 million grant to the Alliance of Bioversity International and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). USAID, partnering with CIAT and Impact Earth, co-designed the Amazon Biodiversity Fund. The Fund was established to invest in promising companies and projects that promote new approaches for conserving biodiversity, addressing deforestation and climate risks, and creating positive socio-economic outcomes for local communities in the Amazon. CIAT invested $15 million in the Fund, becoming its cornerstone investor and with this capital, the Fund, managed by Impact Earth, has raised $50 million and invested in five businesses to date.

The Amazon Biodiversity Fund will make two new investments in small and medium-size cocoa producing projects that will take up regenerative agroforestry, expanding rainforest cover while growing their businesses.

The first new initiative, “Cacau Amazonia+”, will allocate $3.4 million to support approximately 200 hectares of agroforestry and 600 hectares of ecological restoration. This work will be managed by Rio Terra to benefit 200 small-scale producers across ten municipalities in the Brazilian state of Rondônia. The Fund's second new project provides $3.8 million to the Belterra company to help small and medium-sized producers plant 4,000 hectares of cocoa in the states of Mato Grosso, Pará, and Rondônia.

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