Acquiring High Priority Habitat to Protect Biodiversity
1% for the Planet and RESOLVE have partnered with the Weeden Foundation to create a fund for high priority habitat acquisitions for the purpose of protecting biodiversity. The Quick Response Biodiversity Fund (QRBF) was launched in February 2015. Check out an article about the QRBF in Mongabay. In 2016, QRBF Southeast Asia was launched in cooperation with Croeni Charity.
WHAT is the QRBF?
The QRBF is a rapid response mechanism to secure critical habitat for threatened species. Opportunities to purchase important lands often arise abruptly and require an immediate financial commitment to compete with commercial interests. Local conservation groups (often in partnership with international groups) can apply for this funding and are expected to actively manage the property after purchase. QRBF grants are primarily used for outright land purchases of critical habitat, but the Fund considers proposals that involve land leases or other arrangements that ensure important habitat protection.
WHO makes funding decisions, and HOW?
We have assembled a group of eminent biodiversity experts for the Fund’s Advisory Panel. The panel includes experts on the following regions: North America, Central America, South America, Africa, Indo-Malaya, and Australasia. Currently, over 50 scientists participate on the panel on a voluntary basis. Subsets of relevant panel members (based on field of expertise) review and make decisions on project funding. Eric Dinerstein, Director of the Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions Program at RESOLVE, chairs the Panel.
HOW to make a donation?
Donations to the QRBF are tax deductible (Please check your country specific tax laws for international donors). Donated funds are used for urgent, high-priority species protection projects. Checks can be made out to the Weeden Foundation, noting “Quick Response Biodiversity Fund” for global actions or with add-on “SEA” earmarked for usage in Southeast Asia in the memo and mailed to:
35 Adams Street
Bedford Hills, NY 10507
So far QRBF has funded eight projects. Those are listed (all but the most recent one for the Turtle Conservancy) on the Quick Response Biodiversity Fund tab at http://www.weedenfoundation.org/Quick-Response-Biodiversity-Fund.htm
The eight projects have spanned many areas and a diverse group of animals: Jaguar in Northern Mexico, Santa Marta Parakeets in Colombia, Great Green Macaws and Baird’s Tapir in Panama, El Oro Parakeets and White Fronted Capuchins in Ecuador, Salamanders and Black Tree Frogs in Guatemala, Blue Grass Frogs and Capuchin Monkeys in Ecuador, Gold Ringed Tanagers in Colombia and the Geometric Tortoise in South Africa.
We supported Quick Response Biodiversity Fund through a seed funding grant, with the aim to kick-start critical habitat acquisitions in Asia.
The contribution was leveraged to raise additional funding from other partners and ultimately led to a 1:1 matching grant awarded to Global Conservation who used it to purchase 2,500 hectares of critical habitat land in Indonesia along the northern side of the Suaq-Belimbing River Preserve in the unique Leuser Ecosystem.
Leuser is home to over 380 bird, 95 reptile and amphibian species and at least 105 different mammals, including some of the most iconic megafauna such as the Sumatran orangutan, tiger, elephant and rhino. Leuser is protected on paper, but it faces continuously increasing threats by illegal and commercial interests in palm oil, rubber, logging and mining.
The purchase helped secure the conservation of the Kluet Swamp Reserve and support the integrity of the area leading to the Suaq Orangutan Research Station. It aided in protecting habitat for critically endangered wildlife, preventing encroachment, spreading of plantations and carving out of the tropical forests.