Submitted by: Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas
Categories: Community Development
Posted: Nov 09, 2005 – 11:00 PM EST
Nov. 09 /CSRwire/ -
Forest Trends is devoted to helping to achieve conservation and the sustainable use of the world's forests through market-based solutions. The proceeds of MICF's grant to Forest Trends will be used to promote the use of payments for ecosystem services (PES) to provide economic incentives for conserving critical biodiversity and ecosystems while also helping to reduce poverty. PES, such as credits for carbon sequestration, and funding provided to local communities for watershed protection and biodiversity conservation, can help finance natural area protection in developing countries, and spark a much needed transition to environmentally sustainable agriculture and forestry practices world-wide. Currently, the institutional foundations for PES remain inadequate and there is a significant lack of information about such payments, especially in impoverished rural communities throughout Latin America. Specifically, this grant will be used to:
1. Create a knowledge center for information on pro-poor markets for water, carbon and biodiversity in Latin America. The information will be posted on the Ecosystem Marketplace (www.ecosystemmarketplace.com), an online clearinghouse of information on ecosystem service markets.
2. Build capacity for stakeholders implementing payments for ecosystem services with poor farming communities in Brazil and Mesoamerica.
3. Develop specific strategies and policies for promoting pro-poor PES in Brazil and Mesoamerica.
The grant to the Rainforest Alliance will fund a project entitled "Conserving Ecosystems through Community Ecotourism," which will be carried out in Ecuador, Belize, Costa Rica and Guatemala under the auspices of the Rainforest Alliance's new Sustainable Tourism Division. This project will develop and promote best practices for environmental sustainability for ecotourism operators, by providing direct technical assistance and working to enhance the competitiveness of ecotourism enterprises that adhere to best practices. The mission of the Rainforest Alliance is to protect ecosystems and the people and wildlife that depend on them by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.
MICF's support of the New York Botanical Garden, dating back to 1994, now totals $300,000, and this year's grant will be used to support educational programs and activities involving the Mitsubishi Wild Wetland Trail, where visitors learn about the ecological significance of wetlands. The grant to the Foundation for Student Communication (FSC) will enable one student to attend FSC's 2005 Business Today International Conference.
In addition to the new grants, the MICF Board authorized the payment of installments coming due for multi-year grants to the Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Bird Conservancy, the Earthwatch Institute and the Japanese American National Museum, which were approved in prior years.
Earlier in 2005, the MICF made a $30,000 grant in response to the Tsunami in Asia to the New York-based micro-enterprise development organization, Trickle Up, which is partnering with a local organization in Sri Lanka to enable hundreds of small-scale entrepreneurs affected by the Tsunami re-start or launch new businesses. Also, in June of 2005, the MICF made another $30,000 grant for its co-sponsorship of the Renewable Energy Leadership Summit at the United Nations World Environment Day in San Francisco, which convened mayors from around the world as part of a week-long event culminating in the signing of the San Francisco Urban Environmental Accords.
The Mitsubishi International Corporation Foundation, based in New York City, was established in 1992 with funding from Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, and its U.S.-based subsidiary, Mitsubishi International Corporation. With a current endowment of over $5 million, the Foundation has contributed more than $2.7 million to organizations supporting environmental causes and civil society in the Americas.
For more information about the Mitsubishi International Corporation Foundation, please visit www.micfoundation.org.
For more information, please contact:
For more from this organization:Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas