Submitted by Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas
NEW YORK, NY.- October 28, 2008 - At its annual meeting on October 28, the Board of Directors of the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas (MCFA), formerly the Mitsubishi International Corporation Foundation, approved $700,000 in new and continuing grants, including: $100,000, payable over two years, to the Rainforest Alliance; $100,000, payable over two years, to Urban Habitat; $20,000 to EcoLogic Development Fund; $15,000 to the Environmental Grantmakers Association; and $7,000 to International Funders for Indigenous Peoples.
The grant to the Rainforest Alliance will support the development and promotion of best practices for environmentally sustainable tourism in Brazil and Peru. The project, entitled "Conserving Ecosystems through Community Ecotourism," will provide direct technical assistance to enhance the competitiveness of ecotourism enterprises that adhere to best practices, and builds upon MCFA's support in 2005 and 2006 for the Rainforest Alliance's sustainable tourism work in Ecuador, Belize, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. The mission of the Rainforest Alliance, based in New York City, is to protect ecosystems and the people and wildlife that depend on them by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.
"The Rainforest Alliance is an organization with whom we have had a long-standing strategic relationship.They are a leading proponent of market"“based approaches to conservation," explained MCFA Chairman Mr. Ryoichi Ueda. "Sustainable tourism combines support for small-scale enterprise development with environmental conservation, and thus serves as an excellent sustainable development model."
The MCFA grant to Urban Habitat will support the creation of a comprehensive "green" economic development strategy and set of implementation steps for the city of Richmond, California. Working closely with the City of Richmond and a wide array of stakeholders, Urban Habitat will work to ensure that a green economic development strategy is made an integral part of the City's urban development plan. Urban Habitat is based in Oakland, California and its mission is to empower low-income communities and communities of color by combining education, advocacy, research and coalition building to advance environmental, economic and social justice in the Bay Area.
The EcoLogic Development Fund based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, advances conservation of critical natural resources in rural areas of Latin America by promoting sustainable livelihoods and strengthening community participation in natural resource management. MCFA's grant will support the development of a community-based sustainable watershed management system in the Sierra de Guerrero mountain range in southern Mexico. As a strategy for addressing the region's water crisis while also increasing environmentally-friendly economic alternatives, EcoLogic will engage local residents in tree planting, watershed stewardship, and sustainable agriculture activities; thereby reinforcing the foundation for the establishment of a mechanism for Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES).
The Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA), based in New York City, is an association of over 225 foundations that fund the environmental movement in the USA. MCFA's $15,000 grant to the EGA is for general operating support. MCFA has been a member of the EGA since 2003.
International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP), based on a New York-state native reservation, is a funders' affinity group formed to provide a voice for increased, dedicated funding for Indigenous peoples' causes throughout the world. This grant provides support for IFIP's annual conference in 2009, which will bring donors and Indigenous leaders from around the world together to discuss critical issues facing Indigenous communities. MCFA has been a member and supporter of IFIP since 2005.
In addition to the new grants, the MCFA Board authorized the payment of annual installments coming due for multi-year grants totaling more than $2.2 million, including multi-year grants of $1,000,000 to the Wildlife Conservation Society for conservation work in Argentina; $400,000 to O BoticÃ¡rio Foundation for the Oasis Project, a watershed conservation project involving payments for ecosystem services (PES); $300,000 to the Grupo EcÃ³logico Sierra Gorda for environmental education initiatives in the state of Querétaro, Mexico; $250,000 to Forest Trends to develop institutional support for PES in Latin America; $150,000 to Sustainable South Bronx for its Bronx Environmental Stewardship and Training project; and $130,000 to the Wild Salmon Center for Indigenous People participation in a salmon conservation project.
The Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas, based in New York City, was established as the Mitsubishi International Corporation Foundation in 1991 with funding from Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, and its U.S.-based subsidiary, Mitsubishi International Corporation. Since its establishment, the Foundation has dedicated more than $4.5 million to environmental causes throughout the Americas. Contributions for Europe and Africa are made by the Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa, which has given more than $2 million to environmental conservation, education and research since 1993.
For more information about the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas, please visit www.mcfamericas.org; and for more information about the Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa, please visit www.mcfea.org.
The Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas, based in New York City was established 1991 with funding from Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, and its U.S.-based subsidiary, Mitsubishi International Corporation. Since its establishment, the Foundation has contributed over $12 million to environmental causes throughout the Americas. We have funded over 100 projects in more than 15 countries, focusing on four themes: biodiversity conservation, environmental education, environmental justice, and sustainable development.