Conservation | September 7, 2023

Bezos Earth Fund deploys $22.8 million for locally-led landscape restoration in Africa

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, September 7 — Bezos Earth Fund will deploy $22.8 million to fund the restoration of roughly 1.5 million acres of degraded land in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, Lake Kivu and Rusizi River Basin in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.

Bezos Earth Fund says restoration at this scale can sequester 42 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2050.

The grants will support “African institutions that are at the heart of the continent’s restoration movement and begin the vital work of leveraging philanthropy into private investment,” Bezos Earth Fund’s Andrew Steer said at the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi.

A few dozen countries in Africa, through the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative, or AFR100, have set out to restore almost 250 million acres of degraded land by 2030.

“Locally led and managed restoration efforts are more likely to deliver long-term success and can bring climate and biodiversity benefits along with economic prosperity for communities,” said Wanjira Mathai of the World Resources Institute, a grant recipient.

WRI, in partnership with Realize Impact and One Tree Planted, finances community-based landscape restoration in Africa.

Catalytic capital

Other Bezos grant recipients include Rabo Foundation, the impact fund of Netherlands-based Rabobank, which provides Kenyan farmers with capital and capacity building for agroforestry projects.

Barka Fund, an African accelerator and seed impact fund, provides funding for local restoration enterprises.