The United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation) announced today a major round of grant making totaling nearly $30 million to support UN efforts around the world. An additional $13 million has been awarded since January 2002, bringing the total to $43 million to-date this year. $3.6 million will support biodiversity conservation and another $1.25 million (to be distributed amongst projects in Brazil, China and India) will fund energy efficiency efforts.
“I am proud to announce this latest round of grants and especially those that will go to preserving Brazil’s natural heritage and help energy efficiency efforts. These grants represent the continuing efforts of the UN Foundation to bring together the UN with governments, NGOs and others who want to solve or prevent the most pressing global problems,” said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation.
First Lady of Brazil, Ruth Cardoso, a UN Foundation Board Member, remarked, “I am particularly satisfied with the approval of the project which will preserve natural heritage sites in Brazil through a partnership between international and Brazilian NGOs, the UN Foundation and the Brazilian government. Not only does biodiversity conservation open up new employment opportunities it also legitimizes the environmental policies already in place.”
World Heritage Program for Brazil
The World Heritage Program for Brazil is a ten year initiative to preserve 38 protected areas throughout the country as well as build local awareness about the importance of biodiversity, and promote ecotourism and other environmentally friendly livelihoods. The five World Heritage areas that will be initially targeted are: Iguacu National Park, the Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves, the Atlantic Forest Southeast Reserve, the Pantanal Conservation Area, and the Jau National Park. A notable feature of this proposal is the Brazilian government investment of nearly $1 million.
Since its creation in 1998 the United Nations Foundation has focused on biodiversity as a major area of grant making. The UN Foundation has partnered with the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Center to support and promote the management and conservation of the world’s most biodiverse areas. 2002 marks the 30th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, which designates World Heritage sites as places of “outstanding universal value … for whose protection it is the duty of the international community as a whole to cooperate.”
Promoting Energy Efficiency Standards: Collaborating Labeling and Appliance Standards (CLASP)
An analysis funded by the United Nations Foundation found that energy efficiency standards and labeling are among the most cost-effective aspects of consumer focused energy conservation policy. Collaborating Labeling and Appliance Standards (CLASP) is an energy efficiency initiative that will be implemented in three countries – Brazil, India and China –to promote energy efficiency through the provision of technical assistance for the planning and implementation of minimum energy performance standards and energy labeling programs for appliances, lighting, and motors.”
We commend the United Nations Foundation’s work in support of the UN and of its goals. In recent years, it has been providing the international community with several examples of how the private sector can help us fight the good fight. The recent iniciatives to provide support to Brazil’s efforts in the area of biodiversity and energy efficiency are praiseworthy news,” said Ambassador Gelson Fonseca Jr. , Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations.
The project will be implemented by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), in partnership with three U.S.-based NGOs – the Alliance to Save Energy, International Institute for Energy Conservation, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The project also enjoys support from the Brazilian government. UNF works with the United Nations, governments, NGOs, and the private sector to develop and implement sustainable, clean energy solutions to address global climate change. Focusing on three major greenhouse gas emitting developing countries, China, India, and Brazil, UN Foundation’s Climate Change/Sustainable Energy Program has three priority areas: market-oriented, community-based renewable energy services; energy efficiency in the industrial, residential and commercial sectors; and promoting the Clean Development Mechanism, a provision of the Kyoto Protocol designed to lower the cost of reducing green house gas emissions.
“The UN Foundation has made the conservation of biodiversity a priority by supporting UNESCO and the World Heritage Center. We are extremely proud of this latest round of grants that will result in the protection of some of the most pristine and biodiverse areas in Brazil,” said Seema Paul, Senior Program Officer for the UN Foundation’s Biodiversity program.
The United Nations Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist R.E. Turner’s historic gift to support UN causes. The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. Through its grantmaking and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.