The Bezos Earth Fund has committed $57 million in food-related grants targeting climate change and biodiversity loss.
Founded in 2020 through a $10 billion grant by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the fund focuses on transforming food systems after countries signed the COP28 “to better integrate food into their climate goals”.
The grant is part of Earth Fund’s $1 billion commitment to mitigating the impact of the food system on climate and nature. The remaining $850 million will be allocated by 2030 to support the implementation of the global agenda on food systems and climate.
Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, said: “We cannot afford for food to be on the sidelines of climate and nature conversations any longer. Food is a victim, problem and solution in the climate and nature crises, and we must raise its profile in the discussion.”
“We applaud countries raising their ambitions, prioritising food in their climate goals and urge them to go bigger and bolder. We need to do things differently to feed a growing global population without degrading the planet, and now is the moment for action.”
The fund has collaborated with over 16 other philanthropies, who signed a new philanthropic statement of action, committed to invest, advocate and partner to address food security and sustainability in alignment with the 2015 Paris Agreement goals, which focus on limiting global warming.
The funding supports various innovations, including the development of low-cost virtual livestock fencing and the promotion of plant-rich diets and alternative proteins.
A sum of $30 million is being allocated towards making livestock more sustainable. This includes investments in a range of innovations together with the Global Methane Hub’s Enteric Methane R+D Accelerator to reduce methane emissions from livestock by up to 30% in the next 10-15 years. Additional grants support the identification and development of low-methane feed, low-methane cattle breeding and the use of a wearable sensor to measure cow methane emissions.
Furthermore, $16.3 million is committed to protecting the Brazilian Amazon by limiting deforestation. The grants are supporting plans in Pará, Brazil, to achieve zero illegal deforestation within the next three years “by creating the world’s largest animal traceability system”. Together with The Nature Conservancy, IMAFLORA, Earth Innovation Institute, Aliança da Terra and other partners, the Earth Fund’s goal is to trace meat, dairy and leather to eliminate deforestation from value chains, promoting forest-positive incentives for cattle farmers and ranchers.
Another $8.3 million is directed towards promoting climate-smart agricultural practices. The Earth Fund, in partnership with the Earth Rover Program, is using seismology to assess the potential of soil to sequester significant amounts of carbon dioxide. Additionally, through the Platform for Agriculture and Climate Transformation, the fund is ensuring that US federal funding to reduce farmland methane emissions reaches farmers and ranchers who adopt climate-friendly agricultural practices.
The Earth Fund is also investing $2.6 million in catalysing food systems transformation. This involves supporting efforts to address food loss and waste in collaboration with the Food and Land Use Coalition, establishing an alliance of countries dedicated to transforming food systems. In addition, by partnering with the non-profit organisation Clim-Eat, the fund “is identifying and nurturing bold technological innovations in food systems and convening key actors to accelerate their development and deployment,” the organisation said in a statement.
Andy Jarvis, director of future of food at the Bezos Earth Fund, added: “At COP28, it’s time to turn pledges and commitments into action and funding for innovative food solutions and food systems transformation. Food isn’t just having a moment in COP28 — it’s the start of real moment-um, and through the grants we are announcing we will deliver that.”
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