Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has said he realized just how fragile the Earth was when he looked back down at it from space while committing $1bn to conservation projects around the world.
The money, made through the $10bn Bezos Earth Fund that he formed last year, will go towards the conservation of nature in biodiversity hotspots such as the Congo Basin, the tropical Andes, and the Pacific Ocean. It will help finance a goal to protect 30% of the world’s oceans and land by the end of the decade, a draft target in Paris-style UN agreement on nature being negotiated.
“Nature is our life support system and it’s fragile. I was reminded of this just this July when I went into space with Blue Origin. I’d heard that seeing the Earth from space changes one’s point of view of the world. But I was not prepared for just how much that would be true,” Jeff said.
“Living down here, the world and the atmosphere seem vast and they seem stable. But looking back at Earth from there, the atmosphere seems thin and the world finite. Both beautiful, both fragile” he added
Bezos, one of the world’s richest men, said the money would help expand, manage and monitor protected areas while also putting indigenous and local communities at the heart of efforts to protect biodiversity.
Grants from the $1bn pledge, which were announced during New York Climate Week, will start to be distributed this year and will prioritize regions and countries with a standing commitment to protecting nature. Bezos said the announcement was the first of a three-part nature strategy for his environmental fund that will also cover ecosystem restoration and food system transformation.