Rainforest Trust at Vint Hill makes a global impact | New
Rainforest Trust, an environmental organization based in Vint Hill, has pledged $ 500 million over the next ten years to protect the planet’s endangered species. The trust joined eight other organizations who pledged a total of $ 5 billion to the cause.
The announcement was made by James Deutsch, CEO of Rainforest Trust, as the group of charities launched the Protecting Our Planet challenge on September 22 in New York City. The funding will help ensure that 30% of the planet is protected in the places most important for biodiversity. Other funders include the Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Wyss Foundation, Arcadia, and the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation.
According to the trust’s website, research shows that managing and tending at least 30% of the planet in places most important for biodiversity could protect up to 80% of the planet’s plant and animal species. .
The Rainforest Trust has been located in Fauquier County since its inception. James Lewis, vice president of conservation, said in an interview that when the trust was established in 1988, its founders considered relocating to Washington, DC, where many other non-governmental organizations have their offices. But instead they decided to settle in Fauquier.
“The organization was formed by people who have a real passion for the environment, and they didn’t want to live in DC; they want to live in a place that has a beautiful environment, where you are closer to nature and where you can connect with what you are trying to do on a daily basis, ”said Lewis.
He said of the trust’s 30 employees, about a third live in Fauquier County.
In its international work, the organization focuses on protecting the places most important to saving species from extinction, but it also works to protect areas important for climate stability and to support indigenous communities. The organization currently supports more than 100 projects, including in Amazonia, Africa, Indonesia, Central America, Madagascar, East Asia and Nepal.
The trust works by funding smaller organizations that work to protect sensitive areas, supporting national parks and refuges, purchasing land to create private protected areas, and working with indigenous communities to help them obtain or secure protect their land rights. It aims to give more than $ 50 million in grants by the end of the year, Lewis said.
“We are really having a global impact,” Lewis said. “And I hope it’s an exciting organization for Fauquier to have based here, to take ownership of it and to appreciate the fact that the Rainforest Trust operates in our county.”