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By Razan Al Mubarak — October 22, 2020
In a hopeful sign that conserving nature will be a global priority in the post-pandemic economic recovery, leaders from over 75 countries pledged to significantly reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 at the United Nations Biodiversity Summit last month.
At the same time, it is critical that we ensure the short-term survival of grassroots conservation organizations that are struggling financially due to the pandemic. It has become increasingly clear that small NGOs cannot protect threatened species if they cannot meet basic needs like salaries and rent.
This is why the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZ Fund), where I serve as Managing Director, is easing restrictions so that organizations can also use the awards to cover emergency operating expenses and other essential overhead costs. While the MBZ Fund has always been dedicated to keeping conservationists in the field, we believe that allowing conservationists to lose their jobs or for their organisations to collapse would be detrimental to fulfilling our long-term mission.
I invite you to read more about the MBZ Fund’s emergency relief initiative, and I would welcome your feedback. My hope is that more foundations and philanthropists join together to help local conservation organizations make it through this challenging time.
Razan Al Mubarak
Candidate for IUCN President
Managing Director of Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund