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Audubon's largest ever grant will engage communities in conservation

Conservation Fellowships for promising environmental leaders…

The National Audubon Society (BirdLife in the USA) and Toyota have launched TogetherGreen, a five-year programme to fund conservation projects, train environmental leaders, and encourage volunteers to take part in work at Audubon conservation and educational centres and sanctuaries.

The $20 million Toyota grant is the largest Audubon has received in its 103-year history, and the largest so far received by any BirdLife Partner.

TogetherGreen will provide Innovation Grants to fund dozens of on-the-ground projects that will promote partnerships between Audubon’s national network and other environmental and community partners, to help achieve measurable land, water and/or energy conservation results. Grant requirements will broaden project participation and promote innovation by uniting Audubon’s national network with environmental and community partners.The funding will also provide up to 200 Conservation Fellowships for promising environmental leaders, who can serve as role models, expert guides and organisers to engage new audiences in conservation action. Volunteer Days at Audubon Centers and other locations nationwide will provide hands-on opportunities to address environmental problems and take part in restoration activities.

“TogetherGreen is about giving people the knowledge, the support and the opportunities they need to truly make a difference,” said Audubon President John Flicker. “We will engage people of all ages, from every community and all walks of life to help shape a healthier future.”

Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president of Toyota Motor North America, said: “Audubon has a long and successful history of encouraging conservation of our natural ecosystems, and we are proud to develop this initiative with them.” Toyota plans to engage its 36,000 US. employees and invite its business partners to join Audubon and other environmental and community partners as conservation volunteers in TogetherGreen projects.

Dr Mike Rands, BirdLife’s Executive Chairman, welcomed the news of the Toyota grant and added, “BirdLife’s experience has shown that partnerships between businesses and conservation NGOs can bring gains for biodiversity while achieving corporate goals.”

Details of TogetherGreen conservation activities and other work will be found on the http://TogetherGreen.org website, to be launched later this spring.

4th July 2014