The in Warrenton, Virginia, has announced a $50 million matching challenge aimed at protecting the habitat of endangered tropical species.
Announced at the 's World Conservation Congress in Hawaii last week, the seeks to raise a total of $100 million in support of efforts to create protected areas in the tropics for species considered "endangered" or "critically endangered" by IUCN. Protected areas are established and permanently protected through direct land purchase and acquisition, the designation of national parks and other government-protected areas, the conversion of logging concessions, and/or the creation of community conservation areas whose borders are managed and maintained by forest guards. As part of the initiative, the trust will seek to form new strategic alliances with in-country organizations working to prevent the destruction of endangered species' habitats.
Earlier this year, the organization helped secure nearly five million acres of critical protected habitat in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, including the nearly 2.2 million acres in the heart of the Congo Basin that is now , thereby protecting vital habitat for a variety of threatened species, including bonobos, okapis, and forest elephants.
"The challenge is to respond to the urgency of saving the last great wildlife habitats on earth," said Rainforest Trust CEO Paul Salaman. "We need to act now to ensure these areas are protected while they still exist. We are determined to do so through the SAVES Challenge, and we invite all conservationists and philanthropists to join us."