Biological diversity is the legacy we leave to our descendants and humans are directly to blame for today’s looming threat to biodiversity. All ecosystems on our planet would not function without a high level of biological diversity.
Biodiversity is critical to human health and well-being. Every society and culture on earth rely on the benefits of a diverse natural environment. Economic, social, cultural, and aesthetic values can be derived from biodiversity. Ecosystem services such as pollination, fertile soil for food production, and transformation of wastes and pollutants are key to biodiversity’s economic benefits. Pest control by natural predators, raw materials for industry and treatments are also made available by biodiversity’s environmental resources.
New crops, medicines, and industrial raw materials start with genetic resources. Agriculture relies on ecosystems and species diversity for pollination, pest control, and fertile soil. Natural organisms in ecosystems store CO2, protect humans, for example, from avalanches and floods, prevent erosion, and regulate the climate.
Empowers Africa, a 501(c)(3) public charity in the U.S., is dedicated to preserving biodiversity. In many developing countries, people rely heavily on forests, the ocean, or other habitat resources for their daily lives. To ensure that Africa’s biodiversity and wildlife are protected, Empowers Africa works with some of the leading NGOs on the ground in Africa on a wide variety of critical initiatives protecting biodiversity. For example, Empowers Africa has funded programs such as, species diversity, re-wilding projects, and biodiversity-friendly small business development initiatives.
The organization supports programs that focus on wildlife conservation, land conservation, and human empowerment. Communities near protected conservation and wildlife areas or World Heritage Sites are the primary focus of their funding efforts. They are responsible for providing financial support for initiatives where tourism is a major economic driver, including supporting wildlife protection and land conservation programs.
Empowers Africa supports organizations that are actively engaged in wildlife conservation and ecosystem service provision across the continent. Over 60 organizations in 15 countries have received nearly $9 million in grants from this foundation. In addition, through their fiscal sponsorship program, Empowers Africa is able to collect and grant donations to some of the most effective organizations in Africa that are positively impacting the continent’s biodiversity and our future.