New York, February 26, 2024 – An $8 million grant from Arcadia to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) will provide transformative support to some of the world’s most important landscapes and seascapes.

This renewed commitment to WCS underscores the importance of Nature’s Strongholds as the world’s most important places to deliver on biodiversity, people, and climate action. WCS's approach to identifying Nature’s Strongholds is strategically designed around landscapes and seascapes where ecological integrity is high: that is, where nature is strong for people and the planet.

Nature’s Strongholds, which hold healthy, high-integrity ecosystems, contain much of the world’s biodiversity, storing vast amounts of carbon; are more resilient to climate change; provide health benefits locally and globally; and their protection reduces the likelihood of future zoonotic pandemics.

Arcadia is a longtime supporter of conservation efforts around the globe and has been an invaluable partner to WCS since 2019. Through their support to WCS, Arcadia has contributed to the enduring protection of over four million square kilometers of the most biodiverse and threatened landscapes on the planet. This includes helping create more than 20 new protected areas in nine countries; catalyzing the population recoveries of tigers, jaguars, and other threatened wildlife; and ensuring equitable and durable conservation through collaborative initiatives with governments, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities.

The Nature’s Strongholds supported by Arcadia’s grant range from the high biodiversity of the greater Madidi landscape of Bolivia to the Gulf of Guinea Atlantic coastline of Central Africa.

Said Joe Walston, Executive Vice President of WCS Global: “Addressing the urgency of the climate, biodiversity, and zoonotic health crises requires comprehensive and swift action. Arcadia’s commitment to protecting Nature’s Strongholds will allow WCS to do just this as we work to safeguard nature in critical regions around the world.

"Nature’s Strongholds not only contain a disproportionate amount of the world’s biodiversity, but they are measurably important for our climate and hold cultural and livelihood values for millions of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. As such, they must be at the heart of any collective action to move toward planetary stability. We are grateful for Arcadia’s partnership in ensuring the long-term protection of nature for the benefit of people and the planet.”

WCS is the largest site-based conservation organization in the world. WCS works with governments, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities in over 50 countries to support the conservation of over 27 million square kilometers of the highest ecological integrity areas across the globe.


About Arcadia

Arcadia is a charitable foundation that works to protect nature, preserve cultural heritage and promote open access to knowledge. Since 2002 Arcadia has awarded more than $1 billion to organizations around the world.