.General Motors and The Nature ConservancyFOR RELEASE: February 19, 2003
ARLINGTON, VA. - General Motors and The Nature Conservancy today pledged to raise $400,000 in a continuing effort to protect one of the most threatened rainforest areas in the world through the Conservancy's Adopt an Acre® program.
General Motors Issues Challenge Grant With The Nature Conservancy To Save Threatened Brazilian Forests
As part of its ongoing partnership with The Nature Conservancy, GM issued a challenge grant, pledging to match up to $200,000 of every dollar raised by the Conservancy's Adopt an Acre® program for the Atlantic Forest project in Brazil. The Adopt an Acre® program raises funds to protect threatened rainforest areas around the world.
"General Motors was drawn to The Nature Conservancy because of its dedication to preserving a variety of ecosystems," said Elizabeth A. Lowery, GM vice president of environment and energy. "The Adopt an Acre® program makes it possible for us to aid in the protection of a vital area."
Funds raised through the Challenge Grant will be used to purchase an estimated 6,000 acres of mountain terrain in the Atlantic Forest along the eastern coast of Brazil. The region is home to hundreds of endangered animal and plant species that can be found nowhere else on Earth.
"This matching grant from General Motors will allow donors to protect Brazil's threatened forests twice as fast," said Steve McCormick, president of The Nature Conservancy. "These national and international partnerships are critical in preserving the vast biodiversity of the Atlantic Forest and protecting the global environment."
The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the highest conservation priorities on the planet. Once spanning more than 500,000 square miles across Brazil and into neighboring Paraguay and Argentina, the Atlantic Forest has been reduced to less than 7 percent of its original size. The region is home to 55 mammal species - including 17 primates - and 188 bird species that can be found nowhere else in the world. Of Brazil's 202 endangered species, 171 of them depend on the Atlantic Forest to survive.
The mountain terrain to be purchased under the Adopt an Acre® and GM matching grant program will be part of the Atlantic Forest Restoration Project in the state of Parana, in southern Brazil. That 30,000-acre reserve - more than twice the size of Manhattan - was originally created in 2000 with a landmark $10 million investment from GM. A local Brazilian conservation partner owns and manages the reserve with the technical assistance of The Nature Conservancy.
The project will not only ensure the protection of endangered species in the area but also benefit the global atmosphere by capturing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis during forest growth.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, non-profit organization that preserves plants, animals and natural communities representing the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 14.5 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 83.5 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. To learn more about The Nature Conservancy, visit nature.org .
General Motors , the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, designs, builds and markets cars and trucks worldwide, and has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. GM employs about 355,000 people around the world. To learn more about GM's commitment to the environment, go to www.gmability.com.