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MBZ Blog

MBZ Fund Announces ELATIA as Winner of Global Indigenous Climate Finance Study Bid

The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund is thrilled to announce that ELATIA (Indigenous Peoples’ Global Partnership on Climate Change, Forests and Sustainable Development) has been selected to conduct the comprehensive Global Data Study on Indigenous Peoples’ Climate Contributions.


The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund is thrilled to announce that ELATIA (Indigenous Peoples’ Global Partnership on Climate Change, Forests and Sustainable Development) has been selected to conduct the comprehensive Global Data Study on Indigenous Peoples’ Climate Contributions.

This study aims to bolster long-term access to climate finance for Indigenous Peoples by meticulously documenting their efforts in climate action across the seven socio-cultural regions.

ELATIA will focus on gathering and analyzing data concerning Indigenous Peoples’ ambition, mitigation strategies, adaptation measures, and resilience-building, along with exploring economic opportunities to enhance financial flows to Indigenous-led organizations. This initiative is aligned with the objectives of the UAE Presidency of COP28 and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, Razan Al Mubarak, which emphasizes the vital role of Indigenous Peoples in climate mitigation and adaptation.

The study also anticipates influencing future dialogues about direct financial access for Indigenous Peoples as we approach COP30. ELATIA, renowned for its dedication to sustainable, self-determined development and the rights of Indigenous Peoples, stands poised to deliver insights that will shape policy and funding strategies worldwide.

To learn more about ELATIA, please click HERE.

Introducing Olivier Langrand: MBZF Advisory Board Member

Hello, my name is Olivier Langrand. As a conservationist driven by both training and passion, I have dedicated my professional life to preserving biodiversity. Currently, I serve as an Advisory Board member for the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund. Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with esteemed organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Conservation International (CI), Island Conservation (IC) and my current role at the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), all in pursuit of making a positive impact on our planet’s natural heritage.


EDITOR   Hello Olivier, thanks for your time, we’re looking forward to getting to
know you.

OLIVIER LANGRAND   Likewise, I’m excited to share my experiences.

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Introducing Dr. Allison Alberts: MBZF Advisory Board Member

Dr. Allison Alberts serves as one of eleven members comprising the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund’s Advisory Board.  In this role, she specialises in evaluating grant proposals concerning lizards, snakes, and crocodilians. With a distinguished career spanning three decades at the San Diego Zoo, her passion for reptile conservation began in graduate school and has remained steadfast. Today, she brings her wealth of experience to identify and support the most promising projects in her field of expertise.



EDITOR                                 Hello Dr Alberts, thank you for talking with us today.

ALLISON ALBERTS            Thank you for having me, it’s my pleasure.

ED           How long have you been part of the Fund, and what drew you to this position?

AA          I was first invited to join the Fund’s Advisory Board in 2018, when I was serving as Chief Conservation and Research Officer at the San Diego Zoo. I was drawn to the Fund’s focus on species conservation, as well as its commitment to supporting early career conservationists working in their home countries to protect and restore endangered species and their habitats. When I spoke with others on the board, several members told me that serving the Fund as an advisor was one of the most fulfilling experiences of their career. I retired from the Zoo in 2020 but am still just as passionate about the Fund as I was when I first started, if not more so! I’ve seen first-hand the difference these awards can make in local communities helping people solve conservation challenges.

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Call for Proposals: Global Data Study on Indigenous Peoples Climate Contributions

Call for Proposals: Global Data Study on Indigenous Peoples Climate Contributions

Deadline for Tender Responses: 15 May 2024

The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund is commissioning a global data study to draw together existing research around Indigenous Peoples climate contributions, across mitigation, adaptation, and resilience across the seven socio-cultural regions. The study will investigate the financing of those contributions, as well as challenges and opportunities for Indigenous Peoples to access finance.

This study will be used to support the objectives of the UAE Presidency of COP28 and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 to push for greater recognition of Indigenous Peoples climate contributions and to provide information on how to better support Indigenous Peoples financially in their nature and climate stewardship. The aim of this project is to demonstrate to interlocutors and the wider global public that Indigenous Peoples play a vital role in climate protection and that financing them is a key to continue relying on their stewardship. The study shall endeavor to outline options to improve Indigenous Peoples access to finance by highlighting barriers and solutions for Indigenous Peoples access to finance.

For more information and to access the tender, click on the below link.



Women in Conservation empowering the youth

Jasmine Sarbo is a student at the German International School Abu Dhabi, with a keen interest in environment, wildlife, and nature. She aims to study in that field after completing her tertiary education and aims to positively impact the environmental crisis and help endangered animals. Jasmine recently did an internship at the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.  It was here where she had the privilege of meeting and interviewing one of the MBZF conservation partners, Sara Lara, Executive Director of Fundación ProAves.


Jasmine Sarbo: I am here with renowned species conservationist, women’s empowerment advocate and the founder of Fundación ProAves and Women for Conservation, Sara Ines Lara.

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Exploring Conservation Pathways: A Meandering Conversation with MBZF Advisory Board Member

Bay Noland-Armstrong, is a student at the University of Georgia focusing on wildlife conservation as well as captain of the Division 1 equestrian team.  She aims to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife sciences and two minors (ecology and in parks, recreation, and tourism management) while additionally achieving her certificate in environmental education. Bay recently did two internships; one at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in conservation education and another as Loon Ranger for the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department.


As a young and upcoming conservationist keen to find her way, Bay caught up with William “Bill” Konstant, an Advisory Board member of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund to learn more about life in conservation.

She met Bill and Blue (Bill’s trusted and loved canine companion) at their favourite spot at Wissahickon Creek in Pennsylvania, to learn more about his book and his work with the Fund.

Bay Noland-Armstrong                

I am here with Bill Konstant. He is a renowned wildlife conservationist and the author of his newly released memoir, Wrestles With Wolves.

Bill Konstant                                     

The subtitle of the book, Saving the World One Species at a Time, is Bay’s contribution to the book.

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Evolution of conservation: A 14-year journey unveiling the transformative impact of technology

In June, 14 years ago, the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund pledged its allegiance to conservation globally by funding 22 projects. One of these projects was for a young man from Egypt looking to protect the Egyptian tortoise. It was very fitting that Basem Motwale Rabia was again granted funding for the same species during the last round of funding in 2023.  We caught up with him to find out how conservation has changed over the past decade.


EDITOR How many grants did you receive from the Fund and when?

BASEM RABIA  After receiving funding from the Mohamed Bin Zayed Foundation in 2009, I have not sought or received any further support. In fact, since my initial application to the MBZ Conservation Fund, I have not requested assistance until recently, when I identified the need for support in undertaking upcoming conservation efforts with the critically endangered Egyptian tortoise species.
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People power healing nature

Some might argue that the conservation movement began before the industrial era in 1662 when John Evelyn presented his work called “Sylva or a discourse on forest trees and the propagation of timber in His Majesty’s dominions” to the Royal Society.  Others would credit John Muir and the Sierra Club for starting the modern movement.  Either way, the need to protect a natural resource, dates back centuries and at the core of every conservation effort are passionate, determined people willing to go the extra mile.

From the early 1920’s, Sheikh Zayed’s thirst for knowledge took him into the desert with Bedouin tribesmen to learn all he could about the way of life of the people and the environment.  Information and skills shared with generations and what would eventually lead to the formation of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.

Over the past 14 years, the MBZ Fund grew its network to include over 10,000 passionate people on the ground from conservationists, biologists, ecologists, field workers and volunteers that aided the more than 2700 projects supported by the Fund.  The common denominator associated with every successful conservation project is a human driving success.

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Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundations’ generous support

Since 2013, the Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation (SWCCF) has generously contributed $314,515 to support cat conservation projects through the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZF).

As a reputable Foundation with an incredible global support structure, we asked Founder and Director, Dr Jim Sanderson, why partnering with the MBZF ticks all the boxes for SWCCF.

“The MBZF application portal is the single most effective global recruiting tool for wild cat conservation projects. As an established conservation agency, the MBZF receives a large number of submissions from all over the world, whether from first-time applicants or experienced conservation practitioners. It’s impossible for a small NGO like SWCCF to reach such an audience. Their application process is straightforward and encourages applicants to reason their projects through from actions to the budget that supports those actions. If an application is rejected, we can easily contact the applicant to encourage an improved proposal for resubmission. Such a capability is rarely within the rules of reviewing proposals.

With an increased number of worthy projects, more applicants deserve funding, but the wild cat budget is limited since the MBZF support ALL species and are not only focused on wild cats. This is another reason why the SWCCF is happy to assist with top-up funding, allowing the MBZF to support more wild cat proposals.

The additional SWCCF funding also caters for continuous project support allowing new applicants to build a long-term relationship with the MBZF. Apart from supporting first time applicants, worthy projects can also apply for follow-on funding with the success of these projects tracked by mid-term and end of project reports. Often, MBZF’s stamp of approval also opens doors for external funding.

Over a decade of working together, we believe to have created the model blueprint and urge other species specialists to follow suit. Conservation success can only be achieved through successful symbiotic partnerships, the MBZF/SWCCF one is testament to that.

Dr Jim Sanderson
Founder and Director

Dugong and Seagrass project: a lasting legacy

The dugong (Dugong dugon) is the only herbivorous marine mammal and closely related to manatees.  They are both distant relatives of the elephant, although the giant land animal is not at all similar in appearance or behavior.

Dr Leela Rajamani has been working on the Malaysia dugong and seagrass conservation project (which is supported by the MBZ Fund) between 2015 to 2018.  We recently caught up with this eco hero to learn more about her conservation journey.

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