Foundation for Deep Ecology: Grants for Conservation

OVERVIEW: The foundation for Deep Ecology specifically invests biodiversity and wilderness, ecological agriculture, and globalization and megatechnology. The foundation supports activist and progressive conservation projects in South America, publishes books, and supports the “intellectual infrastructure” of the environmental movement.

IP TAKE: The foundation adheres to its Deep Ecology Platform, which seeks deep, immediate, and drastic change in how humans interact with nature. It does not accept unsolicited proposals. 

PROFILE: Since 1990, the Foundation for Deep Ecology has sought to support "education and advocacy on behalf of wild Nature" through publications, grantmaking, and support for campaigns on particular issues affecting the future of nature and people. The philosophy and name of the foundation derives from Norwegian outdoorsman and thinker Arne Ness, who coined the term “deep ecology,” which stands in contrast to the “shallow ecology movement.” Deeply ecology ultimately seeks to challenge humanity’s values and the root causes behind environmental degradation, while the ecology movement is arguably more concentrated short-term, temporary fixes, such as recycling or improving vehicle mileage. 

FDE primarily conducts grantmaking through its Intellectual Infrastructure program, which builds intellectual infrastructure to facilitate the conservation movement. According to the foundation, "[t]his type of idea incubation is a longstanding strategy of the political [R]ight in America, where a host of foundations and think tanks support free-market and libertarian capitalism and a corporatist policy agenda" while on the Left, "such investments have been spotty, and within the environmental movement, there has been very little institutional funding for journals, think tanks, and symposia that could help build a deeper, more effective response to the plunder of the Earth by challenging the fundamental ideas and worldview of the despoilers." As a result, FDE seeks to increase research, marketing, and work to strategize and expand our understand of deepy ecology. 

Grants range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Past grantees include various symposiums and conferences; journals like Wild Earth and Resurgence, as well as the anti-corporate magazine that sparked the Occupy Movement; research organizations like The Land Institute; and it funds a book publishing program which has released works on energy policy, industrial agriculture, mountaintop mining, down to simple appreciation of national parks. However, the publishing program doesn’t  accept unsolicited book proposals. Grantmaking prioritizes South America (Chile and Argentina), but the funder also publishes books on environmentalism, and supports the intellectual strength of the movement through magazines, journals, conferences, and advertising campaigns.

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