Foundation grantmaking focuses on four major program areas.
These programs touch upon a number of major issues.
Each grantmaking program also works within clearly stated geographic parameters or regions.
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This grant renewal to INESC will support a coordinated effort to increase accountability and sustainability of public sector and international investments in energy and infrastructure in South America. It will also provide support for coordination of efforts to educate public officials in promoting increased transparency and accountability for investments related to regional integration. INESC is a nongovernmental organization established in 1979 for the promotion and strengthening of representative and participative democracy in Brazil.
Brazilian development finance has fueled a wave of investment in energy and infrastructure in South America that is pressuring sensitive eco-regions, such as the Amazon rainforest. Friends of the Earth-Brazilian Amazonia is a nonprofit environmental organization that was a pioneer in efforts to improve transparency, accountability, and strong environmental and social standards for public investments specifically in energy and infrastructure. The principle focus of this work has been on standards used by the Brazilian Development Bank, currently one of the largest funders of development and regional integration in South America.
The Brazilian Development Bank is the main public financier of one of Brazil’s largest hydroelectric projects, located in the Xingu Basin of the Brazilian Amazon. The project, Belo Monte, is emblematic of large-scale energy development in the region and the focus for monitoring environmental and social impacts of energy and infrastructure investment. This grant increase will support the systemization and publication of geo-referenced mapping and population data on aquatic species in an Atlas of the project’s impacts.
The ways in which the world’s natural resources are used to meet human needs ultimately impacts the economic, environmental and social conditions — indeed, the sustainability — of people, communities and entire countries. Ensuring that resources are used in ways that help to strengthen sustainability for all people is a vital thread in the Mott Foundation’s Environment Program.
Internationally, our grantmaking seeks to improve the social and environmental accountability of those investing in large-scale infrastructure and energy projects in developing countries. This work includes a focus on the investment patterns of emerging economies, particularly of Brazil and China, whose financial institutions are becoming major lenders for developing countries.
Billion dollar hydroelectric dams. Miles of highways. Oil and gas exploration. Such large-scale energy and infrastructure projects in the developing world and in sensitive eco-regions such as the Amazon rainforest often are promoted as bringing modern development to people in need. However, they also frequently present significant environmental risks and social and economic challenges for those living in the projects’ immense shadows.
For nearly three decades, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has supported efforts to ensure that the institutions financing these projects:
One of the areas the Mott Foundation’s Environment program focuses on is on international finance for sustainability. The Foundation’s grants in this area have totaled more than $105 million since 1988.
In a Q&A, Mott Program Officers Traci Romine and Sandra Smithey reflect on that grantmaking and the important changes — and challenges — in the field.
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