Strengthening the Conservation Field

The Environment Program depends upon a robust and effective conservation field to achieve its programmatic objectives. Accordingly, we make grants to strengthen organizations focused on the conservation and management of wildlife habitat.


Below are our approaches to achieving the above objective:

  • Diversifying the conservation field. We seek to support a more diverse, equitable and inclusive conservation field. To that end, we launched the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program in 2013 to support the next generation of diverse, environmental conservation professionals. In 2020, we launched efforts to build a more equitable and inclusive conservation field by supporting communities who identify as Black, Indigenous and people of color in the sector and the diversity, equity and inclusion capacity building of conservation organizations. We have also provided support for convenings for communities who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color, including the PGM One Summit.
  • Increasing public conservation funding. Achieving the protection of wildlife habitat at the necessary scale requires resources beyond what private foundations can provide. Significant public investments in land conservation are also needed. We support the Conservation Finance Initiative, a joint project of the Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy that aims to increase public funding for wildlife habitat conservation in the United States.
  • Building the capacity of the land trust community. Through our land capital grant-making, we rely upon non-profit land trusts to secure interests in land from private landowners to permanently protect high-priority wildlife habitat. As such, we seek to foster and maintain a strong land trust community through our support of the Land Trust Alliance, the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and Terrafirma, RRG, LLC.
  • Building a collaborative landscape conservation community. Achieving conservation at the necessary landscape scale requires broad-based, community-grounded collaboration and thus requires investments in the capacity of collaborative partnerships to succeed. We seek to help build a community of effective and enduring partnerships as a key strategy to address conservation challenges, through our support for the Landscape Conservation Catalyst Fund, a national re-granting program managed by the Network for Landscape Conservation.