Catalyst Fund Purpose

The purpose of the Catalyst Fund is to accelerate the pace and practice of collaborative landscape conservation across the United States. The Fund makes strategic investments in strengthening the collaborative infrastructure and coordination capacity of place-based, community-grounded Landscape Conservation Partnerships—building in landscapes across the country the enduring collaborative capacity that is necessary to achieve bigger, better, and more durable conservation over the long term.

Landscape conservation is an approach that brings people together across geographies, sectors, and cultures to collaborate on conserving our important landscapes and the myriad ecological, cultural, and economic benefits they provide. This highly collaborative practice embraces the complexity of working at scale to connect and protect irreplaceable landscapes—across public and private lands, and from our cities to our wildest places.

The Catalyst Fund emerged from a series of observations:

  • The 21st Century challenges we face—climate change, the biodiversity crisis, accelerating land-use conversion and landscape fragmentation, the environmental justice crisis, and more—are existential and systems-level, and working at the landscape scale is essential for scaling our response to the match the scale of these challenges;
  • Broad, enduring collaboration is essential to achieving lasting conservation success across whole landscapes;
  • Building and sustaining effective collaboration requires dedicated time and resources, and a specific skillset and approach—all of which requires strategic and dedicated investments;
  • Yet funding and capacity-building investments to directly support and advance collaboration are scarce and difficult to acquire.

This is the collaboration disconnect: it has become almost universally understood that successful landscape conservation is predicated on collaboration, and yet little funding is available to landscape conservation initiatives for strengthening their process of collaboration. The Catalyst Fund is designed to address this critical disconnect directly, providing financial and capacity-building support to allow broad-based, enduring Partnerships to strategically invest in their collaborative infrastructure and coordination capacity. These investments are intended to catalyze growth and better position Partnerships to achieve long-term landscape conservation success.