We're headed into a deep world wide economic depression that will make the 1930's era depression look like a walk in the park. Large foundations, such as the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Packard Foundation, and many others, derive their grant-making power from endowment income.
The meltdown of the financial market means that these endowments have nowhere to run for cover. The crisis has gotten to them and, by consequence, to the organizations they support. Science the week of(7 November 2008) the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has lost over $3.6 billion from January to September alone. The Nature Conservancy, a frequent partner and co-financier of GEF biodiversity projects, has announced a 10% cut in its budget, and began to lay off staff.
Reportedly, their international programs will suffer most. TNC is financially the largest of the international environmental NGOs, and there is no reason to believe that others in its category won’t be experiencing similar challenges. This is bad news for some of GEF initiatives, as international NGOs such as TNC, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, Wildlife Conservation Society, among others, have been providing co-financing and technical resources to many projects. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) published a report in 2006 that documented the plunder of natural resources by human activity and warned that the globe itself could be outstripped in its capacity to support life, rendering the earth extinct in under 50 years. Based on scientific data collected from across the globe, it revealed that more than a third of the natural world has been destroyed by human activity in just over the past three decades. In a soon to be desperate and hungry world, how are we going to preserve our biological diversity as more and more irreplaceable life goes extinct? It is true man must eat or die, but at what cost? In our greed and lust for power, we have made a disaster of biblical proportions that may never heal itself. Alas to make things worse, there will be more wars. As always, deep economic downturns lead to riots, revolutions and brutal warfare. Is it too late now to stop the rain?
Humanity has been a very poor steward of all that's been given, and it is the Great Spirit's creatures who must pay the price.