Recently completed: Quilanga, Loja, Ecuador; 26,273 acres. Established May 2022
Conservation partners for this location: Andes Amazon Fund, Nature and Culture International, Re:wild
Art into Acres (DBA Art to Acres) is an artist-run, non-profit environmental initiative. Founded by artist Haley Melin in 2017, with an initial donation by Life Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art Agnes Gund, the non-profit supports large-scale land conservation with a focus on climate, Indigenous peoples and beta-diversity. The initiative is stewarding the new, permanent conservation of 28 million acres of tropical and boreal forests with support by artists, galleries and institutions, in colloaboration with matching funds partners. The protection type includes the creation of new National Parks, Regional Parks, Indigenous Reserves and a range of International Union for Conservation of Nature 1a and 1b reserves in the form of land trusts and civil associations. The work of Art to Acres includes project selection, due diligence reviews, funding, matching funds arrangements, quarterly meeting with partners, protected area declaration audits and donor education. Supporters receive the documents, grant audits, maps and photos for the funded projects to further their education and thinking. Legal, administrative and travel costs are funded by the nonprofit advisory board and conservation partners; all donations are restricted to land conservation.
Art to Acres (A2A) serves artists and art institutions interested in supporting internationally recognized permanent old-growth (or original-growth) land conservation projects. Locations are assessed for scale, intactness, below and above-ground carbon significance, biodiversity significance, post-declaration management, connectivity to other conserved areas for migration corridors and community request following a two-year or greater due diligence period. The organization works with a series of national and international partners. Projects have an implementing team of two or more conservation non-profit partners per location -- with all projects led by local leadership and U.S. supporting partners led by Re:wild; the initiative's primary conservation partner. The organization's international conservation efforts include work in North America, Central America, and South America.
The majority of projects are indigenous reserves or national and regional designation projects.
This is pro-active permanent forest conservation supporting indigenous communities declaring the permanent protected area (or governments supporting this depending on land tenure) or supporting National Park declaration -- both grant avenues fund the legal support, biodiversity surveys, land tenure surveys, mapping, signage, formal declaration and a management support endowment. This designation is at the request of the indigenous communities who live on the land. The minority of projects are land-purchase projects. This is at times necessary often for carbon, migration, connectivity and biodiversity reasons in countries where there is competition from pending conversion animal agriculture, monoculture or timber harvest use, wherein, the land is purchased at market cost for conservation and protected in concurrent mechanisms: privately held in local title by a land trust set up for the location, permanent national or regional declaration status, registration in National conserved places (or equivalent), easement held by a local conservation organization, and lastly, the carbon rights of the parcel are recalled and re-endowed to the location, as such the land cannot be sold without that mineral entity. These protection mechanisms, in addition to land ownership, arrive at solid conservation status.