Amazon, the leading e-commerce giant, has unveiled plans to initiate an initial investment of $3 million in nature-based projects within India. This allocation forms part of Amazon’s broader commitment of $15 million for nature-focused initiatives across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.
The first portion of this fund allocated to APAC will be directed toward supporting nature-based projects in India. Amazon’s initial project involves a partnership with the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) aimed at aiding communities and conservation endeavors in the Western Ghats. This region is home to more than 30% of India’s wildlife species, including the world’s largest population of wild Asiatic elephants and tigers.
Amazon will contribute $1 million to assist CWS in establishing the “Wild Carbon” program. This initiative will facilitate the planting and maintenance of one million fruit-bearing, timber, and medicinal trees, benefiting 10,000 farmers.
Kara Hurst, Amazon’s Global VP for Sustainability, highlighted the significance of taking both large-scale and local actions to safeguard the Asia-Pacific region from the adverse effects of climate change and biodiversity loss.
The $15 million allocation for nature-based projects stems from Amazon’s $100 million Right Now Climate Fund, initiated in 2019. This fund supports initiatives that enhance climate resilience and biodiversity while generating social and environmental benefits in communities where Amazon operates.
Krithi Karanth, Executive Director of CWS, emphasized that Amazon’s support enables the creation of a self-sustaining program. Farmers will receive upfront assistance in selecting tree types beneficial for their livelihoods and wildlife, along with technical guidance, agroforestry training, and support for replanting failed saplings.
In 2019, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge, committing to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement. The pledge now boasts over 400 signatories spanning 55 industries and 38 countries, including nine Indian companies.
Amazon is also making significant strides in renewable energy. In 2022, it launched six utility-scale projects in India, set to power its global operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of its original 2030 target. These projects include wind-solar hybrid and solar farms across various Indian states.
Moreover, Amazon India is committed to deploying 10,000 electric vehicles in its delivery fleet by 2025, further demonstrating the company’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.