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Meridian Institute

Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA)

External Project Site: www.climateandlandusealliance.org/
Related: Agriculture and Food Systems, Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources

Meridian has been instrumental in the design, creation, and operations of the Climate and Land Use Alliance, a multi-foundation collaborative working to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon stocks associated with land use management. The Alliance seeks to achieve these goals in ways that protect the livelihoods and rights of indigenous peoples and poor rural communities and that slow the loss of ecosystem services and biodiversity.

The Climate and Land Use Alliance includes the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the ClimateWorks Foundation. The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation is closely aligned with, but not a formal member of, the Alliance.

The Alliance strategy reflects the following:  

  • The global response to climate change will be unsuccessful without significant reductions in deforestation and forest degradation and without improved agricultural practices.
  • To meaningfully reduce deforestation and enhance the ability of land to store carbon, we have to address the forces that drive agricultural practices and expansion into forested areas, including the growing global demand for food, fuel, and fiber.
  • Success will require that we simultaneously protect the livelihoods and rights of indigenous people and poor rural communities.
From the outset, Meridian has been a close strategic advisor to the foundations in their efforts to design, operationalize, and continuously improve this cutting-edge partnership. Meridian’s role has evolved a great deal over the past several years. When the Alliance was in its design and early operational phases, the Meridian team was instrumental in gathering and synthesizing expert advice on the strategy and designing and managing most aspects of the Alliance’s administration and operations. Meridian played a key guiding role in the successful search for the Alliance’s executive team and staff, communications team, independent evaluation team, and board members who are not affiliated with the partner foundations. As the Alliance matured, Meridian has shifted operational and administrative responsibilities to Alliance staff and others but has continued in its role as strategic advisor. During the Alliance’s 2012 mid-term evaluation, Meridian provided advice and support to the independent evaluators and then facilitated the Alliance team and board through a comprehensive review and planning process to determine how to improve the Alliance based on the mid-term evaluation and other inputs. Since 2009, Meridian has worked with the Alliance team to design and facilitate semi-annual retreats for 30-plus board members, program team members, Alliance staff, and invited experts.

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