Ford Foundation Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide

Sustainable Development

  • LinkedIn
  • Google Plus
  • Creative Commons

We believe that promoting greater access among the poor to natural resources is critical to achieving two interrelated goals: reducing global poverty and sustaining the quality of our environment.

Why It Matters

Many of the world's poorest families rely on natural resources—forests, grasslands and other natural assets—for their basic livelihoods, yet they have limited rights over these resources. Poor rural communities are also particularly susceptible to the threats posed by climate change.

The Focus of Our Work

We support the development of natural resource policies and programs that give poor communities more control over these resources and a stronger voice in decision making on land use and development.

We focus our efforts on poor rural communities, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities and women, in particular.

Our work ensures the international response to climate change respects the unique circumstances of these communities and contributes to their livelihoods.

We also support the promotion of smart environmental policies that increase poor people's access to natural resources while simultaneously addressing climate change.

Grants 2015
Initiative Approved* No. of Grants Avg. Grant*
Total $9,623,380 42 $229,128
Climate Change Responses That Strengthen Rural Communities 2,667 9 296,376
Expanding Community Rights Over Natural Resources 6,956 33 210,788
*US $ In Thousands



Sign Up

Please complete all fields unless marked (optional).

Which of Ford’s Issues interest you? Select all that apply. Please select at least one issue.