The Foundation embraces the protection of biodiversity as its overarching priority.
Frank Weeden, the Foundation’s founder and original benefactor, asked that the resources of the Weeden Foundation be used to address the adverse impact of growing human populations and overuse of natural resources on the biological fabric of the planet. Since his death in 1984, the Foundation has helped preserve more than 6 million acres of biologically important habitat worldwide. We financed the first debt-for-nature swap in Bolivia in 1992, a strategy that is now widely used by international conservation organizations. Program efforts have supported projects in environmentally sensitive regions of the western United States, Alaska, Russia, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, Belize, Namibia, Mexico, and various Caribbean nations. Since the mid-90s, the Foundation has owned and managed a conservation research station in eastern Bolivia, El Refugio Huanchaca.
In 2015, the Foundation co-founded the Quick Response Fund for Nature, which is a rapid response mechanism to enable local organizations to purchase and protect the world’s most important sites for conservation.
In 2019, long-time trustee John (Jack) D. Weeden passed away, bequeathing the majority of his estate to the Foundation, with the stipulation that these funds be used primarily to address the entwined concerns of population growth, overconsumption of natural resources, and the climate crisis. The Davies-Weeden Fund (David Davies was his partner) was established within the Foundation to support these programs.