Photo by Mark Edwards/Still Pictures.
The Worldwatch Institute
The Fund’s support for the Worldwatch Institute began in 1974 with a grant of $500,000. Support for this new organization was one of the first actions under the Fund’s revised Environmental Program, which had extended its goals beyond traditional stewardship and conservation to predicting and ameliorating environmental crises. Worldwatch was founded by agricultural scientist Lester Brown, who had worked previously for the Overseas Development Council. The Fund’s support enabled Brown to recruit staff, publish internationally recognized reports, and develop an in-depth research program. Worldwatch’s signature approach is to use fact-based analyses to predict environmental problems in food, population, resources, and the environment. It then convenes government leadership, private sector enterprise, and citizen action to formulate innovative solutions to intractable problems. Worldwatch remained a cornerstone grantee in the Fund’s environmental program well into the 1980s.