- Through science-based research and local community engagement, enable real-world conservation solutions that benefit both people and wildlife.
- In response to animal crisis events, ensure funding, resources and expertise are readily available and dispatched to minimize species loss. Help eliminate human causes of harm and mortality.
- Through awareness campaigns and innovative education, encourage human behaviors and decisions that positively affect wildlife and the natural world.
Issues That Keep Us Up at Night:
In addition to species-specific work we will continue to support, the Fund is focusing more and more of its resources to help tackle a select handful of timely environmental challenges, all of which involve human-wildlife connections and positive, solution-driven actions:
- Healthy Ocean:
- Sustainable Seafood: Over-fishing is negatively impacting the entire balance and
health of our oceans. The Fund is striving to ensure as many people as possible
are aware of this issue and equipped with timely, reliable information on responsible
- Coral Reefs: As one of the greatest storehouses of biological diversity on Earth,
coral reefs not only provide a home to billions of plants and animals, they also
provide food and income to billions of people. These beautiful and vital living
structures are being destroyed at an alarming rate, due to pressures from climate
change, habitat destruction, coastal development, over-fishing and water pollution.
Marine scientists estimate that up to 70 percent of coral reefs could be lost by
- Marine Sanctuaries: Providing safe habitat for species close to extinction, the
protected waters of marine sanctuaries feature rocky reefs, kelp forests, whale
migration corridors, deep-sea canyons and underwater archaeological sites. Natural
classrooms, cherished recreational spots and valuable commercial industries — marine
sanctuaries represent many things to many people. Ranging in size from less than
one square mile to more than 5,300 square miles, each sanctuary is a unique place
needing special protection.
- Ocean Literacy: While most people appreciate our one shared ocean during a day at
the beach, few realize the vital role this vast resource plays in global economics
and food availability. Defined as the understanding of the ocean's influence on
you and your influence on the ocean, "ocean literacy" is about increasing human
knowledge and understanding of the ocean and its connection to people and the places
where they live, work, play and learn.
- Sustainable Seafood: Over-fishing is negatively impacting the entire balance and health of our oceans. The Fund is striving to ensure as many people as possible are aware of this issue and equipped with timely, reliable information on responsible seafood choices.
- Sustainable Forestry: The world's forests are under siege. Serious threats like
illegal logging and development are removing carbon-absorbing trees from the planet
and evicting countless species from their homes. Environmentally appropriate, socially
beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests, however, can
happen. Harvest of timber and non-timber products can be conducted in ways that
maintain a forest's biodiversity, productivity and ecological processes. Strong
incentives to local people to sustain forest resources and adhere to long-term management
plans can be created.
- Illegal Wildlife Trade: Just as it was more than three decades ago, trade in wild
plants and animals remains a serious threat to the survival of species. The trade
in wild plants and animals and their derivatives is big business, estimated to be
worth billions of dollars and involve hundreds of millions of plants and animals
every year. Much of this trade is legal but a significant portion is not. The trade
is diverse, ranging from live animals for the food and pet markets to ornamental
plants and timber. An array of wildlife products and derivatives, such as food,
exotic leather goods, jewelry, musical instruments and even medicines, can be found
in markets around the globe.
- Bushmeat Crisis: "Bushmeat" is a term that applies to all wildlife species used for meat including but not limited to: elephants; gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates; forest antelopes; crocodiles; porcupines; bush pigs; pangolins; monitor lizards. Of primary concern is bushmeat that is illegally and/or unsustainably derived from endangered, threatened or protected wildlife species, often taken by illegal methods (wire snares, unregistered guns) and from unauthorized areas. Though habitat loss is often cited as the primary threat to wildlife, poaching for the meat of wild animals has become the most significant immediate threat to the future of wildlife in Africa and around the world, already resulting in widespread local extinctions in Asia and West Africa. This threat to wildlife is a crisis due to its rapid expansion to countries and species which were previously not at risk, largely due to an increase in commercial logging with an infrastructure of roads and trucks that link forests and poachers to cities and consumers. The bushmeat crisis is a human tragedy as well: the loss of wildlife threatens the livelihoods and food security of indigenous and rural populations most dependent on wildlife as a staple or supplement to their diet, and is increasingly linked to deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS, ebola and foot-and-mouth.