In Central Mexico, the ancient forests of Sierra Gorda are being destroyed. They are home to the big cat, the hummingbird, And there’s a chance to save some of them.
They are full of Pinyon Pines, Junipers, Cedars, Sweetgums, Firs and Oaks – some of them hundreds of years old. They are home to species such as the Monarch Butterfly and the Big-footed Salamander. Jaguars, pumas, bobcats, margays, ocelots and jaguarondi live here.
But the forest is all disappearing, thanks to human activity - agriculture, cattle ranching and man-made fires. Fire has a particularly bad impact – it can take a forest years to recover from a man-made fire.
The World Land Trust is working with local, family run Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda to conserve habitat in Sierra Gorda. In the 10 years they’ve been working together, supporters of the World Land Trust have saved over 10,000 acres of these forests already.
And there’s more. Every acre the World Land Trust has protected has remained under the guardianship of its Keepers of the Wild programme, that is, wildlife rangers hired from the local community. They guard the forests and restore them to their natural state.
So how can you help?
You can get involved by – I’ll be frank – making a donation. I’ve made a donation already and it always makes me feel better and that I’ve had an influence on the world’s forests and been able to do something, rather than sit back and do nothing.
So imagine spending £25. And it goes towards saving ancient forests in Mexico. Isn’t that wild?
Where will your £25 go?
The thing is, the World Land Trust has the chance to buy and protect an area of 578 acres in Sierra Gorda. It needs all our support to ensure this forest can be saved for wildlife.
You can help and get involved by donating to the World Land Trust’s Ancient Forests Appeal.
A £25 donation will enable the Trust’s partner in Sierra Gorda to buy 1,000m² and put it under protection.
A £100 donation will protect one acre.
This is a very easy way to get involved and do something quickly for wildlife. And to feel as though you’ve made a difference.
On World Lion Day (the 10th August), it’s great to announce a really exciting piece of news for wildlife conservation.
There’s a really fantastic opportunity for business to make a difference and have a real impact on wildlife.
Drum roll please for….. The Lion’s Share Fund!
You may have heard of The Lion’s Share. If you haven’t, let me tell you more. It’s an initiative which is aiming to transform the lives of animals around the world by asking advertisers to contribute a percentage of their media spend to conservation and animal welfare projects.
I am really excited by this initiative. The hope is that $100 million a year will be raised within 3 years. The money will be invested in a range of animal conservation and animal welfare programmes, to be implemented by the UN and civil society organisations.
The Lion’s Share is working to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which are aiming to end poverty and project the planet. Goal 14, Life Underwater and Goal 15, Live on Land, involve supporting animals and helping to conserve their key habitat.
The UNDP (that’s the United Nations Development Programme) will host the fund. A joint steering committee will take decisions on priority programmes. Money raised will go into creative, game-changing solutions which focus on achieving real impact for the animals and their habitats.
Ambitious for sure - but if the top 10 advertisers alone were to participate, this would bring in a staggering $47m each year alone!
Partners in the fund will contribute 0.5% of their media spent to the fund for every advert they use which has an animal in it.
And cartoon animals will count as well. So if your company has an ad with a cartoon animal in it, they can participate!
Mars is the first advertising partner. It will sit on the executive and steering committees of The Lion’s Share and encourage other businesses to get involved.
Worldwide advertising network BBDO and leading measurement and data analytics company Nielsen are also involved. BBDO is contributing the benefit of its experience in advertising, whilst Nielsen will ensure that companies are contributing correctly.
The Lion’s Share Fund has a website, and a very helpful FAQ page. This answers a number of questions which spring to mind – how can we be sure the money goes to where it should, for instance. (Nielsen will watch that side of things like a hawk.) And 93% of the funds raised will go to the animals that need it.
Rob Galluzzo, founder of FINCH, initiated the idea with Christopher Nelius, a film director. Galluzzo says that 9 out of 10 of the most popular animals seen in commercials are endangered or threatened and they don’t always get the support they deserve.
FINCH have partnered with Clemenger BBDO to bring this initiative to life.
The fund was launched in Cannes at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, by UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who said quite rightly that it is our responsibility as people to safeguard all life on our planet. Coster-Waldau plays Jamie Lannister in the Games of Thrones.
So how can you help?
Well, if I see an advert with an animal in it, I'm going to let the advertising company know about the The Lion’s Shares Fund. It was only launched recently in June 2018, so they may not know of it yet.
Around the world there are many people who are willing to put their lives on the line in order to protect endangered animals.
Sadly, estimates suggest that over 1,000 rangers have been killed in the line of duty over the past 10 years.
World Ranger Day is a chance for all of us to show our appreciation for the work that wildlife rangers and guardians do and offer our support in whatever way we can.
Act for Wildlife, led by Chester Zoo, can give you a good idea of what a day in the life of a ranger could be like. They have been supporting Big Life’s efforts to preserve the black rhino in the Chyulu Hills, Kenya, for 14 years.
And it’s good to know that there is something you can do to help wildlife and locals in their communities at the same time, and we thought we’d do a roundup of charities and organisations working to help in this way. Sometimes wildlife rangers are called wildlife guardians.
Based in Australia, the Foundation works with ranger groups, ranger associations and conservation partners in over 60 countries. They say it’s estimated that over 1,000 park rangers have been killed n the line of duty over the past 10 years. They are dedicated to providing Rangers worldwide with the assistance they deserve and need. The online community Avaaz.org currently has a campaign running with the Thin Green Line Foundation to raise sufficient funds to sponsor 1,000 rangers a year to deploy the worst poaching hotspots in Africa. 300 rangers with this training virtually stopped elephant poaching in one huge area of Kenya. Please donate if you can and if you can’t donate, please share and spread the word.
The World Land Trust has a Keepers of the Wild initiative. The rangers are working on the front line of conservation, safeguarding some of the world’s most threatened animals and the crucial habitats in which they live. They protect reserves from poaching and logging, and importantly, link to local communities, building trust, helping to change attitudes and find practical solutions to problems. You can support Keepers of the Wild by making a donation.
The Gorilla Organisation has a supporting rangers scheme in the Democratic Republic of Congo and they act as the eyes, ears and voice of the forest. They cut snaes, save injured gorillas, combat the militias running the blood minerals trade, monitor the gorillas’ health and collect vital conservation data every day. Find out more here.
You can support a wildlife ranger station in the rainforests of South East Asia where forest rangers work to protect some of the world’s most endangered animals including Asian elephant, pileated gibbon, Sunda pangolin, Asiatic black bear, Siamese crocodile, giant ibis, and dhole. The biggest threats facing these species is habitat loss and poaching for the illegal wildlife trade. The organisation is based in NY. You can donate on a monthly basis or do a one off. There are a number of different stations to choose from – make your choice here dependign on the animal whose station you want to support e.g. clouded leopard, pangolin, sun bear, Siamese crocodile, Asian elephant,, the gibbon, green peafowl etc.
The charity Tusk give a Wildlife Ranger Award every year to give international recognition to the men and women who face danger every day to protect the wildlife and its ecosystems in Africa.
You can also thank rangers for what they are doing at United for Wildlife and do check out their Ranger TV. United for Wildlife was created by The Royal Foundation and it unites the world’s leading wildlife charities with one common purpose: to create a global movement for change.
And a very big thank you to each and every wildlife ranger working to care for and protect our wildlife and their habitats.
Elephants and other wild animals are being protected in India by protective barricades around open wells in reserve and revenue forest.
This is because the animals were falling into wells.
After a survey of the wells, they were nearly all found to be abandoned and unsafe for wild animals.
Reports suggest there are about 360 such abandoned wells in the reserve and revenue forest.
Rescuing the trapped elephants was an enormous task which took several hours to do, so the Dhenkanal Forest division has taken steps to stop this happening and to prevent elephants and other wild animals from falling into them in the first place.