The Conservation Fund is an American environmental non-profit with a dual charter to pursue environmental preservation and economic development. Since its founding in 1985, the organization has protected more than 7 million acres of land and water in all 50 states, including parks, historic battlefields, and wild areas. The Fund works with community and government leaders, businesses, landowners, conservation nonprofits and other partners to create innovative solutions that integrate economic and environmental objectives. The Fund also works with communities to strategically plan development and green space and offer training in conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources.The Conservation Fund was founded in 1985 by Pat Noonan, former head of the Nature Conservancy. The current CEO is Larry Selzer. About 140 full-time staff work in the Fund's headquarters, located in Arlington, Virginia and in offices in several states across the U.S. including California, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Texas and Wyoming. Wikipedia.
News Article | May 8, 2017
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Atlantis, Paradise Island Bahamas announces a first-of-its-kind shared mission coalition to nurture the Bahamian creative and entrepreneurial community. The resort has partnered with shared mission creative agency, enso, to develop an impact platform for the people and culture of The Bahamas. Kicking off a commitment to storytelling, preserving the oral and visual history of the country and creating a platform for Bahamian makers to share their works with the world, “Come to Life”, is the shared mission storytelling platform and the first dispatch of the cultural movement, launches today. “The world has changed since Atlantis first opened. Businesses must now partner with their communities to achieve shared sustainable success,” notes Howard C. Karawan, President and Managing Director of Atlantis. “We needed to bring the soul and richness of our location and our people to the forefront. It already existed at Atlantis - in our connection to the ocean, the marine life and most importantly, embedded in each of our 7,500 associates. The stories were here, waiting to be told. We always knew Atlantis was in The Bahamas, but what we forgot is that The Bahamas is in Atlantis. By encouraging our team to share their stories and let their personalities shine, we have seen inspirational moments between the Bahamian spirit and our guests. In doing so we are imbuing our people, and Bahamians in general, with a sense of pride and empowerment.” “Come to Life” is a visual journey that provides an intimate peek into the spirit of the Bahamas through the soul of 15 Bahamian artists, musicians and designers. The initial creative component is a :60 second, anthemic cinematic expression film featuring a voiceover by Jeffrey Poitier, a native Bahamian actor, film director and nephew of legendary Bahamian icon Sidney Poitier. The longer form film will be released later this month. As a mission-based creative agency, enso believes the future of marketing is people and brands with shared values working together to drive business success with positive impact. “enso’s mission is impact as scale,” said Kirk Souder, Co-Founder of enso. “And from my first talks with Howard Karawan over seven months ago about the potential for Atlantis to be a positive impact platform for the people of the Bahamas, we knew this was the opportunity of a lifetime. We’re honored to help bring this vision to life and keep growing it from there.” Atlantis is turning its own marketing into a storytelling opportunity to celebrate Bahamian #artists and groups – from #photographers to #musicians and artists – who represent the talented community of their native land. The movement focuses on co-creation with these artisans, in order to provide them with a platform for global recognition and success. These include: T!CA HOL!DAY, a 23-year old soulful R&B singer songwriter who originates from Andros Island, Bahamas; Bahamian visual artists and painters Piaget Moss, Pam Burnside, Allan Wallace and Steffon Grant, who explore ideas of personal identity and human emotion; Antonius Roberts, one of The Bahamas’ most prominent artists and sculptors; photographer and artist Dede Brown; photographer Farreno Ferguson; creator Cherell Williamson; models Latesia Smith, Sacha Kalis and Jessica Thompson; Atlantis employees Ordain Moss (Human Resources) and Ryan Dean (Dolphin Cay Behaviorist); and the music of the Roots Junkanoo Group and Bahamian Voices. “The cultural and ecological gems within The Bahamas and at Atlantis have long been hidden from the world,” according to Lauren Snyder, Chief Marketing Officer for Atlantis, Paradise Island. “Marketing is a craft and on this project we explored the concept of authenticity. It was most important to simply let the story unfold, evolve and live. This film and the accompanying images are a platform to nurture a Bahamian renaissance. The sounds. The smiles. The voices. The land and the sea. All speak to life and the magnificence of the experience here.” She added, “Atlantis has long been the home of many magical voices, stories and memories. Through this shared mission creative studio, comprised of so many talented visionaries, we have simply turned the camera around.” At the helm of the film production, Director - Variable x Per-Hampus Stalhandske, music producer - Sam Spiegel, and Creative Stylist Director - Ron Hansford tapped local and intriguing personalities to feature their inspiring stories. The film will immerse audiences into the fascinating Bahamian culture filled with vivid and inviting cinematography that taps into local creativity and a soulful spirit. “When I first heard about this project, I had no idea either about Atlantis or The Bahamas,” said Per-Hampus Stalhandske. “I knew it was white sand and blue water but that was about it. I was really excited when I started digging into it and learning more about Atlantis and learning more about the country and then coming here – it kind of changed everything – when you get to meet all these people, see all the places and really dive into the culture. It was very eye opening, it really changed my perspective. This was the project I have been waiting all my life to create.” The music in the film, produced by Sam Spiegel, showcases local musicians from the Roots Junkanoo Group and Bahamian Voices. The Roots Junkanoo Group was born more than 25 years ago out of the collective vision of a group of young Junkanoo visionaries. Their goal was to have a true voice in the leadership and direction of the group as well as nurturing Junkanoo talent. Bahamian Voices was formed to preserve the musical heritage of The Bahamas and display their love for their country through song and dance. The local group is comprised of male and female vocalists who are alumni of The Bahamas National Youth Choir. “This music quickly became a whole track that I’m getting ready to release for the summer,” said Sam Spiegel. “It is really a tribute to The Bahamas and a tribute to Junkanoo music. I explore a culture through its music. When I discovered this unique genre of music (Junkanoo), I quickly found out it is very rich in tradition and culture. Right when we first started writing, I wanted to honor and celebrate the people and culture of The Bahamas and was inspired by T!CA as a Bahamian woman. I wanted to draw on her love for her country and Junkanoo as it is really about coming together. The song is a love letter to The Bahamas.” “I worked at Atlantis a few years ago and to actually come back and be the voice of this movement is amazing – to see how you can go from being someone in the background to being in front of something so magical is something I never imagined,” said T!CA HOL!DAY. “There have never been ‘Bahamian Creatives’ - where their people support and make a conscious effort to actually listen to the work. This opportunity is good for me not only as a Bahamian, but as a Bahamian Woman, to show other woman all over this country that we are being acknowledged.” The creative studio was co-designed by Atlantis and enso to align several content collaborators toward the new shared mission established by Atlantis – from the artisans and music to the behind-the-scenes footage and new brand architecture. The shared mission creative studio includes Magpie Studio, a design studio in London, Horizon Media in New York, Overabove, an editorial marketing agency in Connecticut and Rokkan in New York, an integrated agency helping to redesign atlantisbahamas.com. Other partners in furthering the mission include ABC-TV, key market ABC Owned & Affiliate TV Stations, and iHeartMedia. More partners will be announced throughout the year. Protecting and restoring the surrounding ecology is a critical goal of the “Come to Life” mission. The Disney Conservation Fund (DCF), a program of ABC’s parent company Disney, has been supporting conservation programs in more than 115 countries over the past two decades, including efforts to reverse the decline of wildlife such as sea turtles, sharks and coral reefs. Atlantis’ non-profit organization, Atlantis Blue Project Foundation’s (ABPF), also works to support environmental organizations helping to ensure a future for marine life in The Bahamas. Both programs share a commitment to protecting and restoring coral reefs around The Bahamas, advancing conservation efforts for marine animals and their habitats, and engaging communities to take action for the ocean. It is a natural connection for ABC and Atlantis to work together to use storytelling to engage and inspire audiences. “We’re looking forward to taking our ABC viewers on an immersive journey, sharing these stories across Good Morning America and our ABC Owned TV Stations, inspiring others to experience these amazing natural wonders like never before”, said Jeremiah Tachna, Senior Vice-President, ABC Full Circle. Alongside ABC, iHeartMedia and Horizon Media have committed their own platforms and efforts to give the film and messages the greatest spotlight. iHeartMedia will exclusively power music and sound that will be heard onsite throughout Atlantis and will also launch a dedicated channel, “Atlantis Radio,” available nationally on iHeartRadio. The channel will feature artists from around The Bahamas as well as the sounds captured from the ocean, the marine life and the marine biologists who make up the on island team. The curated music experience at the property will be driven through iHeartMedia’s expert audio programmers, who will capture the mood, time of day and energy of the experience at Atlantis. “We are excited to weave the power of sound throughout the Atlantis experience, to inspire travelers on air and on-site,” said Gayle Troberman, Chief Marketing Officer of iHeartMedia. “This is a first for both iHeartMedia and Atlantis and together we will co-create the musical moments that help to make vacation memories – from the best digital beats, to the most mind-blowing live performances. Atlantis vacationers will be able to enjoy these one-of-a-kind music experiences that bring together the power of radio with the magic of the Bahamian culture to move you from one amazing moment to the next.” iHeartMedia and Atlantis have also developed a national, multiplatform, 360-degree sound experience which will be brought to life to millions of listeners across the United States through top, on-air, nationally-syndicated personalities Ryan Seacrest and Elvis Duran. For imagery, high resolution video, and more information on “Come to Life,” visit www.cometolifeatlantis.com. #cometolifeatlantis Atlantis, Paradise Island is a lush, oceanside resort located on Paradise Island in The Bahamas. A dynamic destination that launched 20 years ago as a first-of-its-kind modern marvel of nature and engineering, Atlantis has embarked on a new chapter tied to a meaningful connection with the ocean, Bahamian culture and the spirit of the property’s over 7,500 employees. The resort’s new, immersive programming connects guests to the rich history, art, people, food and festivities of The Bahamas. Atlantis features five distinct properties in which to stay, from the iconic Royal Towers to the original Beach and Coral Towers to the newly built luxury properties, The Cove and The Reef. The Coral Towers will reopen in July, 2017 as a fully redesigned family escape with a new lobby, new rooms, new dedicated pool and new amenities. The resort is built around Aquaventure, an innovative, 141-acre waterscape of thrilling slides and river rides, pools and white sand beaches. Home to the largest open-air marine habitat in the world, over 50,000 marine animals from 250 species make their home in the ocean fed environments. From unparalleled meeting and convention space to the luxury Atlantis Marina accommodating yachts up to 220 feet in length overlooking Marina Village, a Bahamian marketplace, the Atlantis experiences are endless. Other resort amenities include the 30,000sf tranquil Mandara Spa, Atlantis Kids Adventures (AKA) for children ages 3-12 and CRUSH, a cutting-edge teen club. The resort’s award-winning 18-hole Tom Weiskopf designed golf course, renowned Atlantis Casino and duty free shopping are complemented by the property's 40 restaurants and lounges with celebrity chef culinary masterpieces including Nobu, by Nobu Matsuhisa; Olives, by Todd English and Casa D’Angelo by Chef Angelo Elia. Dolphin Cay, the resort’s 14-acre marine mammal habitat, is a state-of-the-art education center and animal-rescue rehabilitation hospital whose first residents were 16 rescue dolphins from Hurricane Katrina. Visitors to Dolphin Cay can participate in creative, non-disruptive “interactions” that build real awareness, stir emotion and help fund the resort’s conservation efforts. Through these guest participations and those offered through Atlantis Marine Adventures, over $5 million dollars has been generated to support environmental conservation via the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation (ABPF), a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization. For reservations, visit www.AtlantisBahamas.com. call your travel agent or 800-ATLANTIS. Follow Atlantis on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Atlantis, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AtlantisResort, and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/AtlantisResort. Enso is a mission-driven creative company. We build mission-driven brands and shared missions that create positive impact at scale. Based in Los Angeles, our client partners include Google, Atlantis, Omidyar Network, Everytable, Khan Academy, and The Nature Conservancy. Through our Shared Mission network, enso has built a new model for collaborative action and cross-sector solutions. More information at enso.co and sharedmission.co. With over a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the U.S. and over 85 million social followers, iHeartMedia has the largest national reach of any radio or television outlet in America. As the leader in multiplatform connections, it also serves over 150 local markets through 858 owned radio stations, and the company’s radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM, HD digital radio, satellite radio, on the Internet at iHeartRadio.com and on the company’s radio station websites, on the iHeartRadio mobile app, in enhanced auto dashes, on tablets, wearables and smartphones, and on gaming consoles. iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s digital radio platform, is the fastest growing digital audio service in the U.S. and offers users thousands of live radio stations, personalized custom artist stations created by just one song or seed artist and the top podcasts and personalities. With over a billion downloads, iHeartRadio reached 100 million registered users faster than any other radio or digital music service. iHeartMedia’s platforms include radio broadcasting, online, mobile, digital and social media, podcasts, personalities and influencers, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (OTCBB: IHRT). Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information. Rokkan, a partner for brave change, takes its name from the Japanese word for “the sixth sense,” bringing intuition to research and strategy to help brands create data-driven and highly creative storytelling, social engagement, customer experience and e-commerce. Founded in 2000, Rokkan has grown from a three-person startup into an innovation outlier within the Publicis Groupe. With offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Singapore, Rokkan leverages a unique and nimble approach that blends strategy, storytelling, and technology for outstanding results. Clients include American Express, Cadillac, Hallmark, JetBlue Airways, Purina Nestle, Samsung and Veuve Clicquot. For more information visit www.rokkan.com, or follow us at @Rokkan, on FB and Instagram. As a brand consultancy, we believe that creative thinking can elevate a business on both a commercial and emotional level. We pride ourselves on delivering bright ideas that catch the eye, connect with an audience and make a message unforgettable. Ours is simple approach: Listen to our clients; understand their audience; solve their problems. We understand the world of new media and how to make traditional media work smarter—and harder. That’s how we help clients rise above the growing clutter and noise of thousands of messages and brands clamoring to get into people’s heads. We built Overabove for the way people consume information today. Horizon Media is the largest privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has a second full-service office in Los Angeles. The agency is consistently recognized as an incredible workplace, and has been named to Fortune’s 2016 Best Workplaces in Advertising & Marketing list; appeared on Fortune’s 100 Top Places to Work for Women list in 2016; recognized as Crain’s Best Places to work in New York City list for four consecutive years; honored on Los Angeles Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in Los Angeles list in 2015 and 2016; and received Advertising Age’s 50 Best Places to Work in Advertising & Media designation in 2015, 2012, and 2011. The agency is honored year on year with awards recognizing agency invention and innovation and its client work is feted across industry award shows such as The Effie Awards, Clios and Cannes Lions. Founder, CEO, and President, Bill Koenigsberg, was named 4As Chair of the Board in 2014 and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100-year history of the 4As. Koenigsberg was been honored with additional industry accolades and appeared on Variety’s renowned Gotham 60 List; was featured as AdAge’s Industry Executive of the Year; and honored with Cynopsis’ prestigious "Champion Award.” Bill is also the only person to receive Advertising Age’s Media Maven Award twice. The company’s mission is “To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere.” By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of over $7.5 billion and over 2,000 employees (#Horizonation), and clients that include Burger King, GEICO, LG Electronics USA, and A+E Networks. Pam Burnside, Artist and Art Advocate, wife of the late Jackson Burnside Owner of Doongalik Studios Art Gallery, co-founder of Creative Nassau Bonfire guest and Shared Mission Advisor T!CA HOL!DAY, Musician (About) Artist on music track and Dancer in straw outfit Ordain Moss, Singer/Songwriter and Atlantis Employee (About) Model on leaves at Queen’s staircase Cherell Williamson, Creator, Miss Universe Bahamas 2016 (About) Woman in front of Gold Medallion and in Dig Talent used but not pictured in the :60 Bahamian Voices Founded in 2016, Bahamian Voices is group of young males and female Bahamian vocalists ages 20-25 years old who are alumni of The Bahamas National Youth Choir.
News Article | May 8, 2017
"Today the stakes for the future of our planet and human well-being could not be higher, but I have great faith in passing the torch to a world class leadership team," said Seligmann on behalf of CI's Board. "Creating a healthier, more prosperous planet is an urgent task, and requires a diverse team. Sanjayan is a field-tested conservation leader with a remarkable ability to bring people together and inspire action. I have enormous confidence in his vision and his wisdom." Seligmann continued, "Jennifer Morris and Sebastian Troëng are gifted leaders. Jennifer is a first-rate expert in both conservation finance and conservation delivery and has guided our operations and field programs for close to two decades. Sebastian began in our marine program, led the Moore Center for Oceans and Science and now leads CI's Americas Division. These are exceptional people and I am grateful that they are taking on expanded roles at CI. This organization has been my life's work and I'm honored to be able to continue in my role as chairman of the board and to support its bright future." "It is both a privilege and deeply humbling to step into the role of chief executive officer," said Sanjayan. "Peter Seligmann's founding vision, that people need nature to thrive, created a global movement that has helped change the trajectory of our planet. I'm honored to partner with Jennifer Morris, our new president, Sebastian Troëng, our new executive vice president, and all of CI's talented staff on the journey ahead." "The board is delighted in this new leadership team, which already has a strong track record of creating solutions to some of today's most pressing global challenges," said Rob Walton, chairman of Conservation International's executive committee. "Each one of these leaders are well-positioned to continue Conservation International's legacy of delivering on its mission to protect nature for our benefit today and the benefit of generations to come." "Today's announcement is the result of a very thoughtful and thorough process and we are delighted with the results," said Orin Smith, the retired president and CEO of Starbucks and a CI board member who served on the selection committee. "These are incredibly talented individuals who will, together, continue CI's legacy of designing and executing the kind of innovative and science-based solutions that deliver results for people across the world." Sanjayan joined CI in 2014 as executive vice president and senior scientist and has led several divisions including Oceans, Science, Development, Brand and Communications and Strategic Priorities. Some of his most high profile work includes pioneering CI's use of virtual reality filmmaking to raise awareness of global conservation issues. He holds a master's degree from University of Oregon, a doctorate from University of California, Santa Cruz, and his scientific work has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals including Science, Nature and Conservation Biology. Sanjayan is a visiting researcher at UCLA and distinguished professor of practice at Arizona State University. Raised in South Asia and Africa, Sanjayan's unique background has attracted widespread media coverage. In 2008, he was profiled in Time magazine (Changing the White Face of the Green Movement.) Profiles in Outside magazine and Afar magazine followed, and his expertise has received coverage from outlets such as Vanity Fair, Men's Journal and The New York Times, among others. Sanjayan is also a leading science communicator, hosting and cohosting a range of documentaries for PBS, BBC and Discovery including the PBS and BBC live television event Big Blue Live and hosting the PBS series Earth - A New Wild. He is the host of the University of California and Vox Media's new Climate Lab series and served as a correspondent for Years of Living Dangerously, Showtime's Emmy-winning series on climate change. Morris, a 20-year veteran of CI and a pioneer in the long-term financing of protected areas, will serve as president. Her extensive field work includes Asia, Africa and Latin America. Morris joined CI fresh out of graduate school and rose through the ranks to lead some of CI's most lasting and influential investment and business engagement initiatives, including CI's Center for Environmental Leadership in Business and the Global Conservation Fund, which has helped protect nearly 200 million acres worldwide and brought millions of dollars to conservation and communities around the world. She is one of the conservation movement's youngest and most prominent female executives and, since 2014, has served as CI's chief operating officer. Morris holds a bachelor's in political science from Emory University and a master's in international affairs with a business development and micro-finance focus from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Troëng brings over eight years as member of CI's senior leadership team, working across the globe on some of the organization's most high-profile initiatives, including the development of its Ocean Health Index, the first assessment tool that scientifically measures all elements of global ocean health. Proficient in six languages, Troëng is a prolific writer, fundraiser and science communicator specializing in the role of nature in supporting both sustainable development and ensuring human well-being worldwide. His research has been published extensively in leading peer-reviewed journals and in 2010 he was recognized as a "40 Under 40" leader in international development. Troëng joined CI in 2006 as a director of regional marine strategies and went on to lead CI's Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans and, later, CI's Americas Field Division. He holds a master's degree in marine environmental protection from the University of Wales and a Doctoral degree in animal zoology from Lund University, Sweden. Seligmann, along with Spencer Beebe, founded CI in 1987 with the that vision conservation must prioritize the economic well-being of local and indigenous communities, and that environmentalism must move from corporate philanthropy to the corporate bottom line. "We did not want to create something new, but we did because we had a fundamentally different view of how to achieve conservation in the world," writes Seligmann in a post published today on CI's blog, Human Nature. Seligmann and CI's former president, Dr. Russell Mittermeier, pioneered new tactics including the first debt-for-nature swap, "biodiversity hot-spot" conservation, shade-grown coffee – all while convincing major corporations like Walmart, HP, Starbucks, Alcoa, HP and others that preserving nature was in their "enlightened self-interest." "Our mantra became 'head in the sky, feet in the mud' and it still is," said Seligmann. "Today we are one of the biggest conservation organizations in the world, but we will always be, in spirit, a start-up." Conservation International (CI) uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, CI works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about CI and its groundbreaking "Nature Is Speaking" campaign, and follow CI's work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/conservation-international-names-m-sanjayan-chief-executive-officer-jennifer-morris-named-president-sebastian-troeng-named-executive-vice-president-300453207.html
News Article | May 1, 2017
The Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization working to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America, will champion nonpartisan discussions on Capitol Hill this week during its annual Advocacy Days. The 109 meetings that 110 land trust professionals from 40 states have scheduled with lawmakers and staff come at a time when many voters feel political division is the most important problem facing the country today (source: Quinnipiac University survey of 1,171 voters nationwide, March 30-April 3). To help Republicans and Democrats focus on known common ground, the Alliance is fostering nonpartisan discussions on – and advocating for – land conservation. “I believe that land, land conservation and land trusts play an important role in helping bridge our political divide and build a consensus around the need for a healthy, vibrant environment,” said Andrew Bowman, the Alliance’s president. “I fully realize there are true differences in people’s deeply held political beliefs. Nevertheless, I challenge all of us to examine how we can use land conservation to help unite our nation.” Land Trust Alliance Advocacy Days, which runs May 1-3, will build support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the reauthorization of the Farm Bill and other public policies related to land conservation. Scheduled speakers include U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke and Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Additional elected and appointed officials have been invited to address the land trust professionals attending Advocacy Days. For more information about Advocacy Days, including a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.landtrustalliance.org/issues-action/tools-tips/advocacy-days. Media interested in joining any activities should contact Joshua Lynsen, the Alliance’s media relations manager, at jlynsen(at)lta(dot)org or 202-800-2239. Interviews with Alliance principals and certain event participants can be arranged by request. Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than 200,000 volunteers and 4.6 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at http://www.landtrustalliance.org.
News Article | April 17, 2017
Flying foxes are in deep trouble. Almost half the species of this type of fruit bat are now threatened with extinction. The bats face a variety of threats, including deforestation and invasive species, but the main one is hunting by humans, says Christian Vincenot, an ecological modeller at Kyoto University in Japan, who highlights their plight in a perspective article in Science this week. The bats are hunted for food, for their supposed medicinal properties and for sport. They are also killed by farmers to protect fruit crops. Around half of the 90,000 bats on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius have been killed in a government-sponsored cull in the past two years alone. The threats are particularly severe for those species that live on islands scattered across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, which is most of them – 53 of the 65 species of flying fox are island-dwellers. “Islands exacerbate all these issues, because there are fewer places for the animals to hide,” says Vincenot. But it is also islands that have the most to lose if the bats are wiped out. On many islands, fruit bats are the only pollinators and seed dispersers, especially for fruits with large seeds, says Vincenot. If the bats are lost, it could have a cascading effect throughout the ecosystem and the economy. For example, the durian fruit, a multi-million dollar crop, is pollinated almost exclusively by fruit bats. “The bats are a keystone species,” says Scott Heinrichs, founder of the Chicago-based Flying Fox Conservation Fund. “When you take them out, the ecosystem will eventually collapse.” Vincenot is calling for island nations to recognise the importance of the bats, and provide them with legal protection – and properly enforce the laws that already exist – to save the bats from extinction. Heinrichs says that recovery is possible. The flying foxes on Pemba Island in the Indian Ocean were reduced to just a few individuals in the 1980s, but the population recovered to more than 20,000 over the course of 20 years of conservation efforts. But it won’t be easy. “There aren’t a lot of people out there who want to conserve them,” says Heinrichs. Read more: Speedy bat flies at 160km/h, smashing bird speed record; How bats made the leap from gliding to flying
News Article | May 8, 2017
This year, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. and The Conservation Fund celebrate a decade-long partnership to address climate change and habitat loss by protecting and restoring America’s forests. To commemorate a decade of partnership, C&S is furthering its commitment to forests and sustainability by donating to The Conservation Fund’s Working Forest Fund® to protect working forests in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. This donation will offset the forest footprint of approximately 20,000 wood pallets used to transport and store the food and goods C&S distributes to its customers. An estimated 45 million acres of working forest are at risk of development and fragmentation over the next 15 years. With support from partners including C&S, The Conservation Fund is protecting some of the most at-risk and ecologically significant forestlands by providing bridge capital to purchase threatened forestland. With the grant from C&S, the Fund can begin to implement sustainable forest management practices that ensure a steady supply of sustainably harvested fiber, while raising the remaining funds necessary for the forests’ permanent protection. “We’re proud to be among the supporters of The Conservation Fund, one of the nation’s most respected and effective environmental organizations,” said Richard B. Cohen, Chairman and CEO of C&S Wholesale Grocers. “Working together to plant trees and protect working forests is part of our aim to be a more sustainable enterprise. Our partnership with them enhances our investments in recycling, energy efficiency, and logistics technology,” he noted. “C&S Wholesale Grocers is a proven leader in innovation and sustainability,” said The Conservation Fund’s president and CEO, Larry Selzer. “Our nation’s conservation challenges can only be solved by bringing leading companies and environmental groups together. We are honored to have been a partner for the past decade with C&S Wholesale Grocers to conserve our natural resources and build stronger communities—now and in the future.” According to the National Wood Pallet and Container Association, there are more than 1.8 billion pallets in service in the United States each day, and millions more are used to ship goods internationally. The United Nations Economic and Social Council reports that 742 million wooden pallets were made from U.S forests in 2011. In addition to providing wood for the creation of pallets every year, America’s working forests provide timber for construction and pulp for paper and packaging. Forests support millions of jobs within a $112 billion forest products industry. Protecting forests can have a direct, positive impact on industry supply chains that rely on a steady supply of responsibly managed timber to meet corporate goals for sustainable sourcing. C&S has also worked with The Conservation Fund each year to measure the carbon footprint of its corporate headquarters buildings, several of its distribution centers, and the estimated round-trip commute of its employees. The Conservation Fund plants native trees in wildlife refuges across the country to offset the carbon emissions. Over time, these trees will trap carbon dioxide, filter pollutants from waterways, and provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species. Since 2005, C&S has contributed to the planting of nearly 100,000 trees across more than 250 acres in six national wildlife refuges in states where the company has operations and employees, including California, Louisiana, and Texas. These trees will trap an estimated 75,000 tons of carbon emissions as they mature. Donations have also contributed toward the protection and sustainable management of redwood forests in Northern California. C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., based in Keene, NH, is the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the U.S. and the industry leader in supply chain innovation. Founded in 1918 as a supplier to independent grocery stores, C&S now services customers of all sizes, supplying more than 14,000 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases, and institutions with over 140,000 different products. To learn more, please visit http://www.cswg.com. C&S community involvement programs support initiatives to fight hunger and to promote the health and enrichment of communities that are homes to the company's employees and facilities. To learn more, visit http://community.cswg.com. At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than 7.8 million acres of land. http://www.conservationfund.org
News Article | May 4, 2017
The Mau Forest Complex in Kenya's Rift Valley is the largest of the country's five watersheds. It is also the largest closed canopy forest in East Africa. Several ecosystems in Kenya, including the Maasai Mara National Reserve, and in neighbouring Tanzania depend on water originating from the complex. However illegal logging, ill-planned settlements and fallout from post-election violence in 2007/08 deteriorated forest resources, threatening livelihoods, food security, tourism and water supplies. In response, the Government of Kenya sought the technical assistance of FAO to help the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) improve the watershed and promote sustainable livelihood activities. In 2010, FAO launched a two-year project as part of its Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) that combined technical training through farmer field schools (FFS), business planning and access to banking services to help transform the livelihoods of communities living near the forest. In the aftermath of the violence that erupted after Kenya’s presidential election in 2007, the community forest associations, managed by the KFS, had stopped functioning. In response, the Government created an emergency programme to protect the Mau Forest, and sought to revitalize the community forest associations as a way to promote social cohesion. With assistance from FAO, 24 farmer field schools were set up with members of the community forest associations that trained more than 800 men and women on viable ways to earn a living while protecting forest resources. "People who were once fighting each other were now learning how to conserve the forests together, how to prepare nurseries and plant trees and how to diversify and boost production," said Takayuki Hagiwara, FAO officer involved in the project. The project also helped rebuild a critical mass of certified FFS master trainers in Kenya, from just 2 to 12, and trained a pool of extension workers and farmer facilitators. FAO also introduced an innovative mobile phone-based monitoring system whereby farmers could provide regular, real-time updates on the FFS, including on attendance and performance of KFS facilitators. Developing group-based microenterprises To encourage farmers to complete the one-year livelihood and farm forestry field school programme and to apply their newly acquired skills and knowledge, the project, through a partnership with Kenya's Equity Bank, provided loans to graduates to develop group-based microenterprises. "We wanted to link the farmers to a formal banking system, to officially recognize them as members of the private sector from the informal sector," said Hagiwara. The loan was part of a revolving fund named the ‘Mau Forest Conservation Fund’, managed by Equity Bank and owned by the KFS. This arrangement allowed the money to be recycled and for farmers who repaid their loans to borrow again. In order to secure a loan, however, farmers had to produce sound investment proposals. Thanks to training on RuralInvest, an FAO-developed software programme, the groups were able to evaluate their plans' financial feasibility, including market opportunities. With this analysis, farmers could tweak or even overhaul their proposals, especially if what initially sounded like a good idea for a business would actually lose money in the long run. Easy access to loans The revolving fund gave farmers the chance to access credit with a financial institution − an important project achievement, according to Esther Muiruri, Equity Bank's general manager of marketing-agribusiness. "The project introduced a community that was largely 'unbanked' to banking for the first time through financial literacy training and access to loans for investment in farming activities. At the same time, Equity Bank learned how to finance farm forest activities." Around the time the project was rolled out, Equity Bank was establishing agency banking in Kenya, enlisting retail outlets to offer financial services in village shopping centres where farmers could make transactions. Beneficiaries of FAO’s project were among the first customers to use the agency banking. Today, Equity Bank has some 17000 agents, providing banking services to small-scale farmers throughout the entire country. The project also introduced mobile phones to track investments and loan repayments. To date, most of the scheduled loan repayments were made on time. Many groups − even individual farmers − continue to borrow from Equity Bank to support their businesses. Positive offshoots The KFS is now equipped with a workable approach to promote sustainable livelihood activities among communities bordering the Mau Forest Complex and involve them in conserving the Complex's natural resources. In 2014, the Forest and Farm Facility, a multi-donor funding programme hosted by FAO was also launched in Kenya to promote sustainable forest and farm management activities. Although many beneficiaries were hesitant at first to join farmer field schools, the latter created a safe space for discussion and exchange. Working towards a common goal helped rebuild friendships and trust. Farmers in the project area are now earning money from diverse activities − from planting woodlots and nurseries with indigenous trees and improved fruit trees, to growing vegetables, raising livestock and keeping bees. According to the project team, the supported activities have not harmed the ecosystem, and the KFS has reported a considerable decline in illegal logging and charcoal production since the end of the project. Now when farmers spot illegal practices, said Hagiwara, they "pick up the phone and call the forest officers."
News Article | May 2, 2017
"Most of the Interior Department's programs would receive more money under the fiscal 2017 omnibus funding bill lawmakers released earlier today, with one notable exception: the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The $1 trillion spending package would provide $12.3 billion for Interior, $42 million more than enacted levels, for the remaining five months of fiscal 2017, which ends Sept. 30. The Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service all would see more money under the bill, which included few policy riders for the agencies. But the spending package would cut the LWCF, which has broad bipartisan support and is set to expire in fiscal 2018. The bill would fund it at $400 million, $50 million less than the fiscal 2016 enacted level."
News Article | March 1, 2017
Editor’s note [03/01/2017]: On March 1, the Senate confirmed Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary. Read the resurfaced article below for insight into Zinke’s views on public lands and the environment. Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of the Interior, Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke (R), started his confirmation hearing Tuesday by aligning himself with one of the giants of American conservation. “Upfront, I am an unapologetic admirer of Teddy Roosevelt,” Zinke said, adding that Roosevelt “had it right” when he protected millions of acres of federal lands and created the U.S. Forest Service. With a right-wing movement to wrestle control of public lands from the federal government gaining momentum, Zinke’s rhetoric offered conservationists some measure of comfort. The question now, many say, is whether Zinke will walk—not just talk—like Roosevelt, balancing conservation and development on public lands. “While he continues to paint himself as a modern Teddy Roosevelt, his very short voting record shows him repeatedly siding with industry,” says the Sierra Club’s Matthew Kirby, who works on western public lands issues. According to the League of Conservation Voters, only 3 percent of Zinke’s votes in Congress qualify as “pro-environment,” Oil and gas organizations like the Western Energy Alliance and the Independent Petroleum Association of America applauded Zinke’s nomination, but conservation-minded hunting and fishing groups welcomed it, too. Zinke, in other words, is a bit hard to box in. If confirmed, he will be responsible for a large and diverse department. Most of the federal agencies responsible for managing public lands and wildlife are housed within the Department of the Interior, including the National Park Service; the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages lands for recreation, mining and energy development; and the Fish and Wildlife Service, which works to recover endangered species. The department oversees 500 million acres in total, or about a fifth of the land in the U.S. Most of that land lies in the U.S. West, and it is an unwritten rule that the Interior secretary post goes to a westerner. Zinke has served only one term in Congress and does not have a deep record on natural resources policy, but he is an outdoorsman who learned to hunt on public lands and therefore recognizes their value for recreation and wildlife. He is also from a state where fossil-fuel production on public lands is a cornerstone of the economy, and he believes Pres. Barack Obama’s administration has been too tough on the industry. Zinke’s views on easing energy development on public lands seem largely in line with his party. During Tuesday’s hearing, for instance, Zinke told Sen. John Barrasso he would support the Wyoming Republican’s effort to scrap a recently finalized BLM rule to limit methane waste from oil and gas drilling. Methane is a greenhouse gas as well as a source of energy, but it is often vented or burned as waste in drilling fields where the infrastructure does not exist to capture it and move it to market. The BLM rule would limit venting and flaring, and allow taxpayers to earn royalties on methane now treated as waste. Industry opposes the rule as unnecessary and expensive whereas environmental groups and the Obama administration say it is common sense. Peter Aengst, who works in Montana with the Wilderness Society, says the methane rule is one of the ways in which the Obama administration tried to modernize energy policy on public lands. “The Trump administration has vowed to unravel those (reforms),” he says. “That’s where I think Ryan Zinke is probably most concerning for those of us who care about the wise management of our public lands.” Zinke’s stances on some other big issues he will face as head of Interior are much murkier. He said Tuesday that he would work to restore trust between federal land managers and local communities, promising to be a “listener” rather than a “deaf adversary.” He repeatedly emphasized the need for more collaboration between the feds and locals. But as a congressman he opposed the Obama administration’s attempt to collaborate with states to keep the greater sage grouse from being listed under the Endangered Species Act. The bird is found in 11 western states, and a listing could have led to significant restrictions on land use across more than a hundred million acres. Instead, the administration developed state-based conservation plans that built on existing state efforts to protect the bird. “It’s an unprecedented engagement that happened with private landowners and with state agencies to make sure that bird was not listed,” says Land Tawney, president of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, a Montana-based group that advocates for public lands access and wildlife protections. “Those plans need to be implemented.” Zinke dodged a question on how he would handle sage grouse protections at his hearing. It is similarly unclear where he will come down on controversial national monuments designated by Obama, such as Bears Ears. Utah’s congressional delegation is pressuring Trump to rescind the monument—an unprecedented, and possibly illegal, move—and Zinke would presumably be a close adviser on any changes to the monument. Both Aengst and Tawney are encouraged by a few of Zinke’s other positions, particularly his flat opposition to selling or transferring public lands to states or private interests, along with his support for permanently authorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which funnels oil and gas royalties to projects that promote recreation, wildlife habitat, parks and wilderness. Zinke also said addressing the maintenance backlog at national parks would be one of his top priorities, indicating that money to keep up roads, trails and toilets in the parks should be included in the infrastructure bill President-Elect Donald Trump has promised. All in all, Tawney is optimistic, and expects sportsmen to have a voice in Zinke’s Interior Department. “He’s a straight shooter,” Tawney says. “We’re not going to agree on everything but at least you know where he sits and we can have a conversation.” Others in the conservation community remain skeptical. Kirby argues that opposition to selling off public lands should be a prerequisite for any Interior secretary, not a note of distinction. “You don’t get brownie points for that.” But context does matter. In a different political climate it might not have been newsworthy that Zinke went on record Tuesday saying climate change was not “a hoax” and humans had a role in causing it. Similarly, opposition to disposing of federal lands was not a given among the candidates Trump considered for the job. Zinke is expected to be easily confirmed by the Senate.
Zimmerman B.L.,Conservation Fund |
Kormos C.F.,WILD Inc
BioScience | Year: 2012
A convincing body of evidence shows that as it is presently codified, sustainable forest-management (SFM) logging implemented at an industrial scale guarantees commercial and biological depletion of high-value timber species within three harvests in all three major tropical forest regions. The minimum technical standards necessary for approaching ecological sustainability directly contravene the prospects for financial profitability. Therefore, industrial-scale SFM is likely to lead to the degradation and devaluation of primary tropical forests as surely as widespread conventional unmanaged logging does today. Recent studies also show that logging in the tropics, even using SFM techniques, releases significant carbon dioxide and that carbon stocks once stored in logged timber and slash takes decades to rebuild. These results beg for a reevaluation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change proposals to apply a Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation subsidy for the widespread implementation of SFM logging in tropical forests. However, encouraging models of the successful sustainable management of tropical forests for timber and nontimber products exist at local-community scales. © 2012 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved.
Weber T.C.,Conservation Fund
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2011
In the eastern United States, mature hardwood forest provides habitat for many species of native flora and fauna, but is much less common now than historically. This study examined the utility of maximum entropy modeling and spatial application to identify ecosystem types like mature hardwood forest. I performed pilot modeling in Charles County, Maryland, where I compared fine-scale geographic data available locally to coarse-scale data available nationally. As expected, a model constructed with the best locally available data, including LiDAR-derived canopy height and fine-scale soil maps, outperformed a model constructed with nationally consistent data. However, the model using national data nevertheless accurately identified most mature hardwood forest sites and excluded most young forest. I then applied the coarse-scale approach to four states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Average test AUC (area under the receiver operating curve) based on 10 replicates varied from 0.76 to 0.80 when comparing mature hardwood forest locations to general forest locations. The maximum training or test sensitivity plus specificity threshold, depending on the state, captured 78-79% of positive locations while rejecting 74-81% of negative locations. The maximum entropy approach is versatile, and can be applied to other ecosystems and species. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.