Five International conservation organizations around the world
When we talk about the conservation of nature, we think of people and organizations who tirelessly and dedicatedly work for the protection and betterment of mother earth. These organizations support various research projects, welfare schemes, and conservation projects all over the world and also help governments to formulate various treaties between nations.
1. WWF International
WWF is the largest international organization with offices in nearly 100 countries. It was founded in 1961 in Switzerland, and the headquarter of WWF is in Gland, Switzerland. The organization was founded by Prince Phillip (Duke of Edinburgh), Prince Bernhard of Lippe- Blisterfield, Guy Mountfort, Peter Scott, Julian Huxley, and Edward Max Nicholson. Its full name is World Wide Fund for nature. It was formerly known as World Wildlife Fund which is still the official name of their Canada and United States of America offices. Their core area of work is wildlife conservation, climate change, food security, water conservation, and marine conservation.
WWF is very active in India, it was set up in India as a charitable public trust on 27 November 1969, and the aim to establish WWF in India was to protect endangered species and their habitat. During its initial years, it has supported wildlife and nature conservation with a core area of work being the conservation of tigers and other priority species. In later years their programs moved ahead and they started to focus on conservation education, sustainable agriculture, marine conservation, and so on. Project tiger in India was started with the support of WWF and in its initial years, it was a great success. Many conservation success stories in India were not possible without the support of WWF.
2. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organizations. By harnessing the experience, resources, and reach of its more than 1,400 Member organizations and the input of some 15,000 experts, IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it (Source IUCN Website). The members of IUCN include national governments, government agencies, and non-governmental and indigenous people’s organizations from 160 countries.
The IUCN was founded by famous English evolutionary biologist Sir Julian Sorrel Huxley on 5th October 1948 in Fountainebleau, France. Its headquarters are located in Gland, Switzerland. Dr. Bruno Oberle is the Director General of IUCN, he assumed office on 13 July 2020. Dr. Bruno is a famous environmentalist having forty years of experience working with many reputed organizations in the field of environment. The organization is active in the field of Biodiversity, Climate Change, Freshwater and water security, nature-based solutions, oceans and coasts, protected areas, and land use. Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF) both are funding organizations for all nature and environment-related projects and are associated with IUCN. In India, the IUCN office is headed by Dr. Vivek Saxena, who is an officer of Indian Forest Services of the 1992 batch.
Also Read : The Human-Tiger conflict & solutions
3. Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
With its headquarter at the Bronx Zoo in New York City, the Wildlife Conservation Society was founded in 1895. It’s a Non-Governmental Organisation and was founded to promote wildlife conservation and the study of zoology. At the time of its foundation, the society was known as New York Zoological Society. Mr. Andrew H. Green, a lawyer, city planner and civil leader, was the first president of the society. At present WCS is headed by Cristián Samper, he is a Tropical Biologist with a specialization in conservation biology and environmental policy. Now WCS is active in 60 countries worldwide promoting science-based wildlife conservation and education.
In India WCS is registered as a non-profit company with its overarching goal is the protection and conservation of the natural environment, its flora and fauna, and in particular the preservation of wildlife and wild places in India. Their conservation action addresses issues like habitat fragmentation, poaching, and wildlife trade as well as human-wildlife conflict, which impacts biodiversity. They are currently working in 20 states of India from the dense forests of Kerala and Karnataka, and tropical deciduous forest in Eastern Ghats, to the arid grassland of Rajasthan, from the unique riverine habitat of North and North-East to the vibrant coral reefs in Lakshadweep.
4. Fauna & Flora International
Flora and Fauna International is the world’s oldest wildlife conservation organization. It was founded by Mr. Edward Buxton, a British Conservationist in 1903 and since then the organization is actively working for wildlife conservation throughout the world. The headquarter of the organization is in Cambridge, United Kingdom. The logo of the organization is Arabian Oryx, which was adopted after the successful reintroduction and conservation breeding program of the species. The organization publishes two Journals, Oryx which is an international peer-reviewed journal from 1904, and the Cambodian Journal of Natural History which was launched in 2008 with the Royal University of Phnom Penh, this is Cambodia’s first peer-reviewed scientific journal. Society have pioneered the practice of captive breeding and conservation breeding. The CEO of FFI is Mr. Mrak Rose, a zoologist with extensive field experience in remote parts of Africa and Asia-Pacific. He was the driving force behind the establishment of Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and a leading, internationally focussed biodiversity conservation organization based in and around the city.
Some of the works of the organizations are following.
- They started the Mountain Gorilla project in Rwanda in 1979 at the request of Sir David Attenborough. This project is known as the International Gorilla Conservation Programme, which runs jointly with WWF International.
- They also work to reduce human-elephant conflict in Kenya.
- In Romania, they work to reduce the poaching of bears and wolves by reducing conflict between local communities and wildlife.
- In Myanmar, their research team has found a new species of Snub-Nosed Monkey in 2010.
- Their campaigning with other environmental organizations leads to the banning of plastic microbeads in the United Kingdom.
- They also work for securing marine resources and sustaining fisheries’ livelihoods in Northern Kenya.
5. Conservation International (CI)
Founded in 1987 by Peter Seligmann and Spencer Beebe, Conservation International is an American Non- Profit organization headquartered in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia. They are actively working Americas, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Combining fieldwork with innovations in science, policy, and finance, they’ve helped protect more than 6 million square kilometers (2.3 million square miles) of land and sea across more than 70 countries (Source: Conservation International). They have offices in more than two dozen countries and a worldwide network of thousands of partners. Their mission is “Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership, and field demonstration, Conservation International empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of humanity.” M. Sanjayan, a conservation scientist is the CEO of the organization since 2017.
Their major focus is:
- Stabilizing our climate by protecting and restoring nature.
- Doubling Ocean protection.
- Expanding Planet Positive Economies.
Their approach to achieving success in their work is by innovation in science, innovation in finance, partnering with indigenous communities, working with governments, and engaging with corporations.
There are many other organizations that are quite active in the field of wildlife and nature conservation, climate change mitigation, and other environmental problems. We will learn more about them in my next blogs. We appreciate their work for the betterment of humankind through their tireless effort.