The Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) has awarded $6 million in grants to 80 nonprofit organizations working to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet. Since the fund’s creation in 1995, Disney has provided nearly $86 million total in grants to protect the magic of nature together with communities around the world.
“These Disney award recipients represent a global community dedicated to ensuring a world where people and wildlife thrive together. The Disney Conservation Fund provides not only the opportunity to support these meaningful efforts, but also celebrate them as a point of hope that inspires our audiences around the world,” said Elissa Margolis, senior vice president, Enterprise Social Responsibility, The Walt Disney Company.
The Disney Conservation Fund supports comprehensive community conservation efforts and initiatives that protect species and habitats, while inspiring kids and families to take action on behalf of wildlife and nature in their communities. The fund also pairs philanthropic grants with the expertise from many of Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment professionals and other Disney employees who work together to make a positive impact benefiting people, wildlife and wild places.
As an example, one of this year’s grant recipients, TREE Foundation, leads a community-based conservation program to address declining populations of sea turtles along India’s coastline. In response to threats of poaching and accidental capture in fishing nets, TREE Foundation engages local community members, encouraging them to adopt sustainable fishing practices and sea turtle protection activities. To date, they have reached more than 85,000 people and successfully promoted a ban on the use of certain fishing nets during sea turtle breeding and nesting season to reduce sea turtle mortality.
This project is one of more than 2,000 supported to date by the Disney Conservation Fund. Additional recipients include:
African People & Wildlife, “Northern Tanzania Big Cats Conservation Initiative,” Tanzania: This program will work with local communities to save Tanzania’s most threatened lion, cheetah, and leopard populations by helping to reduce human-wildlife conflict, protect vital habitat for big cats, and engage local Maasai people in environmental education, natural resource management and sustainable enterprise development.
Audubon Florida, “Jay Watch: Audubon Community Science,” United States: This initiative will train 270 citizen science volunteers in 19 Florida counties to collect breeding success data on the endemic Florida scrub-jay and use research findings to support outreach and greater protection of this species by wildlife agencies.
IDEA WILD/ Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas, “Black Lion Tamarin Conservation in a Fragmented Landscape,” Brazil: This program will focus on widening and connecting habitat and managing wild black lion tamarin populations while involving communities in conservation through education and training.
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, “Conserving Sarus Cranes in Cambodia,” Cambodia: This initiative will help protect two of the Sarus crane’s last remaining refuges in Cambodia’s Lower Mekong Delta by researching optimal habitat maintenance conditions, enhancing understanding of the value of wetland habitats and developing sustainable livelihoods that contribute to biodiversity conservation.
ZSL America, “Angel Shark Project,” Spain: This program will help protect habitats for critically endangered angel sharks in the Canary Islands, advancing research to identify angel shark nursery areas, expanding a network of citizen scientists to monitor angel sharks, and engaging local communities in best practices to minimize tourism impacts on angel sharks.
The majority of funding for the Disney Conservation Fund is provided by The Walt Disney Company and supplemented by the generous contributions of guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and other select Walt Disney World Resort locations, sailing with Disney Cruise Line or staying at select Disney Vacation Club resorts.
For a complete list of the most recent DCF grant recipients, visit www.disney.com/conservation.