Focused projects




The Maya Forest Corridor has been identified as a conservation priority by the Government of Belize, several international organizations, and our focal partner in Belize, the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) led by Dr. Elma Kay at the University of Belize. ERI, WCS, and Panthera led a 10 year study together to determine the ecological importance of the corridor. They established that the long-term viability of Jaguars, Tapirs, and other large mammals in the region depends on this corridor. The site is a globally recognized Key Biodiversity Area because it has important habitat for threatened species, including the critically endangered Central American River Turtle and endangered Yellow-headed Amazon Parrot.

The corridor connects the two largest blocks of the Selva Maya (Maya Forest), one of the five great forests of Central America that stretches across Belize, Guatemala, and adjacent parts of southern Mexico. The Selva Maya has the largest remaining populations of Jaguar and Tapir in all of Central America in large part thanks to the connectivity of this forest. However, as with so many other tropical forests, it is under threat on many different fronts and will soon be severed in the middle if action isn't taken.

We are now close to securing the keystone properties for the corridor that would link these two large blocks of the Selva Maya. This 40,000 acre reserve would secure an estimated 2.5 million tons of carbon. The corridor contributes to the viability of the broader Selva Maya by keeping 10 million acres of forest continuous. This connection ensures gene flow and healthy populations of seed dispersing mammals, birds, and other ecosystem engineering animals that are critical to forest resilience and hence continued, long-term carbon sequestration across the entirety of the largest rainforest in Mesoamerica. In total, the Selva Maya harnesses over 600 million tons of carbon.

Our goal is to secure 80% of the Maya Forest Corridor by December 2020. The targeted properties are the crown jewels of the corridor as they provided habitat for the most endangered species in the region. They are also at the greatest risk of being lost to logging and an expansion of sugar cane plantations and cattle ranching in the very near future. The total project cost is $23.5 million. Over the past year, we have raised $16.4 million in committed pledges. The remaining need is $2.6 million in philanthropic support and a bridge loan of $4.5 million to support the land acquisition until carbon revenue can cover this cost over a ten year period. All funds raised above this amount will be directed to land acquisitions to secure the remaining 20% of the corridor and management of the entire area.

Maya Forest corridor brief (PDF)    |    Maya Forest Corridor intro (PPT)    |    Letter support from Phantera (PDF)


Annual reports & updates



This year, our policy campaigns have been slowed but not stopped by the pandemic. Thanks to your continued and generous support, Oceana and our allies won major victories spanning the globe in 2020 in our campaigns around the world to improve fishery management and protect endangered species, protect habitat and prevent pollution. Highlights from this past year include:

• In Belize, the Government banned the use of gillnets throughout its waters. This means that 40 percent of the world’s second largest reef is now protected from gillnets, trawling and oil drilling.
• In Brazil, the bottom trawl ban protecting a huge area off the coast of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil’s Alaska) survived a constitutional challenge by the trawling fleet. The fleet’s legal efforts are not over, but we are confident we will sustain this big habitat protection measure.
• In California, the state finalized protections for whales, sea turtles and other creatures from death in swordfish nets, requiring conversion out of a gear that kills more endangered species (as bycatch) than all US west coast and Alaskan fisheries combined.
• In Canada, the Government announced the ban of six types of single-use plastics (bags, stir-ers, sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery, straws and food service ware) by the end of 2021.
• In Chile, Oceana and our allies protected a vast area in Patagonia from new salmon farming concessions (which bring along pollution and many other problems to this pristine area).
• In the Philippines, the Government finalized rules requiring vessel monitoring for commercial fishing vessels, a measure that will help protect the 15 kilometers closest to the coast around all the many islands of that big ocean country.
• In the US, President Trump reversed course and announced a ban of new offshore oil leases for 10 years off the coasts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Seismic mapping of underwater oil reserves stopped.



Photo courtesy of Wild Ark

GWC Celebrates Its Best of 2020, Despite a Challenging Year

This year has been unlike any other in our lifetimes. As we all adjusted to a new normal around the world, for many of us nature became a new kind of lifeline, giving us a respite from our Zoom calls, providing moments of relief from the monotony of being stuck indoors, and reminding us of our profound connection to our wild world.

But it wasn’t just a notable year because of the pandemic or because it has marked the start of what we hope is a ‘great reset.’ Thanks to your support, we are ending 2020 on a celebratory note, reflecting on the moments of light that our work, alongside that of our partners, brought to this otherwise dark year:

Photo by Imaire Depoli

Rapid RESCUE for Critical Ecosystems and Vulnerable Communities
We recently partnered with the European Union and Leonardo DiCaprio to launch the $42 million Rapid RESCUE initiative to respond to imminent threats to critical ecosystems and the communities that depend on them. A second joint initiative will safeguard Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the most biodiverse protected area on the African continent.
Photo by Imaire Depoli

Photo courtesy of Virunga National Park

Rewilding Elephants: Speaking of Virunga, your generous support of the Virunga Fund helped the park’s African Elephant herd increase from 120 to 700. Through sheer force, the elephants are transforming some areas back to true grassland savanna, allowing the return of grazers and other wildlife species that have been absent from the park for the last two decades. Photo courtesy of Virunga National Park

United for Amazonia: Thanks to the support of more than 35,000 donors who stepped up to help after the Amazon forest fires last year, we are working with 36 partner organizations on 41 projects to improve the conservation of almost 100 million acres of Amazonia. Photo by Cristina Mittermeier

Photo courtesy of WildArk

A Homecoming for Devils: We are proud to have partnered with Aussie Ark, WildArk, and actors Elsa Pataky and Chris Hemsworth to release 26 Tasmanian Devils into the wild of Australia this year after a 3,000-year absence from the devils’ historical home. Their return to the wild marks not only renew hope for this species, but as an apex predator, the devils will help restore the natural balance to Australia as they essentially engineer the ecosystem. Photo courtesy of WildArk

Protecting Rangers: On World Ranger Day, we took action to improve the working conditions and professional capacity of the brave individuals who serve as protected area rangers. The "new deal" from the recently launched Universal Ranger Support Alliance (URSA) will address the needs and priorities identified by rangers from more than 70 countries to help support them in their important jobs of protecting 30% of the planet, while also bringing accountability to the ranger workforce through professionalization. This month we launched an #ArtforWildlifeRangers Photo Sale on Artsy, offering prints from 22 renowned photographers to support rangers on the ground – all proceeds will be matched by the Sheinberg Relief Fund to double your impact! Photo by Brent Stirton, from the #ArtForWildlifeRangers photo sale

There’s more! Click here.

As our organization and partners continue to keep nature at the heart of post-pandemic recovery efforts in 2021, I am grateful that we can count on you.

Thank you for all you do,

Wes Sechrest
CEO of Global Wildlife Conservation

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Copyright (C) 2020 Global Wildlife Conservation. All rights reserved.







Dear Sunderji,

On the last day of this unprecedented year, I want to express my gratitude for your continued support. I've been reflecting back on 2020 and looking ahead at the year to come. We have so many accomplishments to celebrate. To highlight just a few:

We concluded a field survey to asses the orangutan population in Gunung Palung National Park
We awarded West Bornean Orangutan Caring Scholarships, funding an additional 6 underprivileged, well-deserving university students
We supported the establishment of two new Customary Forests in the villages of Batu Barat and Rantau Panjang, and have now protected nearly 8000 hectares of critical forest
We spent more than 1900 hours following 35 wild orangutans to conduct scientific research

Together, we have made incredible strides towards orangutan conservation, through our focus on education, research, sustainable lifestyles, capacity building, and multigenerational engagement. I am optimistic about the year to come. Please consider making a charitable donation today, so that together, we can continue the fight to #SaveWildOrangutans. We've recently launched an online membership initiative, and continue to graciously accept one-time, tax deductible donations of any kind.

Thank you for making this important work possible.

Sincerely,

Cheryl Knott, PhD
Executive Director
Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program

> Consult the full Year in Review


Focused articles

Despite pandemic, carbon dioxide level in atmosphere hits record high

> Read The Washington Post article!


Shark Populations Are Crashing, With a ‘Very Small Window’ to Avert Disaster

> Read The NY Times article!


Deforestation: a threat to people and nature

> Read The WWF article!


Severe fire danger for Australia as temperatures smash records

> Read The CNN article!


Trees are losing their leaves earlier because of climate change

> Read The CNN article!


Trump to strip protections from Tongass National Forest,
one of the biggest intact temperate rainforests

> Read The Washington Post article!


Protect The Bahamas — Say No to Offshore Oil Drilling

> Sign the petition here!


Bahamas Petroleum readies exploratory drilling

> Read the article


There's 14 million metric tons of microplastics sitting on the seafloor, study finds

> Read the CNN article


WWF report details 68 percent drop in wildlife numbers since 1970

> Read the WWF article


The one chance we have
The pandemic gave the world a golden opportunity to fix the climate crisis. We’re about to waste it.

> Read the CNN article


WWF’s Living Planet Report reveals two-thirds decline
in wildlife populations on average since 1970

> Read the WWF article


Brazil's Pantanal fires: Animals 'dying of hunger and thirst'

> Read the BBC article


Fires are raging in the Amazon, despite a Brazil government ban.
The destruction could be worse than last summer

> Read the CNN article


Warmest Oceans on Record Adds to Hurricanes, Wildfires Risks

> Read the Bloomberg article


Climate change could kill all of Earth's coral reefs by 2100, scientists warn

> Read the CNN article


What the Amazon fires mean for wild animals

> Read the National Geographic article


Fires are raging in the Amazon forest. Here's how you can help slow all rainforest loss

> Read the CNN article


Borneo is burning

> Read the CNN article


Millions of animals are dying from the Australian fires, and the environment will suffer for years to come

> Read the CNN article


Ecuador To Sell A Third Of Its Amazon Rainforest To Chinese Oil Companies

> Read the Business Insider article


Emergency funds

Devastating Fires Ravage NSW

> Wires


The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it." Robert Swan

> Global Wildlife Conservation