Conservation Influencers

Brigitte Bardot Foundation


The 1960s film star Brigitte Bardot founded her eponymous Fondation Brigitte Bardot (Brigitte Bardot Foundation/BDF) in 1986. According to its website, BDF was recognised as a public body in 1992 and the Dalai Lama became an honorary member in 1995. BDF and Sea Shepherd have long been close collaborators in their struggle to put a stop to commercial whaling. For example, they recently cooperated to end, what they call, the ‘barbaric slaughter of pilot whales in the Danish Faeroe Islands’. 

In honour of Brigitte Bardot, Sea Shepherd recently renamed one of its anti-whaling scout ships (previously called Gojira) Brigitte Bardot, not least because BDF partially funded its refit. And in keeping with BDF’s ethos, which believes eating meat is a crime, the Brigitte Bardot serves vegan food exclusively.

The Brigitte Bardot Foundation campaigns on many fronts. It opposes the so-called mistreatment of animals in slaughterhouses; it wants to prohibit trapping; stop hunting on Sundays; ban all trophy hunting; recognize the right of conscientious objection to animal testing; ban the production and sale of foie gras; outlaw all use by humanity of animal fur; transfer all African elephants to CITES’ Appendix I; include elephants, rhinos and gorillas as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; make it legal to keep wild boar at home.

According to its website, BDF has been involved with CITES since 2000. For example at COP-18, BDF helped rally a galaxy of modern celebrities to back proposals to ban all trade in wild-caught baby African elephants, particularly ones destined for foreign zoos (see: Stars Demand EU Action at CITES to End Cruel Trade’ in Wild-Caught Elephants). 


Director-General, Chyslaine Calmels-Beck.


Board led by Brigitte Bardot.


According to its website, in 2019 BDF had revenue worth Euro 22.850 million, 66 percent of which was used in France.

About the directory

Conservation Influencers is a searchable directory of the animal activist, environmental and ecological lobby. It examines the history, mission, methodology and reputation of NGOs to assess their impact on the global conservation cause.


Wildlife Conservation Society

In 1906, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) put an African man on display in Bronx Zoo’s Monkey House. In 1918, one of WCS’s founding fathers, Madison Grant, published Passing of the Great Race, which Adolf Hitler referred to as his ‘Bible’. Another leading creator and early leader of WCS, Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr, was also a founder of the American Eugenics Society. His son headed WCS from 1940 to 1968, overseeing a series of major initiatives in Africa. There, WCS became one of the architects of the prohibition movement, which put wildlife for consumptive use and vast regions of land out of bounds to humanity. In 2020, WCS distanced itself in public from the racist views of Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr. But it has yet to issue a critical account of the legacy of Fairfield Osborn Jr, even though he led WCS into the modern era while sharing similar politically-inspired ecological goals to his father and Grant. WCS devotes considerable financial resources to influencing outcomes at CITES. WCS’s CEO reportedly earns USD$1,320,978.