Conservation Influencers

Brigitte Bardot Foundation

France

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 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 rallied 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). 

Leaders

Director-General, Chyslaine Calmels-Beck.

Governance

Board led by Brigitte Bardot.

Finances

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.

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Franz Weber Foundation

From 1990 until 2015, Franz Weber Foundation (FFW) managed the Fazao-Malfakassa National Park in Togo, which was, according to an in-depth investigation by Duke University, ‘established by forcing the local communities off their land and without taking into consideration their point of view’. That same study cited convincing evidence from reports published in 1990, confirming that competition for land use was already ‘creating conflict between the local communities and park managers’. In 2015, Togo refused to renew FFW’s contract because, the report says, ‘local communities were still excluded from the management of the natural resources of their land’ and FFW had ‘failed to fulfil its contract’. Franz Weber Foundation plays a major role within CITES because it funds and manages from Switzerland the African Elephant Coalition (AEC), which represents 32 African range states, some of which have barely any elephants and others none at all. Contrary to the wishes of the range states in Southern Africa, which manage most of the world’s wild elephant populations, the AEC at CITES’ CoPs repeatedly tables proposals to put all of the world’s elephants in appendix I. And the AEC uses its voting power to keep in place prohibitions on ivory sales and all other trade in elephant-related derivatives, including skins and hair, which Southern African nations wish to legalise.

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