Conservation Influencers

The Royal Foundation

UK

The Royal Foundation was founded in 2009, when it was known as The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. However in 2019 Harry departed with his wife to the USA after relations between the two brothers had become tense. So, today, The Royal Foundation is the philanthropic and charitable vehicle for The Duke (Prince William) and Duchess of Cambridge. Its mission is to, according to its website, ‘support a spectrum of activities that bring people, ideas and resources together to understand issues, find solutions and act as a catalyst for long-term impact’.

Besides leading The Royal Foundation, Prince William is also President of United for Wildlife and patron of the Tusk Trust charity

One of The Royal Foundation’s major evolving initiatives is The Earthshot Prize, which will (starting autumn of 2021) reward people on an annual basis, ‘for creating innovative solutions to environmental problems’.

The Royal Foundation opposes illegal trade in wildlife, especially with regards to ivory, rhino horn and pangolin scales. 

In 2014, The Duke of Cambridge initiated the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, which they founded to stop wildlife trafficking. In October 2018, the Duke of Cambridge and Lord Hague of Richmond, supported by TRAFFIC, drafted the Mansion House Declaration (MHD), which committed its 30 institutional signatories to ‘share information and coordinate actions against illegal wildlife trade’. 

What is not widely known is that The Guardian reported in 2016 that Prince William supports trophy hunting ‘as long as the animals are infertile and at the end of their lives’. Explaining his position to ITV News, he said ‘trophy hunting is a justifiable means of conserving species that are under serious threat, so long as the money raised goes back into protection of the species’. 

Leaders

Jason Knauf, CEO, a former press secretary of the Duke and Duchess of York.

Governance

The Rt Hon Lord Hague of Richmond, William Hague, Chairman of the Trustees.

Finances

According to its financial statement, its total expenditure in 2019 was £9.3 million, of which £8.2 million was spent on charitable activities. 

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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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.

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