Conservation Influencers

Fauna & Flora International

UK

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is the world’s oldest international wildlife conservation organisation. It was established in 1903 as The Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire, a name that it retained until 1981. In the the 21st-century, in keeping with its imperial origins, FFI remains under Royal patronage: HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands.

Fauna & Flora International mission is to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide. 

Over the last hundred years, FFI has campaigned to put a stop to the ivory trade. Today, FFI supports the existing ban on international trade in ivory and continues to urge every country in the world, not least Japan, to close their domestic markets to commercial ivory. But recently it went further still, by calling for stronger controls on the trade in antique ivory, as well as modern ivory. The irony is that FFI’s Royal patrons are among the biggest owners of antique ivory collections, which, while admiral, opens them to the charge of being hypocrites by denying the same right of others to acquire similar collections. 

Fauna & Flora International is an active supporter of the campaign #StopFundingOverfishing, which wants to abolish all subsidies from the nation states to the fishing industry. 

Fauna & Flora International is a founding member of Cambridge Conservation Initiative, whose honorary patron is the broadcaster Sir David Attenborough. And it was also a co-founder of the Global Trees Campaign.

According to its annual report, FFI was instrumental at CITES-CoP-18 in getting the Grenadines clawed gecko listed in appendix I, a listing that won universal support.

In response to Covid-19, FFI is calling for an end to what it calls ‘high-risk’ wildlife trade. But, that said, it does not support, unlike some more extreme organisations, imposing blanket bans on the wildlife trade because this might, it says, inadvertently undermine community-based conservation initiatives. 

Leaders

CEO Mark Rose 

Governance

The Board of Trustees, or ‘Council’, is the governing body, the executive committee of which is led by Andrew Sykes. 

Finances

According to its annual report, its income in 2018 was £23.3 million, of which 47 percent came from foundations and 30 percent from government & multilateral sources. Individual contributions from members and individuals amounted to nine percent of its total income. Its total expenditure in 2018 was £22.7 million. 

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.

Featured

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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