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

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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