Conservation Influencers

Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums

Washington DC

Founded in 1987, the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA) is a trade association dedicated to supporting public display facilities, education, scientific research, and to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals in the wild. It is, in essence, a voluntary professional international body committed to protecting animal welfare, which has appointed itself as the accrediting institution for marine parks, aquariums, zoos and research establishments. To become an accredited member of the Alliance, facilities must meet or exceed its Standards & Guidelines, which apply to the care of all marine mammals, including dolphins, seals, sea lions, sea otters, manatees, whales (particularly killer), walrus and polar bears. 

AMMPA regularly finds itself on the receiving end of animal rights campaigners’ criticisms. For example, in 2019 the Animal Welfare Institute co-authored, with World Animal Protection, the fifth edition of THE CASE AGAINST Marine Mammals in Captivity

AMMPA is, however, hostile to fishing communities in Japan, Faroe Islands and other countries that participate in so-called dolphin and whale drive hunts. It says captive facilities should not purchase wild dolphins captured from these sources. The AMMPA’s Brussels office is active in CITES, the Convention on Biological Diversity, (CBD), and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).


President & C.E.O, Kathleen Dezio.


Self-governing membership-based professional organization.


Not disclosed.

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.


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.