Conservation Influencers

American Cetacean Society


The American Cetacean Society (ACS) is a confederation of local chapters founded in 1967, which claims to be the first whale, dolphin, and porpoise conservation group in the world. Its co-founders, who originally wanted to farm whales to conquer world hunger, were Elizabeth ‘Bemi’ DeBus and, most notably, Dr. Clark Cameron (1922-2004). According to ACS’s website, it was Dr. Cameron who, in 1972, brought the need for a moratorium on whaling to the United Nations Environmental Conference, which subsequently voted 52-0 to support it.

The American Cetacean Society claims to represent Civil Society at the annual meetings of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). It also claims to have been instrumental in persuading the IWC to impose a moratorium on the commercial exploitation of whales in 1986. Describing how it works at IWC meetings, it says:

‘If a contracting government’s position is ‘on the fence’ with regard to an issue on which a vote may be called on the Commission floor, the [ACS] representative makes every attempt to contact the delegate/commissioner of that nation in an attempt to present facts and discuss issues leading to a vote in favor of conservation of whale stocks.’

The American Cetacean Society is a founding member of the coalition body Whales Need Us. This coalition supports, in its words, ‘maintaining the moratorium on commercial hunting established in 1986; strengthening and enforcing IWC policies upon which whaling regulations and decisions are made; and persuading the U.S Government to assume a lead role in ending commercial and scientific whaling worldwide’.


Each chapter of ACS has its own leader.


Uko Gorter is National ACS President and President of the ACS Puget Sound Chapter.


Less than USD50,000 per year.

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.