Conservation Influencers

CATCA Environmental and Wildlife Society


CATCA Environmental and Wildlife Society (CATCA EWS) was co-founded in 1989 by Ericka Ceballos and Daniel Sorg. The aim of this small NGO, in Ceballos’s words, ‘as an animal rights, animal welfare and animal conservation organization,’ was to stop animal cruelty around the world. In Canada CATCA EWS is best known for its opposition to seal hunts. On the world stage it is mostly recognised for its campaigns against bullfighting in Spain and opposition to elephant poaching in Africa.

Today, CATCA EWS works on a broad range of conservation and animal issues in close association with CITES and UNEP in the fight against wildlife crime, especially when it is committed on the world wide web. For example, it keeps a close watch on Facebook and ebay, where advertisements and virtual stores sell banned ivory, often mislabeled as jewelry and wood carvings or merely labeled obscurely as bone products.

At CITES’ CoP18, CATCA EWS organized a side event with the International Primate Protection League. There it revealed that its research had uncovered how ecommerce platforms were being used to illegally market great apes and other primates in Africa and the Americas.  In a commentary on its CoP-18 contribution, CATCA EW boasted about how its research proved to be, in its words, ‘a great tool to lobby for the successful inclusion in Appendix I and II of CITES for the protection and conservation from the trade to numerous animal species’. 


Ericka Ceballos and Daniel Sorg


The Rimini Street Foundation, founded by Rimini Street (NASDAQ: RMNI). The Rufford Foundation, which administers Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation (RSGs).

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.