First Florida Farm Achieves Certified Wildlife Friendly® Status

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Hammock Farm Gourmet of Brooksville Provides Wildlife Habitat for Native Reptiles and Mammals While Producing Gourmet Meats and Eggs

Brooksville, FL (JULY 10, 2015) For Certified Wildlife Friendly® agricultural producer Jean White of Hammock Farm Gourmet, allowing wildlife to flourish is as critical as caring for her cornucopia of pasture-raised meat goats, pigs, sheep and chickens.

goats in vines

Photo: Jessica Rupprecht

“We had a pig wallow full of [native] tadpoles I kept putting water into,” says Jean. Whenever Jean can encourage local wildlife to succeed in the face of Florida’s tide of invasive species, she takes action.   “We need to pay attention to all the little creatures,” says Jean, noting that she has a butterfly garden on the 22 acre property—which includes 7 acres of forest—and leaves stands of native plants, including elderberries and wild persimmons, to provide food and habitat for wildlife, especially birds.

Larger wildlife also make use of the farm, which lies on the flight path between an eagle’s nest and its fishing spot. With avian predators, bobcats and deer as regular visitors to a creek that borders the property, acting to keep Hammock Farm Gourmet’s heritage breed animals safe from predators is an integral part of life on the farm. In order to protect her newborn kids and lambs, Jean keeps them in pastures nearby to frequent human activity. Chickens, which are on pasture during the day, are enclosed at night in a well-secured coop.woodpeckers

Jean has also found that she has better success with Australorp chickens, a heritage breed with a larger body size with black feathers. Lightered-colored chickens, as well as smaller birds, appear to be preferred by hawks. “We do our best to make sure we’re not inadvertently feeding the wildlife while still making sure they can pass through our property and go about their daily business,” says Jean.

“In our state, the corridors for bears and panthers are on cattle ranches,” she says. “We need consumers to understand the connections between farming and conservation.” By gaining recognition for Hammock Farm Gourmet as a Certified Wildlife Friendly® farm, Jean is glad showcase how agriculture and conservation fit together. Continue reading

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WFEN Welcomes WCS-Madagascar as a Certified Enterprise

WLF North American species_am

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WCS Madagascar brings raffia, cocoa beans, vanilla, cloves and community managed tourism to the Certified Wildlife Friendly® suite of conservation enterprises, products and services while protecting some of the most endangered primates in the world

ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR: – 14 May 2015 – The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), a global community dedicated to supporting products that conserve threatened wildlife and contribute to economic vitality in rural landscapes, is pleased to announce the awarding of Wildlife Friendly® Certification to the Wildlife Conservation Society-Madagascar (WCS) program for raffia, cocoa beans, vanilla, cloves and community managed tourism which are all produced or managed by communities living around the Makira Natural Park in northeastern Madagascar. This 1,400 square mile block of forest is unique it in that it provides a refuge for numerous rare, threatened, vulnerable and endemic species including 20 threatened lemur species, three of which are amongst the 25 most endangered primates in the world. The forest plays an important role in maintaining connectivity for species between the forests of eastern and northern Madagascar, and in the provision of ecosystem services like water regulation and supply and carbon storage.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer these new Wildlife Friendly® ingredients and to make them available to buyers around the world. These products will help to share Madagascar’s extraordinary story of people, wildlife and forests to aspirational consumers around the world,” said WFEN Executive Director Julie Stein. “We already have several buyers lined up and ready to begin sourcing these products from the Makira region.”

Indri Lemur, photo courtesy of M. Pedrono

Indri Lemur, photo courtesy of M. Pedrono

WCS is the delegated manager of the Makira Natural Park which was formally created in 2012 after a ten-year period of consultation with local communities, and socio-economic and ecological studies. WCS collaboratively manages the Park with local communities and has a strong commitment to contributing to the improved wellbeing of local populations. WCS has supported 67 community associations to establish a ‘green belt’ around the core forest of Makira and works with these communities to diversify livelihoods options through improving production skills and access to markets for high-quality natural resource based products. In return communities are active partners in Park management activities through involvement in patrols and ecological monitoring activities.

“We are very proud to have obtained this certification for the products produced by communities living around Makira. The work that we do with local communities to improve production quality and thus help to ensure sustainable households revenue has the ultimate goal of contributing to the conservation of the unique biodiversity found in this area, and the Wildlife Friendly® certification is a recognition of this link. We have had very positive feedback from international clients on the quality of products from Makira, and we are delighted to be part of the Wildlife Friendly network as it will help us increase the visibility of these products in new markets” said Alison Clausen, Country Director of the WCS Madagascar program.

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About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN and its Certified Wildlife Friendly® and Predator Friendly® certification programs represent grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans and conservation heroes from around the world including two World Bank Development Marketplace Award winners, a U.N. Equator Prize winner, leadership in the world’s marketplace for REDD+ Carbon Offsets, a Time Hero for the Planet, and a National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee. Certified Wildlife Friendly® products contribute to the conservation of over twelve million hectares of diverse wetlands, forests, and grasslands; protect keystone endangered species in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin and North America, including the Snow Leopard, Elephant, Cheetah, Spectacled Bear, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

About the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org;http://www.facebook.com/TheWCShttp://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia  Follow: @thewcs.

Contact:

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Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org

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Nuubia San Francisco is the World’s First Confectioner to Commit to Sourcing Wildlife Friendly® Ingredients

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WFEN Welcomes Nuubia San Francisco as Founding Corporate Network Member Proving People, Planet and Profit are Compatible

San Francisco – January 6, 2015 The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), a global community dedicated to supporting products that conserve threatened wildlife and contribute to economic vitality for local communities, and Nuubia San Francisco, an artisan chocolatier making fine confections hand crafted from precious, humanely sourced ingredients, are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership blending gourmet sustainably sourced fancy food with international conservation and development.

“We are thrilled and honored to join The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network. Conservation is at the core of Nuubia’s DNA and we take great care that our commercial aspirations and operations benefit the preservation and protection of our planet,” said Nuubia CEO and Co-Founder Alexandra Saunders. “We look forward to partnering with other WFEN members who passionately respect ecosystems, animals and humanity. Working together we can make a difference in people’s lives with products that showcase efforts to protect endangered habitats, species and wild ecosystems.”

“We met Alexandra and learned about Nuubia San Francisco at the Great Apes Summit and Wildlife Film Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming last year,” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and co-Founder of Wildlife Friendly®. “Her passion for sustainability from her choice of product packaging to her decision to source both Palm Oil and GMO free in her products was apparent. We are excited to work with Nuubia to protect Great Apes and other key wildlife and habitat around the world and to demonstrate once again that ‘green’ does not mean a compromise in product quality. People, planet and profit are compatible.”

Nuubia San Francisco’s new retail location will open this month in the lobby of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters. In addition to being a unique destination for ultra-fine confections, French macarons and ice creams, it will serve as a platform from which to show that fine food producers can be vested in the protection of species, ecosystems and the planet. To further expand consumer awareness, Nuubia San Francisco is also collaborating with the world famous San Diego Zoo, introducing zoo patrons to fine products that are made without the use of palm oil. Continue reading

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Chianti Cashmere Goat Farm is the First Wildlife Friendly® Enterprise in Italy/Europe

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Chianti Cashmere Goat Farm earns Wildlife Friendly® Certification for Coexisting with Wolves

Radda in Chianti, Italy: – 02 Dec 2014 – The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), a global community dedicated to supporting products that conserve threatened wildlife and contribute to economic vitality in rural landscapes, is pleased to announce the awarding of Wildlife Friendly® Certification to Chianti Cashmere Goat Farm a sustainable luxury cashmere operation in the Tuscany region of Italy which raises cashmere goats while using predator-friendly tools to coexist with wolves.

“We applaud the patience, hard work and investment that producers like Chianti Cashmere have made in order to coexist with a keystone predator like wolves. By awarding our certification label which recognizes the use of non-lethal farming and herdinggoats & dogs practices we give global consumers the opportunity to vote their values with their pocketbooks. In this way consumers are able to reward producers for their extra expense and effort and help to ensure and sustain wild populations of native carnivores even on private lands in places like Tuscany,” said WFEN Executive Director Julie Stein.   “We are thrilled to not only welcome our first certified operation in Italy, but also in Europe, as wolves continue to expand there.”

Predator-friendly practices used by Chianti Cashmere include employing a dozen Abruzzo guard dogs for their herd of 250 Cashmere Goats, an ancient breed of shepherd dog raised for centuries in southern Italy, to protect against wolves and bears.

Dr. Nora Kravis, the founder and owner of Chianti Cashmere, is also working with Dr. Duccio Berzi, a technical advisor for the non-profit Italian group Canislupus Italia, towards the selection and implementation of preventative and non-lethal anti-predator solutions with the goal of making the farm a model for Best Management Practices (BMP) to spread predator-friendly know-how and certification to other Italian herders.

Canis lupus Italicus, photo © Dr. Duccio Berzi

Canis lupus Italicus, photo © Dr. Duccio Berzi

In addition, Dr. Kravis is an expert on pastoralism and cashmere goat genetics, with degrees in both  Veterinary Medicine and Textile Design, and is a regular participant and convener of workshops on related subjects internationally, and on the farm itself which is an agritourism destination for tourists as well as a center for the transfer of best practices to breeders and herders.

Chianti’s goat herd, which produces the raw material for a unique line of exclusive, locally processed Italian cashmere yarn, accessories and home textiles, originated in 1995 with the importing of the first cashmere goats into Italy, and improved over time by careful cross-breeding with local goats to create an Italian cashmere goat.

“We are delighted to have earned Wildlife Friendly® certification and to be recognized for our sustainability practices as well as to connect with consumers and companies who appreciate our efforts to coexist with wolves and other wildlife here in Italy” said Dr. Kravis.

Dr. Luigi Boitani, Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Rome and widely considered to be one of the world’s leading authorities on wolves, explains “Wolves are recovering and expanding in many European countries and conflicts with humans are widespread and often difficult to manage. As a consequence wolves are vulnerable. This Wildlife Friendly® certification is extremely important for farmers across Europe showing them that coexistence is possible and recognizing and showcasing success stories for farmers using predator-friendly practices.” Continue reading

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Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network Joins Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP)

Guhonda, Silverback of the Sabyinyo Group, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda  ©Julie Stein

Guhonda, Silverback of the Sabyinyo Group, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda ©Julie Stein

New GRASP Partner Offers Sustainable Development and Conservation Skills

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Nairobi, Kenya – 31-Oct-14 – The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) fortified its capacity in key areas such as eco-tourism, and increased global impact with the addition of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network following a vote by the GRASP Executive Committee, bringing the partnership to 98.

“As GRASP continues to grow, our focus is to add strategic partners that bring skills and expertise to help us address key issues,” said GRASP programme coordinator Doug Cress. “Adding the expertise of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network as our latest partner gives GRASP the ability to be more effective going forward.”

GRASP is a unique alliance of national governments, research institutions, conservation organizations, United Nations agencies, and private companies committed to ensuring the long-term survival of great apes and their habitat in Africa and Asia. Each GRASP partner receives a vote in the GRASP Council, and is represented through delegates to the GRASP Executive Committee.

The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) is an international consortium dedicated to the development and marketing of products and services that conserve threatened wildlife while contributing to the economic vitality of rural communities. WFEN includes conservationists, businesses, artisans, producers and harvesters, and recently launched the Gorilla Friendly™ Pledge eco-tourism campaign to promote best practices for gorilla tourism and to minimize the risk of disease transmission from humans to gorillas in East Africa. For more, visit www.wildlifefriendly.org.

“We are very excited to help advance the mission of GRASP in partnership with the GRASP membership in the months and years ahead — there is much work to do,” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and co-founder of WFEN.

For more information, please visit www.un-grasp.org or contact grasp@unep.org.

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