Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

World’s First Jaguar Friendly™ Coffee Launched by Phoenix Zoo, Press Coffee Roasters, ProCAT & WFEN

Pura Vida Roast Helps Protect Wildlife, People and Landscape

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

(Phoenix, Ariz.) A new Arizona-roasted coffee will let you wake up and help save jaguars. The Arizona Center for Nature Conservation (ACNC)/Phoenix Zoo and Press Coffee Roasters introduce Pura Vida this week – the first certified Jaguar Friendly™ coffee produced in the U.S. The 12-ounce bags of whole beans go on sale at all Press Coffee locations and the Phoenix Zoo today with a portion of the proceeds supporting jaguar research led by the ACNC and ProCAT, an international nongovernmental organization focused on wildlife and habitat conservation.

In this first effort of the Jaguar Conservation Coffee project, the ACNC and ProCAT are working with Finca Las Alturas ranch in Costa Rica to support a landscape where farmers, jaguars and other wildlife co-exist. Jaguars are in decline in the wild due mainly to illegal hunting and habitat loss, with the overall jaguar population estimated to occupy less than 50 percent of its former range.

The ACNC’s Field Conservation Research Director, Dr. Jan Schipper, and other researchers have been working to design a habitat corridor that links Las Alturas with the Osa Peninsula, home to Costa Rica’s most threatened jaguar population. These two areas are separated by farms, plantations, homes, businesses and busy highways, thus, separating jaguars from the prey they need.

ACNC and ProCAT encourage growers in the corridor to adopt “jaguar-friendly” practices such as organic, pesticide-free farming, not allowing hunting on their land, and maintaining a mix of coffee and native trees/shrubs to provide animals with food and shelter. These practices are beneficial to all wildlife in the region, not just jaguars.

“Most of the landscapes between protected areas, areas that species need to cross to maintain natural connectivity, are dominated by people,” says Schipper. “We see this effort as an opportunity to promote species conservation together with local communities by exploring production systems that help reconnect native habitats.”

photo (c) ProCAT

Not only is this southern part of Costa Rica home to one of the largest populations of jaguars in that country, Costa Rica is also renowned as one of the most richly diverse coffee regions in the world.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jaguar Friendly™ coffee into our growing family of brands,” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and co-founder of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN). “By using certification as an innovative conservation tool we can achieve conservation goals while supporting local farmers in jaguar range countries and share these incredible stories of coexistence with aspirational consumers around the world. It’s truly a triple bottom line win.”

“This collaboration is such a special and unique opportunity for anyone in the coffee industry,” said Steve Kraus, owner of Press Coffee Roasters. “We’re honored to be able to partner with the Phoenix Zoo and work directly with Finca Las Alturas to bring this coffee and awareness of their conservation efforts to our community.”

Kraus describes the Pura Vida as creamy with notes of caramel and nougat. It’s an outstanding example of Costa Rican single origin roasts, he said.

Pura Vida is available for $16 for a 12-ounce bag of whole beans with $5 of the proceeds going to support ACNC and ProCAT’s jaguar conservation efforts. It’s available at Press Coffee’s six Phoenix locations and at the Phoenix Zoo. It is also available online at presscoffee.com and can be shipped worldwide.

About Press Coffee Roasters

Press has been Phoenix’ local coffee roaster since 2008. It shares its passion for specialty coffee by providing the highest quality coffee products, service and knowledge with customers and community every day. Named Phoenix’ best roaster two years running, Press Coffee has five Valley locations in Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix and Chandler. Visit Press Coffee online at presscoffee.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @presscoffee.

About the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation

The Arizona Center for Nature Conservation operates the Phoenix Zoo and the South Mountain Environmental Education Center. The ACNC advances the stewardship and conservation of animals and their habitats while providing experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world.

The Phoenix Zoo is the only zoo in the Valley accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is a non-profit zoological park, serving 1.3 million guests annually. The Zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals, many of which are endangered and threatened species. For information on upcoming events, exhibits and activities at the Phoenix Zoo, visit phoenixzoo.org. For information about the South Mountain Environmental Education Center, visit smeec.org.

About ProCAT

ProCAT, Proyecto de Conservacion de Aguas y Tierras (Water and Land Conservation Project), is a non-profit organization dedicated to the research and conservation of species and ecosystems, including the human component, from an interdisciplinary approach. Its purpose is the conservation of ecosystems, species and cultural wealth, integrating scientific, traditional and cultural knowledge; in search of the well-being of both biodiversity and human communities. For more information, visit (www.procat-conservation.org).

About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN)

WFEN represents grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans, indigenous peoples 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 and a Time Hero for the Planet. Certified 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 the Americas; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

PRESS COFFEE MEDIA CONTACT:

Angela Muniz – Tin Can Marketing
480-966-2179; angela@tincanmarketing.com

PHOENIX ZOO MEDIA CONTACT:

Linda Hardwick
602-663-3254; lhardwick@phoenixzoo.org

 

 

 

WOMEN LEADING WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

Sarah Scarborough, founder of Firepot Nomadic Teas, has teamed up with Julie Stein, executive director and co-founder of Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network to start Roar Collaborative, a new project that is helping women lead wildlife conservation across the globe by offering training, skill-sharing and market access to young women in tea origin regions with the goal of building self-sufficiency.

Since 2001, Firepot has donated one percent of its sales to foundations supporting women and wildlife in tea origin countries in an effort to make a connection between tea lovers and growers, seeking to improves the lives of both. Firepot has been able to achieve that mission through its partnership with One Percent for the Planet, a global network of business, nonprofits and individuals working together for a healthy planet. Passionate about maintaining the principles of ethical trade and organic sourcing, Scarborough has multiple degrees in environmental studies, agroecology and sustainable development and received a Congressional Award of Merit for her advocacy of Fair Trade in 2005.

A GLOBAL COLLABORATION

Currently funded by one percent of Firepot’s sales, Roar Collaborative provides education and support for young women by fostering leadership opportunities and enabling women to become conservation leaders, social entrepreneurs and change-makers in their communities. Building on the belief that innovative, sustainable and diversified businesses emerge when women take a stand in leading wildlife conservation, Roar Collaborative gives women access to the tools they need to make a difference thorough sustainable wildlife tourism, biodiverse spice production or textile and jewelry design.

The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network is an international organization that helps conserve threatened wildlife while contributing to the economic vitality of rural communities. Its mission is to protect wildlife in its natural habitat, as well as agricultural lands in-between, by certifying enterprises that assure people and nature coexist and thrive by using the power of the marketplace to create on-the-ground change. The Network consists of conservationists, businesses, artisans, farmers, ranchers and herders, harvesters and indigenous peoples from around the world.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Businesses and individuals can join the collaborative by hosting local events to cultivate personal growth and knowledge or by becoming a partner through investing in micro-loans to help women start their own businesses. Donations can also be made online to go directly towards funding programs to raise awareness and foster education and skill development in young women and girls.

Please visit the collaborative’s website at www.roarcollaborative.com to learn more about the project and ways to get involved.

About Firepot Nomadic Teas

Created in 2001 by world-traveler and sustainable living expert, Sarah Scarborough, Firepot Nomadic Teas is a quality tea company that takes pride in its commitment to quality and ethical trading practices. Its organic teas and spices are sourced from producers in Africa, India and Asia, and offer an authentic taste of some of our globe’s most inspiring cultures. Firepot donates one percent of all sales to the empowerment of women and preservation of wildlife in tea origins. For more information, visit www.firepot.com, or check out Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

MEDIA CONTACT

BREAD & BUTTER PUBLIC RELATIONS

Alli Bridgers                                        Diana Barton

615.540.0266                                       615.540.0266

Alli@breadandbutterpr.com                 Diana@breadandbutterpr.com

 

Sustainable products promote coexistence between native wildlife
and fiber production

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) and the Wildlife Conservation Society Argentina (WCS) are pleased to announce the Wildlife Friendly™ certification of high quality mohair, merino wool, and cashmere, in recognition of the efforts of a cooperative of criancero herders to co-exist with the region’s native wildlife.

Local mixed-breed dog working as a guarding dog for goats. Credit: Alejandro Gonzalez.

Following years of work to improve land management practices and fiber quality, and support from WCS, 12 herders of the Neuquén, Argentina-based Programa Mohair are now offering both raw fiber and spun yarn for sale, under the Fibras del Viento (Fibers of the Wind) label. Fibers are available in natural colors and dyes, including green from Yerba mate, the national beverage of Argentina. Fine yarn and finished goods are spun and handcrafted at a small mill operated by cooperative members.

“The commitment of these herders participating in the Programa Mohair shows that it is possible to improve land use practices and combine increased product value with real conservation results. This is a high impact social and wildlife achievement that we hope will inspire other livestock producers in Patagonia,” said Guillermo Harris, WCS Argentina Director.

Puma in Laguna Blanca National Park, where some of the certified herders live. Credit: WCS Argentina

The actions of the livestock herders to coexist with native wildlife are important to the conservation of the unique fauna criollo dogs to protect their livestock from predators. Although their family farms are small, and they often struggle to maintain their livelihood, the herders are committed to sustainable production for the good of their land, livestock, and native wildlife.

“We are watching a Wildlife Friendly™ fiber movement unfold right now across Patagonia” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and Co-founder of WFEN. “Part of our mission is to create communities of practice that share innovations, challenges and successes across landscapes. These Programa Mohair herders and a growing number of ranching neighbors are at the leading edge of that effort. Designers, consumers and companies are taking note of their compelling stories of coexistence. Each step forward by these producers has been the result of hard work, and is thrilling to witness. We congratulate these heroes of conservation for their actions.”

Consumers wishing to purchase these responsibly produced fibers can write to ventas.fibrasdelviento@gmail.com or coopeagropezapala@gmail.com

Products made from mohair and mohair-merino blends. Credit: Susan Walker

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About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN and its Certified Wildlife Friendly®, Predator Friendly®, Certified Gorilla Friendly™, Jaguar and Sea Turtle Friendly™ certification programs represent grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans, indigenous peoples 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, Tiger, Cheetah, Red Panda, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

About WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 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: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.

Visit: www.wcsargentina.org;

http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS;
http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia
Follow: @thewcs

Contact:

Wildlife Friendly

Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org
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Elephant Friendly™ Tea helps secure a future for wild elephants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wild Elephants in Assam India Photo: Anshuma Basumatary

Wild Elephants in Assam India Photo: Anshuma Basumatary

Las Vegas, Nevada: – June 12, 2017– The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) and the University of Montana (UM) Broader Impacts Group are pleased to announce the launch of the world’s first Elephant FriendlyTM Tea Certification at this year’s World Tea Expo, where the Elephant FriendlyTM Tea team will showcase tea from plantations that are certified as Elephant FriendlyTM, supporting the survival of the endangered Asian elephant.

WFEN, a global community dedicated to the development of products and tourism that contribute to the conservation of threatened wildlife and to the economic vitality of rural landscapes, is partnering with the University of Montana, home to the top-ranked Wildlife Biology program in North America, to engage tea growers, sellers and consumers in a ground-breaking farm-to-cup approach to support the conservation of endangered Asian elephants, Elephas maximus.

Since the early 1800’s tea consumption has been on the rise, and today it is the most popular beverage worldwide. Tea plantations have replaced much of the natural habitat of Asian elephants and other species. Habitat loss and the associated human-elephant conflict, which often leads to loss of life for both people and elephants, have contributed significantly to the decline of Asian elephant populations. According to the IUCN Red List, Asian elephants are an endangered species, with an estimated 40,000-50,000 remaining across their range countries, a decline of over 50% in the last 75 years. India holds at least 50% of the remaining population and is the world’s second largest tea producer, with tea lands primarily located in areas historically inhabited by elephants.

Engaging tea growers as active partners in elephant conservation is critical to the future of Asian elephants in the wild. Agricultural lands planted for tea production can play a vital role as corridors of movement between natural areas. Tea plantations often serve as nurseries where mothers give birth and rest for a few days until their newborn babies are strong enough to move with the herd.

However, agricultural practices on tea estates can present potential hazards for elephants, such as the use of deep and narrow drainage ditches which can trap infant and juvenile elephants. Improperly installed electric fencing or sagging electricity lines can pose electrocution risks for elephants. Chemicals used in conventional tea production, if not stored securely or applied judiciously, can poison elephants. In addition, human-elephant conflict can have grave consequences for both elephants and tea worker communities.

An innovative market-based solution comes in the form of a new Elephant FriendlyTM Certification program providing Lake Missoula Elephant Friendly Teaan opportunity for tea growers to make changes that reduce their negative impacts on elephant populations and enables companies to tell a story of coexistence to consumers. In the spring of 2017, the first Elephant FriendlyTM Tea plantation was certified in Assam, India. This organic farm serves as a model to other growers who are interested in becoming certified under this program. Lake Missoula Tea Company in Montana, USA, is the first business to carry Elephant FriendlyTM Tea for sale. The first restaurant to carry the certified tea, Caffe Dolce in Missoula, Montana, has also joined the growing community of vendors who are committing to sourcing Elephant FriendlyTM Tea.

Lisa Mills, who serves as the liaison for the University of Montana on this project, explains: “We are encouraged by the interest we are seeing from tea growers and tea buyers who want to join the Certified Elephant FriendlyTM Tea program. With a percentage of every sale going back to support elephant conservation in the communities where the tea is grown, tea drinkers can enjoy great tea while supporting human-elephant coexistence.”

“To be certified under this program tea growers must meet strict “elephant friendly” standards which have been vetted by experts on elephants in this part of the world, “ said Julie Stein, Executive Director and Co-founder of WFEN. “We are excited to see that the tea is commanding a strong price premium in the marketplace, which is early proof-of-concept that consumers will support the conservation mission. “

By buying Elephant FriendlyTM Tea consumers are helping sustain wild elephant populations and secure their future. Interested companies and consumers can learn more at http://elephantfriendlytea.com/or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/elephantfriendlytea

About the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN and its certification programs represent grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans, indigenous peoples 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, tiger, elephant, cheetah, red panda, and wolf – and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

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About the University of Montana

The University of Montana (UM), located in Missoula, Montana, USA, is a higher education institution, home to the top-ranked Wildlife Biology Program in North America and award-winning research, outreach and business innovation programs. The Elephant FriendlyTM Program is a partnership between the University of Montana’s Broader Impacts Group at http://www.umt.edu/big/, the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, and business and conservation science advisors from across the globe. The UM Blackstone Launchpad and UM School of Business provide additional planning and marketing support.

Contact  

Wildlife Friendly

Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org

University of Montana

Lisa Mills: lisa.mills@mso.umt.edu

 

 

 

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The future Patagonia National Park, Chile, is now Certified Wildlife Friendly™ showcasing flagship coexistence efforts, wildlife conservation and wild lands protection for tourists while supporting the local economy 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 AYSÉN REGION, CHILE: – APRIL-2017– The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), a global community dedicated to the development and promotion of products and tourism that contribute to the conservation of threatened wildlife and to the economic vitality of rural landscapes, is pleased to announce the awarding of Wildlife Friendly™ Certification to Patagonia Park, part of Conservacion Patagonica whose mission is to promote the creation of national parks in Patagonia (Argentina and Chile), in collaboration with neighboring communities and local, regional, and national governments, that save and restore wildlands and wildlife, inspire care for the natural world, and generate healthy economic opportunities for local communities.

Originally one of the region’s largest sheep ranches, Estancia Valle Chacabuco changed ownership several times over the past century, resulting in an overgrazed and degraded landscape. When Kris and Doug Tompkins first visited the Valle Chacabuco Valley in 1995, CONAF (Chile’s National Forest Service) had long recognized the need to prioritize the protection of these unique and biodiverse ecosystems. With help from Tompkins Conservation and Conservacion Patagonica, the 170,500-acre Estancia Chacabuco was acquired. In subsequent years several other adjacent properties have been purchased from willing sellers, bringing the currently total area of protected land to close to 200,000 acres. Eventually, Patagonia Park will be combined with the Jeinimeni National Reserve to the north and the Tamango National Reserve to the south, to create a 640,000-acre Patagonia National Park. This will allow bi-national trans-boundary access across the border of Chile and Argentina and will provide ecosystem continuity, wildlife corridors, and tourist driving and hiking circuits.

“For Conservación Patagonica it is an honour to receive the Wildlife Friendly™ Certification in Chile which is a LDGlandmark supporting the feasibility of traditional livestock activities in Patagonia coexisting with top predators such as pumas”, said Paula Herrera, a veterinary doctor and livestock manager for the Park. “It has been a long process, over eight years involving changes in the carrying capacity, herding practices and a strong involvement of local gauchos. Today, we are very proud to reach the point where our neighbors recognize our status as a protected area, and the high quality of our products (meat, wool and breeding stock) associated with different livestock management practices such as the pioneering use of livestock guardian dogs to reduce predation in southern Patagonia.

 

LGD2“We are thrilled to recognize the incredible restoration, conservation and coexistence work happening here in Patagonia Park,” said WFEN Executive Director Julie Stein during a recent visit to the park to meet with the wildlife team and other staff. “It is truly inspiring to witness first hand this celebration of wild places including the hard but essential work to coexist with apex predators like pumas and by proving that the local economy can be supported through Wildlife Friendly™ tourism and products. We don’t have to choose between thriving businesses and thriving biodiversity – both are possible and in fact are inter-dependent.”

Efforts at Patagonia Park include extensive grasslands restoration, removal of over 400 miles of fencing which fragmented critical habitat by blocking wildlife corridors and entangling species like Guanacos in barbed wire leading to mortality. There is also an endangered Huemul Deer recovery program, a breeding center for Darwin’s Rheas, an Andean Condor reintroduction effort, and Puma monitoring, as well as a thriving livestock guard dog program to protect livestock from predation.

Patagonia Park is an initiative led by Conservación Patagonica since 2004, whose main goal throughout has been the formal donation of the land to the Chilean State to create Patagonia National Park, an agreement which was finalized and signed by the Chilean President President Michelle Bachelet on March 15 2017.

“The need for people and wildlife to not only coexist but to benefit each other is a challenge for protected areas and neighboring lands and communities,” said Cristián Saucedo, Conservation Director. At Conservación Patagónica, we believe this, and we invite other Chilean initiatives to be part of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, because we see this as a unique opportunity which links tourism, conservation, local communities and caring for the land as all part of our long- term vision for wild lands in Chile.”

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About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network 

WFEN and its certification programs represent grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans, indigenous peoples 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, Tiger, Elephant, Cheetah, Red Panda, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

About Patagonia Park 

Conservacion Patagonica works to create national parks in Patagonia that save and restore wildlands and wildlife, inspire care for the natural world, and generate healthy economic opportunities for local communities. For more information see www.tompkinsconservation.org / www.kristinetompkins.com / www.parquepatagonia.org

Tompkins Conservation: https://www.facebook.com/tompkinsconservation/

Patagonia Park: https://www.facebook.com/parquepatagoniaoficial/ 

Conservacion Patagonica: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectPatagonia/ 

Conservacion Patagonica: https://www.instagram.com/conservacionpatagonica/ 

Patagonia Park: https://www.instagram.com/parquepatagonia/ 

Contact: 

Patagonia Park 

Dr. Paula Herrera, Livestock guardian dog program: pherrera@conservacionpatagonica.cl 

Dr. Cristián Saucedo, Director of Wildlife Projects: csaucedo@conservacionpatagonica.cl 

Alison Kelman, US Media Contact: alison.kelman@tompkinsconservation.org 

Wildlife Friendly 

Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org 

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wfen-asian-elephant-friendly-rd2_a-copy

Tea companies join forces with wildlife conservation efforts to launch the world’s first certification program aiming to provide incentives for conservation of elephants in the wild

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ASSAM, India – November 29, 2016 – The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) and the University of Montana jointly announce a first-of-its kind certification program which will empower consumers to play an active role in conservation, and provide tea-growing companies with a financial incentive to make positive changes for elephants within tea plantations. The Balipara Foundation of India has spearheaded support for this initiative by extending an invitation to Indian tea companies to join the effort to implement specific changes that top elephant experts agree will have positive impacts on Asian elephant conservation.

Photo © Anshuma Basumatary

Photo © Anshuma Basumatary

Injury, electrocution, poison and other conflicts with humans, combined with widespread habitat loss and degradation, have left this species under great pressure to survive in the wild long-term. Asian elephant populations are declining faster than their better-known African elephant cousins. In a number of countries Asian elephants are extinct or nearly extinct in the wild, although the media and general public remain largely unaware that this species may someday face widespread extinction if the trend is not reversed with strategic and well-timed conservation interventions.

Certified Elephant Friendly™ Tea has been developed as a result of years of research and community-based conservation effort in Assam, the primary tea growing region in India, focusing on identifying the key threats to elephants and strategies to address them. As a partner in this new initiative, University of Montana’s Lisa Mills says, “It is time to recognize that the very things that we buy across the globe are often in direct odds with the conservation of wildlife. If the products we purchase were an opportunity to reverse this trend, for elephants to last a bit longer and roam a bit more freely on this earth, would we pay the price? Can we have our tea and drink it too?” With rapid growth in the tea market in the U.S. in 2015 and 2016, and consumers becoming increasingly aware of and concerned about how their spending impacts the environment, retailers and U.S. based tea companies have expressed early interest in marketing products certified under this program. There is also interest in certification of other products as Elephant FriendlyTM, such as coffee grown in elephant movement areas in south India.

“Elephant populations are in trouble wherever they exist around the world,” said WFEN Director Julie Stein. “Poaching and the illegal wildlife trade are having devastating effects on populations, with habitat conversion and human-elephant conflict both creating additional compounding mortality. Elephants simply cannot reproduce fast enough to survive this crisis. These are complex issues to solve and global citizens are often left feeling helpless as they watch species blink out before their eyes and in their own lifetimes, but now consumers can be empowered to do something tangible to reward ethical companies that are going the extra mile to coexist with elephants so that their children will not live in a world without elephants.”

The Elephant Friendly™ Tea Certification Program was announced at the Balipara Foundation’s Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum in November 2016 in Guwahati, India, which was held in conjunction with the IUCN Asian Elephant Specialist Group meeting. This important gathering of the some of the world’s top Asian Elephant experts was also an opportunity to bring major tea industry representatives together to plan action steps in support of the
long-term survival of Asian elephants. Discussions around the concept of Elephant Friendly Tea™ included major tea companies such as Amalgamated Tea (APPL), the second largest tea company in India, the India Tea Association, other tea companies and representatives from leading conservation organizations from across the globe.

tea-garden-worker

Photo © Lisa Mills

The tea-growing estates of India, established in the 1800’s, replaced former elephant habitat with plantations. Worker homes, roads, irrigation ditches, fencing and other human-driven activity expanded with the growth of the industry and continues to this day. These non-Elephant Friendly barriers pose a real threat to ancient migration patterns and thus the survival of elephant herds that must access reliable sources of water and food, as well as safe places to raise their young. Because natural cycles of native forest growth depend on seed dispersal by elephants as they move and deposit undigested tree seeds to forest openings, elephants are often referred to as the “Farmers of the Forest.” Elephant Friendly Tea™ will give tea drinkers around the world an important role in helping to ensure these iconic and charismatic animals have a future in the wild.

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About University of Montana

The University of Montana is part of the Montana State University Education System in the U.S.A., and is home to the top-ranked Wildlife Biology Program in North America, as well as to one of the top Business Schools in the nation that emphasizes sustainable business development. Through the university’s Broader Impacts Group, wildlife conservation research and enterprise come together to help address some of the world’s toughest challenges around conservation in the face of major global changes. http://www.umt.edu/

About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN is the global brand leader on threatened and endangered species-focused certification programs, from Gorilla Friendly™ to Predator Friendly® to Jaguar and Sea Turtle Friendly™ certification programs. WFEN represents global companies as well as grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans, indigenous communities 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, the Americas, including the Snow Leopard, Elephant, Tiger, Cheetah, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

Contacts:

Julie Stein, Executive Director
Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network
julie@wildlifefriendly.org

Lisa Mills, Program Manager, Elephants and Tea
Broader Impacts Group, University of Montana
lisa.mills@mso.umt.edu

Banner photo credit: Subit Sawra

certified-wildlife-friendly-tiger-final_a

New conservation enterprise, Jungle Organics, supports smallholder women farmers producing high quality spices in harmony with wildlife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Photo © Kaavya Varma

Photo © Kaavya Varma

 NEW DELHI, India – OCTOBER 26 2016 The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) and Jungle Organics™ headquartered in New Delhi, India are pleased to announce that Turmeric Powder, Ground Red Chili Pepper and Coriander Powder grown adjacent to Jim Corbett National Park – core habitat for tigers, leopards, elephants and other globally vulnerable wildlife – have earned Wildlife Friendly™ certification under the Jungle Organics™ brand. The spices are grown on women-operated organic farms that provide safe passage through an important corridor for wildlife as well as access to fresh water sources. In addition, unlike many other crops which are attractants to wildlife, these aromatic spices are not an attractant and actually tend to reduce human-wildlife conflict leading to better attitudes and greater acceptance among local communities towards wildlife. As a result there are fewer retaliatory killings of big cats which are already in jeopardy globally.

“This project hits the mark on so many counts,” said WFEN Director Julie Stein. “From research around the world we know that empowering rural women is the key to food security, nutrition and poverty reduction. And with apex predators in trouble everywhere we are delighted to welcome not only our first enterprise in India – but our first protecting tigers – a flagship endangered species with only a few thousand remaining in breeding populations in the wild. Jungle Organics™ is truly a leading edge conservation enterprise and was formed from inception around the concept of Wildlife Friendly™ farming. We are thrilled to see this kind of entrepreneurial innovation popping up in different ways around the world and supporting wildlife, women and their families. It is proof-of-concept that coexistence with large carnivores can work to support the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.”

jo-women-farmers

Photo © Kaavya Varma

“Subsistence farmers are coexisting with wildlife across India, making the crops they produce and the role their farms play in allowing wildlife to roam free truly unique. The presence of tigers and leopards on the farms is an indicator of the health of the ecosystem and means that the spices and herbs are grown in pristine environments thriving on water from Himalayan rivers and nutrient rich soils. This results in higher potency spices and herbs with better medicinal properties that can contribute to health and well-being. We are excited to see recognition of the linkage between Wildlife Friendly™ farming and production of superior quality ingredients based on the interest coming from Delhi, Bombay and other cities, to purchase our products” said Jungle Organics™ Founder Kaavya Varma, who is an expert in implementing green economy strategies. “This is particularly critical because if spices that are used on an everyday basis can also contribute to protecting big cats then it is much easier for everyone to participate in saving tigers and leopards and can make conservation more mainstream.”

“With the multiple human-caused threats faced by wildlife, it is significant that Uttarakhand is the first place where the State Government has been forward thinking in supporting this enterprise” Ms. Varma explained, “and the State Organic Commodity Board has shown great leadership in partnering with Jungle Organics™ to enhance the livelihoods of small-holder farmers and create awareness amongst farmers about wildlife. These agricultural practices can have a significant impact on conservation and the incomes of women farmers in remote areas.”

jo-tiger

Photo © Kaavya Varma

In addition to tigers, other threatened and endangered wildlife using these forests and farms as habitat and corridors include leopards, Asiatic black bears, tigers, Himalayan serow, ghural, pangolins, elephants, peacocks, wild boars, sambar deer, porcupines, monkeys and kakar or barking deer. The farms are unfenced, making them particularly Wildlife Friendly™, and farmers use low tech but highly effective and labor intensive foot patrols throughout the night in separate groups of women or men making noises to reduce crop destruction.

Uttarakhand State contains the highest amount of forest cover in India and is home to 1000 leopards and 340 tigers, 10% and 16%, respectively, of the total populations of both animals in India. Leopards and tigers are threatened everywhere they still exist by poaching, a decrease in their prey base, protected area encroachment, deforestation, and roads. Nearly 70% of the farmers in India are smallholder family operations and many of them live in landscapes that overlap with wildlife making it especially important that Indian models of conservation support these farmers and that best practices which support wilderness and biodiversity conservation are replicated in other States beyond Uttarakhand.

 

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About Jungle OrganicsTM

Jungle OrganicsTM works with 100% organic certified farmers who consciously choose to live by forests and wildlife, for the authenticity of their produce, even at the cost of low-yields on their lands. Using wildlife friendly practices, they ensure minimal human intervention to avoid taking away from the originality of the spices and herbs they grow. Our goal is to offer authentic spices and herbs, by supporting and resurrecting pristine farming practices that emphasize coexistence with wildlife, and thus, reduce wildlife-human conflict and the consequent damage that follows. For more information, email team@jungleorganics.in or visit www.jungleorganics.in.

 

About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN and its Certified Wildlife Friendly®, Predator Friendly®, Certified Gorilla Friendly™, and Jaguar Friendly™ and Sea Turtle Friendly™ certification programs represent grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans, indigenous communities 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, the Americas, including the Snow Leopard, Elephant, Tiger, Cheetah, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

Contacts:                                                                                            

Julie Stein, Executive Director
Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network
julie@wildlifefriendly.org

Kaavya Varma, Founder & CEO
Jungle OrganicsTM
kaavya@jungleorganics.in

dotasialogoforwebste

DotAsia Becomes First Global Internet Company to Join the Wildlife Friendly® Enterprise Network Supporting Tiger Conservation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HONG KONG– 20 JAN 2016 – DotAsia Organisation, who operates the global “.Asia” Top-Level Domain (TLD) as a not-for-profit organization with a mandate to promote internet development and adoption in Asia, and the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), a global community dedicated to protecting wildlife in wild places and on private agricultural lands in between, are pleased to announce an exciting new collaboration to raise awareness about the important role of internet companies in the poaching crisis and the trade in illegal wildlife parts online. Using Tigers as the flagship species, this effort will assist companies to take positive, productive, practical and achievable steps to address this crisis which could lead to tragic consequences for highly endangered species like Tigers. This effort will also promote legal and certified Tiger Friendly™ products and services that will empower global companies and their consumers to create change on-the-ground and support Tiger conservation and improved livelihoods for rural communities who often turn to illegal activities like poaching to feed their families in Asia.

“Building on the appointment of Ajitora, our PR character for ‘.Asia’, as a Tx2 Ambassador, we are excited to see Aji already hard at work in pulling together this strategic collaboration with WFEN” said Edmon Chung, CEO of DotAsia. “The Tx2 goal is to #doubletigers in the wild by 2022, and is supported by organizations including GTF, WWF and TRAFFIC. Promoting Tiger Friendly™ products, services and corporate practices broadens the reach of Tx2 in Asia. Internet and IT companies are not usually thought to be directly impacting wildlife environment, but unknowingly, illegal wildlife trade is proliferating online, while poachers abusively mine social media data for criminal activities. The work with WFEN will pioneer Wildlife Friendly® guidelines and principals for Internet related businesses.”

“This groundbreaking new Tiger Friendly™ collaboration with DotAsia Organisation and other internet technology companies is a positive step towards stemming the tide on poaching and the illegal wildlife trade especially in Asia where much of the demand originates. Poaching is considered to be one of the most immediate threats to the survival of many species globally and so we applaud DotAsia for their commitment and leadership in taking a proactive stance on this critical wildlife issue for imperiled species like Tigers with as few as 3200 of the big cats remaining in the wild,” said WFEN Executive Director and co-founder Julie Stein.

WFEN Founding Corporate Network Members share the WFEN vision for a world where people and wildlife not only coexist but thrive and are committed to sourcing and creating beautiful products that are made in a manner that respect the producers, land, and wildlife and tourism that engages tourists as partners in conservation. WFEN membership is open to businesses and non-governmental organizations who are committed to the WFEN mission and who actively contribute to Wildlife Friendly® business practices. This contribution may be through building Wildlife Friendly® supply chains, production, sourcing and selling Certified Wildlife Friendly® products, building increased awareness and demand with consumers, and implementing best practices for biodiversity conservation and business, and addressing the illegal wildlife trade.

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About DotAsia Organisation

DotAsia (http://www.dot.asia) is a registered not-for-profit charitable organization (DotAsia Foundation: IRD 91/12820) with a mandate to promote Internet development and adoption in Asia. DotAsia operates the “.Asia” top-level domain (TLD) as part of the core global Internet infrastructure, and is formed as an open consortium of official domain authorities in Asia, including .CN (China), .JP (Japan), .KR (Korea), .IN (India), .NZ (New Zealand), .PH (Philippines), etc., and regional Internet organizations including APNIC, APNG, APIA, APCERT, APRALO and APTLD, etc.

Since the launch of “.Asia”, DotAsia has proactively contributed to the Asia community, supporting many charitable projects, e.g.: One-Laptop-Per-Child Asia Pacific (http://www.olpc.asia), Information Society Innovations Fund (http://www.isif.asia), Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (http://www.aprigf.asia), Food Revolution Day initiative with Jamie Oliver (http://www.frd.asia), NetMission.Asia (youth volunteer program &network — http://www.netmission.asia), Go.Asia (http://www.go.asia), and many more.

About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN and its Certified Wildlife Friendly® and Predator Friendly® certification programs represent grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans, indigenous communities 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, and Latin and North America, including the Snow Leopard, Elephant, Cheetah, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

Contacts:

DotAsia Organisation

Beatrice Chan: beatrice@dot.asia

Ajitora: ajitora@dot.asia

Wildlife Friendly

Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WLF North American species_am

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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:

Wildlife Friendly

Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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. Read more »