Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

Nuxalbari Tea Estate Becomes Second Enterprise in the World to Earn Elephant Friendly™ Certification


Darjeeling Tea Plantation Works to Secure a Future for Wild Elephants through Coexistence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUGUST 6, 2018 – DARJEELING – The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) and the University of Montana (UM) are pleased to announce the certification of the historic Nuxalbari Tea Estate, the first large acreage tea producer to be recognized under the Certified Elephant Friendly™ Tea program. Nuxalbari Tea Estate is a 1200-acre woman-owned and operated tea estate in Darjeeling District of West Bengal, India. This newly certified enterprise is the second globally to receive this recognition, and the first in Darjeeling District. The Elephant Friendly™ Tea certification program establishes stringent certification standards for the protection of endangered Asian elephants and the reduction of human-elephant conflict. This innovative effort is being spearheaded through a partnership between WFEN, a global community dedicated to the development of enterprises that contribute to the conservation of threatened wildlife and to the economic vitality of rural landscapes, and conservation biologists and sustainability-focused business experts at the University of Montana, to connect tea growers, sellers and consumers in a farm-to-cup approach.

Nuxalbari Tea Estate owner Sonia Jabbar with the new Certified Elephant Friendly™ farm sign at her 1200 acre tea plantation. Photo credit: Nuxalbari Tea Estate

Nuxalbari Tea Estate owner Sonia Jabbar with the new Certified Elephant Friendly™ farm sign at her 1200 acre tea plantation. Photo credit: Nuxalbari Tea Estate

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 elephant 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 dangers for elephants. Drainage ditch hazards can trap elephants, especially juveniles. 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. Blocking of elephant corridors with fencing or walls can disrupt age-old patterns of movements of elephant herds. Human-elephant conflict can have grave consequences for both elephants and tea worker communities.

Nuxalbari Tea Estate, established in 1884, has been within the same family for four generations with operations currently led by Sonia Jabbar, a fifth-generation tea planter, conservationist, polo player and single mother. “Elephants are living bodhisattvas,” says Ms. Jabbar, “We humans can learn a lot from them. They are big and powerful, but choose to remain patient with us despite the fact that we rob them of their forests, tease, harass, and even kill them. It is our duty to protect these gentle giants and we must learn to peacefully co-exist with them on this beautiful earth. I am very grateful to WFEN and the University of Montana (UM) for recognizing and supporting our work.”

Elephants are welcome to move through Nuxalbari Tea Estate as they travel between fragments of remaining forests in the elephant corridor between southeast Nepal and north Bengal in India. Photo credit: Nuxalbari Tea Estate

Elephants are welcome to move through Nuxalbari Tea Estate as they travel between fragments of remaining forests in the elephant corridor between southeast Nepal and north Bengal in India. Photo credit: Nuxalbari Tea Estate

As a result of Ms. Jabbar’s efforts for the past 7 years, Nuxalbari Tea Estate has become a safe haven for wild elephants as they move between shrinking fragments of forests in north Bengal. In order to reduce human-elephant conflict the estate’s security guards are trained to maintain a 400-meter safe corridor for elephants to pass through unharmed. Other projects to promote biodiversity within the tea estate include the establishment of a 100-acre re-wilding project for native species including elephants. Ms. Jabbar leads a Hathi Sathi nature club for the children of tea workers to encourage a new generation of “Barefoot Conservationists.” To address the concerns of neighboring farmers affected by hungry elephants that raid their fields and cause economic distress to an already struggling population, there are future plans to establish a fund for crop insurance to cover economic losses caused by elephants. Coexistence between humans and elephants requires significant buy-in from the local community and forest officials, and Ms. Jabbar hopes to inspire other tea growers to embark on similar efforts.

“Elephant Friendly™ tea certification provides an opportunity for tea consumers to reward tea growers for changing practices that have negative impacts on elephant populations and enables companies to tell a story of coexistence to consumers,” said WFEN Executive Director and co-founder Julie Stein, “and we are thrilled to welcome our first woman-owned certified tea grower into the Wildlife Friendly™ family of brands.”

Lisa Mills, who serves as the liaison for the University of Montana on this project, explains: “We have completed a full year of testing the consumer market and have found that when Certified Elephant Friendly™ tea products are offered as a choice amongst otherwise similar quality products, consumers prefer knowing their dollars are making a difference for elephants. As of August 2018, more than 50 companies are carrying Certified Elephant Friendly™ tea products.”

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 lead 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, or Elephas maximus, 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. 
 By purchasing Elephant Friendly™ tea consumers are helping sustain wild elephant populations and to secure their future. Interested companies and consumers can learn more at http://elephantfriendlytea.com and http://wildlifefriendly.org/specie/asian-elephant

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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, and a Time Hero for the Planet. 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 I including the snow leopard, tiger, elephant, cheetah, red panda, and wolf I and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

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 Friendly™ Program is a partnership between the University of Montana’s Broader Impacts Group, 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. For more information visit: https://www.umt.edu/research/ 

Contact:

Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network: Julie Stein at Julie@wildlifefriendly.org 


University of Montana: Lisa Mills at lisa.mills@umontana.edu

Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network becomes first wildlife conservation organization to benefit from 2nd Life’s Electronics Buy Back Program for nonprofits

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – MAY 30 2018 2nd Life, a Richmond based company whose mission is to responsibly repurpose pre-owned consumer electronics and computing assets via proprietary remarketing techniques and cutting edge repair capabilities, has launched an exciting new partnership with the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) to benefit the world’s most endangered wildlife called “Cash in for Wildlife.”

The world generates over 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste – or 4500 Eiffel Towers – annually, according to the United Nations report Global E-waste Monitor 2017, with only 20% of that recycled through appropriate channels. This presents a challenge to sustainable development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The amount of e-waste is expected to increase to 52.2 million metric tonnes by 2021. The UN estimated the total value of all raw materials present in e-waste to be approximately 55 Billion Euros in 2016, which is more than the 2016 Gross Domestic Product of most countries in the world. With many product life cycles measured in months as consumers trade up to newer technology, and a higher percentage of consumers owning multiple devices, circular economy models need to be adopted to encourage “closing the loop” through recycling while also mitigating pollution of the environment.

E-waste at the end of its life cycle includes toxic chemicals such as arsenic, mercury, flame-retardants and lead. When illegally or improperly disposed of these toxins seep into the ground, polluting soil and groundwater and contaminating microorganisms which fish feed upon; improper burning of e-waste releases toxins into the air.   E-waste exposure can lead to diseases such heart disease, cancer and can damage DNA. Children are especially vulnerable to these health risks from e-waste exposure. Once food is contaminated these toxins and heavy metals move up the food chain leading to bioaccumulation and biomagnification in apex predators including humans.

“The electronics industry impacts humans, the environment and wildlife at both ends of its life cycle” said WFEN Director and Co-founder Julie Stein. “At the source, profits from illegally mined ‘conflict minerals’ like tin, tantalite or coltan, tungsten and gold, from the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, contribute to ongoing violence in the country and illegal miners living inside protected areas are negatively affecting endangered wildlife including the critically endangered Grauer’s Gorilla whose numbers have declined by 77%, as well as the endangered Eastern Chimpanzee, and the endangered Okapi which is only found in the DRC and whose population has plummeted by 50% due to the related triple threats of deforestation, mining and bushmeat hunting by illegal miners. Our enterprise model is to create alternative livelihood opportunities such as Wildlife Friendly™ sustainable farming, tourism and handicrafts for the benefit of wildlife and communities so that they do not have to resort to illegal activities which harm the environment. This new partnership with 2nd Life will help us on several fronts to achieve our mission.”

“We designed our proprietary consumer electronics buyback platform to support retailers like Best Buy and Amazon by offering a turnkey solution so that their customers can trade-in their no longer needed electronics towards purchase of new items,” said Seth Schmidt, Chief Marketing Officer for 2nd Life. During 2016 we identified an opportunity to create a fundraising oriented platform, building on what we learned serving the for-profit sector. Essentially, the fundraising solution allows consumers to sell their used electronics from over a dozen popular categories including smartphones, tablets, laptops, drones, digital cameras and more in order to support the causes that mean the most to them. Consumers are paid a competitive value for their items and can elect to donate all or a portion of their payment to the cause, in this case, the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network.”

According to Michael Feibelman, President and CEO of 2nd Life, the company has three solutions to address these challenges: IT Asset Disposition for responsible end-of-life corporate computing and mobile asset refreshes; community electronic waste collection services; and now, the buyback solution that supports non-profits like WFEN and others. The goal of The 2nd Life buyback program is to generate an ongoing revenue stream for these organizations and their partners by utilizing the 2nd Life Consumer Electronics Buyback Program, which allows consumers to quickly and easily get paid for their pre-owned consumer electronics while at the same time supporting a cause, in this case helping to protect wildlife around the world.

“We are extremely grateful to Michael and his team at 2nd Life for their interest in our work and are proud to be their first and only wildlife conservation partner,” said Ms. Stein. “This partnership makes 2nd Life our newest Founding Corporate Network member along with other leading edge sustainability companies.”

For companies or individuals who would like to become part of this program with 2nd Life to benefit wildlife please contact Seth Schmidt at 2nd Life or visit https://wfen.fundello.org to cash in your digital cameras and camcorders, cell phones, laptop computers, drones, and more for the benefit of the world’s endangered wildlife.

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About 2nd Life

2nd Life extends the useful life of all electronics through it’s primary services of IT asset disposition (ITAD) for the enterprise, consumer based trade-in and buyback solutions for retailers, manufacturers, non-profits and schools and it’s expertise in electronics repair all the way up to circuit board level work. For more information, visit http://2ndlifeinc.com

About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

WFEN and its family of brands 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, Cheetah, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

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

 

 

(c) Primal Pastures

Warner Springs and Murrieta farm raises pastured chickens, rebuilds healthy, regenerative soils and grasslands, and coexists with wildlife.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Warner Springs, CA, September 18, 2016 Most people don’t set up a wholesale pastured poultry operation in an area known for its mountain lion activity as much as for its orchards. Yet for farmer Paul Grieve of Pasturebird, flourishing habitat is an integral part of farming. “The important thing to us is that we build an ecosystem. Our role is to steward the land and grow a great environment for Mother Nature.”

On its newest farm­­­­­­­­­­ site—100 acres of a 1000 acre parcel that meets the Palomar and Iron Spring Mountains in Warner Springs—Paul and his family are restoring a former potato field to permanent pasture. They ensure wildlife corridors remain open and use a variety of methods to protect their chickens, in order that a variety of wildlife can pass through the property. “We end up seeing snakes, rabbits, birds, worms, deer, and coyotes. I love being able to see those guys come through the farm but not interrupt our operations. Knowing that mountain lions are around makes it even better. It means we’re doing something right.”

This sentiment, together with a variety of husbandry practices to meet the farm’s stewardship mission, has enabled Pasturebird and sister location, Primal Pastures, to become Southern California’s first farm to achieve Certified Wildlife Friendly® status. Certified Wildlife Friendly® recognizes farms and ranches committed to regenerative practices that enable wildlife and livestock to coexist. The farm is working to restore perennial grasslands. It uses managed, multi-species grazing practices to improve soil. It conserves wildlife corridors, and relies upon proactive, humane practices to deter predators, among other key attributes. Along with peers around the globe, Pasturebird and Primal Pastures are part of a progressive wave of agriculture that models the critical role of farms and ranches in sustaining wildlife and habitat.

The farm’s efforts have been noticed by the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Lakers, both of which have accounts. “Pasturebird’s commitment to transparency and raising birds the way they were meant to live is truly inspiring,” says chef Alan Latourelle of Wolfgang Puck, another satisfied customer. Kitchen workers from the hospitality group’s Southern California staff recently toured the farm, gaining first-hand experience of what Pasturebird terms simply “real chicken.”  Inspired by renowned grass farmer Joel Salatin of Virginia, Paul Greive and his family are committed to creating a scale-alternative to factory farming that cares for the land, the animals and consumers’ health.

(c) Primal Pastures

The farm started simply enough, 5 years ago, from the family’s search for healthy food for its own use: “We were paying a bunch of money for labels, but not good food,” explains Paul. “We wanted to eat meat that was not bad for the environment or our bodies,” he explains. “We couldn’t find what we were looking for.” And, so what began with an order of 54 chickens for personal use turned into a vocation for 2 generations and multiple branches of Paul’s family.   Pasturebird, a wholesale operation opened in 2015, builds upon the success of Primal Pastures, the family’s direct-to-consumer farm in Murrieta.

Livestock guardian dogs are integral to the farm’s ability to coexist with wildlife. While predator losses were significant in the farm’s first true commercial year, the family quickly realized the use of lethal control “didn’t jibe at all with what we were doing,” says Paul. Rather, “we were working to “heal the land, heal the soil, and participate with nature.” Today, the farm raises its own Anatolian Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix guardians. The dogs help to protect the flock, which is moved to fresh pasture daily in open-air, floorless chicken tractors. The farm vision includes having its operations become carbon-neutral in a few years, by offsetting the energy put into tractors and other equipment through its soil building activities.

The farm’s practices mean it is a regional model. Winston Vickers, a veterinarian with the Southern California Mountain Lion Project states: “I am thrilled that Paul and his team are leading the way in the region by taking measures to not only protect their chickens and raise healthier ones, but simultaneously helping to keep wildlife populations and the ecosystems healthy. I applaud their foresight and leadership, and urge others to follow their great example.”

Its efforts mean great food, too. “Seeing chickens that you can tell are happy and healthy is refreshing in this day and age. I never thought I would be so excited about chickens” continues Chef Latourelle.  Thank you Pasturebird for what you do, it makes our jobs much easier.”

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About Pasturebird and Primal Pastures

Primal Pastures (direct to consumer) and Pasturebird (wholesale) farms raise pastured chicken in Southern California. By rotating the chickens to fresh pasture every single day, the farm’s chicken is not only healthy and delicious but also goes beyond sustainability to rebuild healthy, regenerative soils and grasslands.

Instead of using antibiotics to fight disease within the flock, Pasturebird and Primal Pastures use a healthy environment of pasture, sunshine, fresh air, and space to prevent sickness. Instead of marketing vegetarian-fed chicken (chickens are not vegetarians), we want our chickens to eat as many bugs and worms as possible. And instead of hiding our farm from the public, we know that our best marketing is transparency, so we regularly open the ranch for tours and events. For more information, contact Paul Greive via 855-4PASTURE or paul@pasturebird.com and visit www.pasturebird.com and www.primalpastures.com

About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network and its Certified Wildlife Friendly® and Predator Friendly® programs represent farmers, ranchers, artisans and conservation heroes from around the world. Participating farms in North America maintain and enhance wildlife habitats and employ a mix of careful observation and proactive practices to allow wildlife and livestock to coexist.

Certified Wildlife Friendly® products contribute to the conservation of over twelve million hectares of diverse wetlands, forests, and grasslands; protect keystone endangered species in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, including wolves, elephants, cheetahs, red pandas and snow leopards, and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

Contact:

Paul Greive, Chief Executive Officer
Pasturebird Poultry Company
855-4PASTURE; paul@pasturebird.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
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

 

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

 

 

 

Certified Wildlife Friendly - Lion Tailed Macaque_Color_Lion Tail Macaque
Wild Kaapi
empowers coffee drinkers to do good with every cup of Certified Wildlife Friendly™ coffee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WESTERN GHATS, INDIA: JUNE 1 2017—The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (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 pleased to announce the awarding of Wildlife Friendly™ Certification to Wild Kaapi™ coffee company.

Tiger in the Western Ghats. Photo: Ramki Sreenivasan

Tiger in the Western Ghats. Photo: Ramki Sreenivasan

Wild Kaapi™ emerged out of a scientific effort to measure on-farm biodiversity, market dynamics and the management actions of more than 1100 farmers in India’s Western Ghats. The Western Ghats of India are a global biodiversity hotspot home to the largest population of wild tigers, elephants and endemic amphibians and birds not found anywhere on the planet. The coffee landscapes of Karnataka present ideal conditions for promoting wildlife-friendly practices in coffee production.

Wild Kaapi’s coffee is sourced from coffee farms that are now certified Wildlife Friendly™ through rigorous scientific audits for birds, butterflies, mammals, amphibians and trees. The vision for the company is to build sustainable livelihoods and create a network of coffee growers who foster thriving populations of wildlife on their lands while delivering the highest quality of freshly roasted coffee to consumers.

WildKaapiCoffeeAvinash Sosale co-founder of Wild Kaapi™ explains “Our company has established new standards for supporting wildlife on coffee farms in the Ghats through a certification program which incorporates local expertise and knowledge optimizing the ecological, social and economic value of coffee production landscapes. We believe innovation and partnerships based on rigorous science will forge new paths for conservation.”

At launch Wild Kaapi™offers single origin coffees from Wildlife Friendly™ farms in the Chikmagalur District in Karnataka, the birthplace of coffee in India. The freshly roasted coffee is sold online at www.wildkaapi.com and can be custom ground to the coffee connoisseur brewing preferences be it an Aeropress, Chemex or Moka Pot.

“Agricultural lands are increasingly important as critical refuges and corridors for wildlife globally who are facing multiple threats from climate change to habitat conversion” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and co-founder of WFEN. “We are thrilled to welcome Wild Kaapi™ as the first Wildlife Friendly™ coffee company in the world.  Wild Kaapi™ sets a high standard for ensuring biodiversity on coffee farms in India’s Western Ghats truly ensuring that we as consumers are empowered to support wildlife conservation and sustainable agricultural with every cup of coffee – a true triple bottom line win.”

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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

 

Wild Kaapi

Visit: www.wildkaapi.com

http://www.facebook.com/wildkaapi

http://www.instagram.com/wildkaapi

http://www.twitter.com/wildkaapi

 

Contact:
Wild Kaapi, Avinash Sosale: Avinash@wildkaapi.com

Wildlife Friendly, Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org

 

Queen of Raw logo

Certified Wildlife Friendly® materials now featured to pro-wildlife fashion designers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK CITY, NY: – 19 APRIL 2017 – Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), a

global community dedicated to developing products that protect wildlife and bring economic vitality to rural landscapes, is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with Queen of Raw, an online platform that sells innovative and sustainable raw materials to designers around the world.

Each Wildlife Friendly® fiber or material sourced from Queen of Raw is supporting coexistence efforts in some of the most spectacular landscapes left on earth and is improving the livelihoods of people who hold the fate of the world’s most endangered

wildlife in their hands. WFEN products include Lemur-friendly silk and raffia from Madagascar, merino wool from ranchers coexisting with Guanacos and other wildlife on Peninsula Valdes in Patagonia, Argentina, felt and yarn supporting the survival of Snow Leopards in Mongolia, beadwork as an alternative livelihood to illegal poaching in Kenya, and Italian cashmere produced in harmony with Wolves.

By purchasing Wildlife Friendly® products through Queen of Raw, designers and their consumers will be empowered to create change on the ground for people and wildlife. This unique partnership will make Queen of Raw a Founding WFEN Corporate Network Member along with other leading edge companies in the global fashion industry, including Kering and Stella McCartney.

“We’re fielding keen interest in Wildlife Friendly® Certified fibers and raw materials from the sustai

Beadwork as an alternative livelihood to illegal poaching in Kenya. (Photo courtesy of Joanna Brown)

Beadwork as an alternative livelihood to illegal poaching in Kenya. (Photo courtesy of Joanna Brown)

nable fashion world” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and Co-Founder of WFEN, “and this new partnership with Queen of Raw will showcase our network’s conse

rvation heroes, artisans, and farmers, many of whom are women, to designers seeking sustainable sourcing options in New York City and beyond. We couldn’t be more excited to be working with Stephanie and her team.”

“Queen of Raw was founded to fill the gap between supply and demand in the raw materials supply chain” said Stephanie Benedetto, CEO and Co-Founder of Queen of Raw, “and working with Julie and a powerful organization like WFEN will allow us to accomplish our goals while contributing to a sustainable, waste-eliminating fashion environment. Together we can change the world!”

 

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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. This includes 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. They also 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 Queen of Raw

Queen of Raw is the online destination for designers to source cutting-edge raw materials directly from suppliers. Its global suppliers have been selected for their innovative raw materials, values around sustainability, and avant-garde approach to fashion and technology. Queen of Raw was recently named a NASA/NIKE/IKEA/U.S. Dept. of State LAUNCH.org Innovator. With family roots in the fashion and textiles business for over 100 years, its CEO serves on the Board of Advisors of the New York City Fair Trade Coalition and as co-host on Material Is Your Business podcast. For more information visit: www.queenofraw.com

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Contact

Queen of Raw

Stephanie Benedetto: stephanie@queenofraw.com

Wildlife Friendly

Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org

 

 

 

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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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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