The Disney Conservation Fund has announced $6 million in grants awarded to 80 nonprofit organizations who are working to save wildlife, inspire action, and protect the planet. Disney has provided approximately $86 million in grants to help protect the magic of nature collectively with communities around the world since the fund was created in 1995.
The Disney Conservation Fund supports numerous conservation efforts and actions that protect species and habitats while encouraging kids and families to take action in their own communities. The fund also pairs philanthropic grants with the expertise from many of Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment professionals and other Disney employees who work together to make a positive impact benefiting people, wildlife, and wild places.
An example of one of this year’s grant recipients, TREE Foundation, leads a community-based conservation program that addresses the declining population of sea turtles on India’s coastline. TREE Foundation works to engage members of local communities to adopt sustainable fishing practices and sea turtle protection activities in response to threats of poaching and accidental capture in fishing nets. They have reached over 85,000 people and successfully promoted a ban on the use of certain fishing nets during sea turtle breeding and nesting season to reduce sea turtle mortality.
This project is one of more than 2,000 supported to date by the Disney Conservation Fund. Additional recipients include:
African People & Wildlife, “Northern Tanzania Big Cats Conservation Initiative,” Tanzania: This program will work with local communities to save Tanzania’s most threatened lion, cheetah, and leopard populations by helping to reduce human-wildlife conflict, protect vital habitat for big cats, and engage local Maasai people in environmental education, natural resource management, and sustainable enterprise development.
Audubon Florida, “Jay Watch: Audubon Community Science,” United States: This initiative will train 270 citizen science volunteers in 19 Florida counties to collect breeding success data on the endemic Florida scrub-jay and use research findings to support outreach and greater protection of this species by wildlife agencies.
IDEA WILD/ Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas, “Black Lion Tamarin Conservation in a Fragmented Landscape,” Brazil: This program will focus on widening and connecting habitat and managing wild black lion tamarin populations while involving communities in conservation through education and training.
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, “Conserving Sarus Cranes in Cambodia,” Cambodia: This initiative will help protect two of the Sarus crane’s last remaining refuges in Cambodia’s Lower Mekong Delta by researching optimal habitat maintenance conditions, enhancing understanding of the value of wetland habitats and developing sustainable livelihoods that contribute to biodiversity conservation.
ZSL America, “Angel Shark Project,” Spain: This program will help protect habitats for critically endangered angel sharks in the Canary Islands, advancing research to identify angel shark nursery areas, expanding a network of citizen scientists to monitor angel sharks, and engaging local communities in best practices to minimize tourism impacts on angel sharks.
Most of the funding for the Disney Conservation Fund is provided by The Walt Disney Company and supplemented by the generous contributions of guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and other select Walt Disney World Resort locations, sailing with Disney Cruise Line or staying at select Disney Vacation Club resorts.