AZA and USFWS Partner for Conservation

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AZA AND USFWS PARTNER FOR CONSERVATION




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Wildlife Without Borders partners: from left to right - Bill Millan, TNC; Herb Raffaele, USFWS; Former Secretary of Interior, Bruce Babbitt; Dr. Thomas Lovejoy III, Heinz Center; Jim Maddy, AZA. 

Jun 22, 2009

At a briefing held on Capitol Hill on June 22nd, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Wildlife Without Borders program and partner conservation organizations debuted a video showing how the Service is working with partners in the Latin American and Caribbean region to create a new generation of conservation professionals. This marks the first time nongovernmental organizations have collaborated on a project in support of the Wildlife Without Borders program since its inception.

Partnerships for Conservation

"This video production shows how cooperative conservation greatly enhanced natural resource management in Latin America and the Caribbean," said Service acting Director Rowan Gould. "We are committed as an agency to exploring new and innovative ways to get our message out to the public and conservation community, including future leaders in conservation."

The 12 minute video was produced in collaboration with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Conservation International (CI), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC).

Zoos and Aquariums Support Widlife Conservation

"Just in the last eight or nine years, well over 2,000 wildlife conservationists, principally in the Caribbean and Latin America, have benefited from training directly as a result of this partnership," said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. "Members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums are proud to work in support of Wildlife Without Borders, and we encourage others to join us in supporting this incredible program."

Natural Resources Management in Latin America

While the Latin American and Caribbean region is known for its extraordinary biological diversity, its landscapes and wildlife are facing a number of serious threats, including the stress caused by recurring natural disasters on these delicate ecosystems. Guest speaker and former Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, highlighted how the Wildlife Without Borders Program for Latin America and the Caribbean empowers communities by providing training and financial support for wildlife and habitat conservation efforts. Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (Guam) also spoke at the event and emphasized the positive impact the Wildlife Without Borders Program has had across the region in the past several years.

"WCS is pleased to be a strategic partner in the Wildlife Without Borders program," said President and CEO of WCS, Dr. Steven Sanderson. "In our conservation work in places like the Karukinka Reserve in Tierra del Fuego, Chile, this program has been an invaluable funding mechanism. Wildlife Without Borders leverages money so effectively, there are some instances where you can see eight times the investment returned."

History of Wildlife Without Borders

The Wildlife Without Borders – Latin America and the Caribbean program has supported conservation projects since 1990. In 2008, the program leveraged over $2.2. million and funded $946,687 towards thirty-four projects in eleven countries throughout the region.

About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

For more information about the Service’s international grants programs, visit www.fws.gov/international.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, the AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, please visit www.aza.org.

About Conservation International

Built upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, Conservation International’s mission is to empower societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature for the well-being of humanity. www.conservation.org 

About The Wildlife Conservation Society

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild lands. They do so through careful science, international conservation, education, and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife park. www.wcs.org 

About The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. www.nature.org 

For Additional Information, Please Contact:

Tamara Ward, US Fish and Wildlife Service
703/358-2512
tamara_ward@fws.gov 

Steven Feldman, Association of Zoos and Aquariums
301/562-0888
sfeldman@aza.org 

Rob McNeil, Conservation International
571/232-0455
r.mcneil@conservation.org 

Scott Smith, The Wildlife Conservation Society
718/220-3698
sSmith@wcs.org

Blythe Thomas, The Nature Conservancy
703/841-8782
bthomas@tnc.org

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