Generous Match Spurs Support for Global Wildlife Conservation’s Critical Mission
For immediate release
September 17, 2018
AUSTIN, Texas—A generous $15 million challenge grant from the Sheth Sangreal Foundation has unlocked more than $17 million in donations to Global Wildlife Conservation, resulting in more than $32 million in support of GWC’s vital mission of conserving the diversity of life on Earth. The gift matched donations to GWC dollar-for-dollar and has helped accelerate the pace of GWC’s conservation efforts.
“We are overwhelmed not only by the commitment of our founding donor Brian Sheth and his Sheth Sangreal Foundation to a healthy, biodiverse planet, but also by the incredible donors who took this opportunity to double their impact supporting our work,” said Wes Sechrest, GWC chief scientist and CEO. “With these donations, GWC is able to bring imperiled species back from the brink of extinction, protect entire ecosystems and improve the health of the planet for all of the life it sustains.”
The challenge grant will support a number of GWC’s priority programs, including:
- Protecting Earth’s last great tropical forests, which provide a wide array of ecosystem services both regionally and globally, through: properly managed and well-funded government protected areas, Indigenous Peoples’ and community-conserved territories, private protected areas and other conservation mechanisms.
- Partnering with The Bahamas National Trust, Discovery Channel and Shark Tank’s Daymond John in the protection of critical wildlife in the Bahamas, where sharks and other marine life are threatened by unsustainable fishing, reef destruction, and marine “dead zones” that result from agricultural runoff.
- Helping to establish a protected area and protected area management plan for the Caribbean island of Redonda, which recently transformed from a barren lunar landscape to an island restored to its natural lush green state and teeming with life, thanks to the conservation leadership of a number of GWC partners.
- Working with indigenous communities to protect Nicaragua’s Indio Maíz Biological Reserve, one of the country’s last strongholds for the endangered Baird’s tapir, and a safe haven for jaguars, the Americas’ largest wild cat.
- Bringing two Asian rhino species back from the brink of extinction: the Sumatran rhino and the Javan rhino. Both species number fewer than 100 individuals and GWC is working with local and international partners to prevent poaching of the animals and to restore their populations.
- Determining which amphibian species are threatened for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which is essential to guiding conservation actions that prevent extinction. More than one-third of the world’s amphibian species are at risk of extinction.
- Efforts in New Zealand to return the critically endangered black stilt (or kakī) to the wild and, in a separate project, to restore the world’s heaviest parrot (the kākāpō) to large areas of their former range.
- Efforts in Australia to reintroduce seven mammals to the forests of southeastern Australia: Tasmanian devils, parma wallaby, long-nosed potoroo, eastern quoll, southern brown bandicoot, brush-tailed bettong and rufous bettong.
- Conserving the species in Vietnam’s Pu Mat National Park in the Annamite Mountains, one of the most important sites for conservation in Vietnam. Pu Mat is home to a host of mammal species that have captured the imagination of biologists and are in need of protection, including the antelope-like saola, the critically endangered large-antlered muntjac and the Annamite striped rabbit.
The Sheth Sangreal Foundation was founded by GWC Board Chair Brian Sheth and his wife, Adria, to support environmental and educational initiatives. Sheth is the Co-founder and President of Vista Equity Partners. In 2016, conservationists named a newly discovered species of lemur in Madagascar Sheth’s lemur (Cheirogaleus shethi) in honor of his steadfast support for the protection of the planet’s biodiversity.
“My wife Adria and I believe in Global Wildlife Conservation, and we are deeply appreciative of the work they do around the globe to preserve species and their natural habitats,” Sheth said. “Our matching contribution was intended to be a call to action, encouraging others to support GWC’s mission. We are thrilled with the number of people who heeded that call, and we are excited about the impact their contributions will have in preserving our planet’s ecosystems.”
The matching grant donations come as GWC celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and will help launch the organization into its next decade. Since the Austin-based organization was incorporated, it has worked to conserve wildlife in more than 40 countries, helped establish more than 20 new nature reserves, and protected more than 100 endangered species and 20,000 species overall.
“GWC has put Austin on the map as a leader in keeping the world wild,” Sheth said. “Some of the world’s most endangered wildlife and most irreplaceable species are going into the next decade with a brighter future, thanks to GWC and its many supporters. Together, at GWC, we shall move with urgency toward our vision for a thriving Earth.”
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Photo by Robin Moore
Global Wildlife Conservation
GWC conserves the diversity of life on Earth by safeguarding wildlands, protecting wildlife and supporting guardians. We maximize our impact through scientific research, biodiversity exploration, habitat conservation, protected area management, wildlife crime prevention, endangered species recovery, and conservation leadership cultivation. Learn more at http://globalwildlife.org
Lindsay Renick Mayer
Global Wildlife Conservation