Disney Announces ‘Lion King’-Inspired “Protect the Pride” Global Conservation Campaign

If you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom at all you cannot miss the fact that a lot of what Disney does there is related to conservation.  Over the years this has not only been a focus of the park but also the company in general.

Today, the Walt Disney Co. announced a global conservation campaign to raise awareness of the crisis facing lions and other wildlife across Africa, which was inspired by the upcoming release of The Lion King.

Named “Protect the Pride,” the campaign focuses on protecting and revitalizing the lion population, according to Disney.

Disney is lending support (and has already donated more than $1.5 million) to the Wildlife Conservation Network’s (WCN) Lion Recovery Fund (LRF), which aims to double the lion population across Africa by 2050 through efforts that engage communities to ensure a future for African wildlife and their habitats.

Disney plans to double the $1.5 million through additional grants, as well as participation from fans, for a total contribution of up to $3 million, according to the company.

“Disney is committed to supporting lion conservation efforts and we believe The Lion King is the perfect story to remind us of the role each of us has in ensuring a world where these majestic animals are treasured and protected,” Elissa Margolis, senior vice president, enterprise social responsibility for The Walt Disney Company said in a statement. “Conservation has always been a core value of The Walt Disney Company and that commitment is apparent in everything from our films to our theme parks and is why we created the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF).”

Recently, Disney assembled more than 80 of the world’s leading lion conservation experts, from 18 countries and representing more than 50 organizations, to develop strategies to address challenges facing lion populations and to ensure a future for the species during the the first Lion Footprint Forum at Walt Disney World Resort, according to the company.

Additional information about the LRF’s lion conservation efforts may be found at LionRecoveryFund.org.

Disney Conservation Fund Celebrates 20-Year Anniversary by Unveiling New Initiative to Protect the Planet

In honor of its 20th anniversary, the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) announced today a targeted philanthropic strategy to help protect the planet through collaborating with leading nonprofit organizations that will help threatened wildlife and inspire a lifelong love for nature in young people. The new initiative, called “Reverse the Decline, Increase the Time,” is aimed at reversing the decline of 10 threatened species through scientific research, community collaboration, and increasing the time kids spend in nature.

“Wildlife and wild places have always been an inspiration to Disney, and we take pride in instilling that same inspiration in kids and families,” said Dr. Beth Stevens, senior vice president, Environment and Conservation, Corporate Citizenship, The Walt Disney Company. “We believe that conservation and caring for the planet are more than just good ideas—they are core to who we are as a company. With the Disney Conservation Fund’s new initiative, it is our hope that our actions will help protect some of nature’s most precious habitats and ensure the health of our planet for generations to come.”

In part one of the initiative, “Reverse the Decline,” Disney is supporting a network of leading conservation nonprofit organizations to develop strategic plans that aim to reverse the decline of 10 animals:  elephants, butterflies, coral reefs, tamarin monkeys, great apes, sea turtles, sharks and rays, cranes, rhinos and tigers. These organizations employ experts who work with each species to address the protection of habitats, collect critical population data, and develop community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems around the world.  Additionally, this initiative provides opportunities for Disney to apply the expertise and talents of its scientists, educators and veterinarians on Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment team to help reverse the decline of these animals.

The second part of the two-pronged commitment, “Increase the Time,” focuses on increasing the time kids spend in nature, with Disney’s grants to leading non-profit organizations that engage young people in discovering the magic of nature and protecting the planet.

At DCF’s 20th anniversary celebration today at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, world-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall said, “We know that to protect nature, you have to connect with nature, and through Disney’s support for our Roots & Shoots program in countries all around the world, we are building a legacy of caring for animals, the environment and people.” She added, “The Walt Disney Company’s focus on protecting the planet over the past 20 years has made a significant contribution to conservation, including our work to protect chimpanzees and the forests where they live.”

The network of “Reverse the Decline, Increase the Time” nonprofits and organizations include:

Reverse the Decline Increase the Time
International Crane Foundation (Siberian cranes) 4-H 
International Rhino Foundation (Sumatran rhinos) Association of Zoos and Aquariums
The Jane Goodall Institute (great apes) Children & Nature Network
Save the Golden Tamarin & Proyecto Titi(monkeys) International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
University of Florida (butterflies and sea turtles) the Jane Goodall Institute:  Roots & Shoots 
Wildlife Conservation Society (African elephants, Sumatran tigers, sharks and rays) National Park Foundation (NPF)
The Perry Institute for Marine Science (coral reefs)  National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
  National Wildlife Federation (NWF)
  The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

 

A video and book about the “Reverse the Decline, Increase the Time” initiative, as well as a list of supported organizations, can be found at disney.com/conservation.

Established on Earth Day in 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) helps to protect the planet and connect kids with nature. Supported by Disney and guest purchases and contributions at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, DCF has proudly contributed $40 million in grants to nonprofit organizations working in 115 countries. For more information, visit disney.com/conservation.