Bill Ginn is the chief conservation officer of The Nature Conservancy and leads both the Global Conservation Strategy Teams (Marine, Freshwater and Conservation Lands) and the place-based conservation arm of The Nature Conservancy — currently spanning 32 countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific as well as North America — and works to advance the organization’s most significant projects and strategies.
Nearly every day, I’m reminded that we live in an age of unprecedented threats to our natural world.
When The Nature Conservancy was founded in 1951, the world’s population was 2.6 billion people. Now it is projected to triple to at least 9 billion by 2050. Our growing needs for food, water and energy are straining the natural systems on which natural diversity, human health and prosperity depend and driving a rapidly changing climate.
The good news is that nearly every day I’m also reminded that we live in an age of unprecedented opportunities to safeguard our world. There is a way forward, especially if we bring together the smartest and most impactful individuals and organizations.
That’s why I was thrilled when the Conservancy was invited to join United for Wildlife, a groundbreaking new conservation collaboration founded by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Cambridge.
The Duke is passionate about the need to protect endangered species, habitats and natural resources. And he has sought a way to better tackle the global crises to conservation, which resulted in this unique collaboration. As he notes, “The threats to our natural heritage are extensive, but I believe that this collaboration of the best minds in conservation will provide the impetus for a renewed commitment and action to protect endangered species and habitats for future generations.”
Representing seven of the world’s largest environmental organizations, United for Wildlife will harness the resources and expertise of global leaders in business, communications, technology and the creative industries to tackle a common, universal challenge. The alliance aims to lead the way in delivering effective responses to, and raising awareness of, conservation crises, from fresh water to wildlife trade. It will also focus particularly on engaging and inspiring young people and the next generation of conservation leaders.
As Mark Tercek, CEO and President of The Nature Conservancy says, “Collaboration and partnership have always been hallmarks of the Conservancy’s work. We believe that by working with our colleagues we can make a real difference to the conservation of the natural world and in the lives of people across our planet. In fact, we have a history of partnership with each of these organizations, but we have not before come together as a group in this way. I applaud the Duke’s vision and passion to bring us together to make a real difference in our efforts to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.”
Today marks the official launch of United for Wildlife collaboration. However, members of the collaboration have met regularly over the past 16 months to develop a shared agenda, and we will continue to work closely together moving forward. The Duke has chaired a number of meetings relating to the collaboration and its activities and will continue to be personally involved in the development of both the policy and practice of United for Wildlife on a regular basis.
The partners in this effort include Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF, IUCN and the Zoological Society of London as well as The Nature Conservancy.
As I said, nearly every day I’m reminded of unprecedented opportunities to preserve our natural world. Today’s reminder was a great one.
[Image: Acacia Tree, Tanzania. Image Source: Emily Whitted / TNC]