The heart of our mission

The world’s species and habitats are under more severe pressure than at any time in human history. Over 10,000 tree species are threatened with extinction, as are almost 8,000 species of bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian and fish. The number one contributor to this alarming state of affairs is habitat loss, all of it driven by human activities, but the problem is compounded by unsustainable exploitation in all its forms. This collective mismanagement of our planet’s resources is leading to widespread declines in biodiversity and driving increasing numbers of species to the brink.

The ultimate objective of Fauna & Flora International (FFI), reflected in our mission statement, is to safeguard the long-term future of the world’s threatened species and the habitats on which they depend for survival. We firmly believe that partnership and collaboration hold the key to success, and we work with governments, businesses, investors, in-country partners and communities to achieve our conservation goals.

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Protecting habitats

FFI uses a range of approaches to protect vital habitats and address the root causes of habitat loss, dictated by the individual circumstances at each particular site. This could involve, for example, support for sustainable forms of small-scale land use, help in securing community rights over an area of forest, protection of an isolated limestone peak threatened by quarrying, or removal of invasive species to safeguard a floral landscape. In addition to supporting the effective management of existing protected areas, we also ensure that critical new areas of habitat are brought under conservation management.

Landscape-level intervention

In the case of large expanses of habitat, direct intervention to secure the land permanently may be the most effective – sometimes the only – means of securing its future. Through our Halcyon Land & Sea initiative (which was co-founded with Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin – and later joined by Hugh Sloane) FFI has safeguarded – and, crucially, entrusted to local custodianship – some 9.5 million hectares of species-rich habitat that was in imminent danger of destruction. The initiative has also contributed to the conservation of nearly 56 million hectares of habitat, an area almost the size of Kenya.

Safeguarding our seas

Global marine ecosystems provide around one billion people with their main source of protein and contribute an estimated US$3 trillion per year in economic goods and services, but this vital resource faces unprecedented threats in the shape of overfishing, coastal and offshore habitat destruction, widespread pollution and increased disturbance.

Koh Rong Archipelago shoreline. Credit: Jeremy Holden/FFI.

FFI has been instrumental in the designation of new marine protected areas – and in improving the management of existing ones – in order to safeguard marine species, habitats and livelihoods, but we also focus on other aspects of marine conservation that are crucial to the sustainable management of our oceans. In particular, we are addressing the wider threats by promoting responsible business practice and more enlightened marine policy.

Saving threatened species

We are renowned for our imaginative approach to protecting endangered species and FFI has an impressive track record of success in safeguarding a broad spectrum of endangered wildlife, ranging from the popular predators, primates and pachyderms – Sumatran tigers, mountain gorillas, Asian elephants and African rhinos – to obscure and otherwise neglected species such as the Antiguan racer, Siamese crocodile, Sombrero ground lizard and Hon Chong ghost snail.

Species on the brink

In 2016, with support from Michel and Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, FFI established a new Species Fund, which aims to restore key populations of some of the planet’s most critically endangered species such as the Siamese crocodile within a 20-year timeframe.

Neglected trees

As our name implies, FFI doesn’t focus only on endangered fauna. We are equally concerned with protecting threatened plant and tree species. Launched in 1999, the Global Trees Campaign was the first, and is still the only, international programme dedicated to safeguarding the world’s 10,000 plus threatened tree species. Over 1,900 of these are at imminent risk of extinction, including household names such as magnolias and monkey puzzles.

Illegal wildlife trade

The growing demand for wildlife products, combined with easier access to target species and improved global connections, is contributing to rapid population declines in some of the world’s most iconic species, including elephants, rhinos and tigers, but it is also decimating many other, less familiar species – including trees that are highly prized for their timber, for example – pushing them dangerously close to extinction. Tackling illegal wildlife trade is, therefore, a central part of our work to safeguard threatened species.