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.
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.
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.