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Call for Disney to donate Lion King profits to conservation

“We believe that The Walt Disney Company is best placed to take a lead in investing in pragmatic programs that make a real difference for wild lions,” says a letter addressed to Disney CEO, Robert Iger, and penned by non-profit organisations For the Love of Wildlife, Blood Lions and Nature Needs More, requesting conservation contributions from the next Lion King blockbuster.

You may have read in the last week, that after a meeting with leading conservation groups Disney has announced a $3 million contribution to lion conservation.

But let’s interrogate this, in the lead up to the July 2019 Lion King launch. An initial donation of US$1.5 million has been made with a promise of about $1.5 million to follow.

1. Firstly, US$1.5 million is less than 0.02% of what Disney has made from the Lion King franchise to date.

2. If you add in the US$13 million Disney has donated to conservation programs across Africa since 1995, then the donations to-date amount to less than 0.2% of what Disney has made from the Lion King franchise.

3. Most concerning is that much of what they are offering is based on up front spending of “fans” and customers, US $5 from every Simba toy sold, $2 from every ride taken at Disney Animal Kingdom, which leaves you asking…who is really donating, the company or the “fans”?

More worryingly is that fact that we are told that conservation most respected organisations were part of the round-table with Disney to negotiate this donation. We must assume that these conservation brands have very little ability to influence when between them they have only been able to liberate such a paltry amount from this corporate giant, whose reputation and brand are both devalued by this shamefully cheap gesture.
Read more here:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/disney-announces-lion-king-inspired-global-conservation-campaign-1215863

A call to Disney from the wild

The Lion King brand has grossed just under US$8.1 billion for the Walt Disney Company yet Disney Conservation Fund has donated US$70 million+ to save wildlife (which may include ‘guest contributions’). Whilst this is welcome, it represents only 0.9% of what has been made from The Lion King franchise alone.

For the Love of Wildlife, BloodLions, Nature Needs More and sixteen other organisations are asking the Walt Disney Company that a percentage of the US$8 billion+, made from The Lion King franchise (movie, theatre, merchandise, etc) to-date, be directed to the conservation of wild lions, as well as a percentage of all the funds generated from this point on, given the reboot of the franchise.

For example, we would ask the Walt Disney Company to cover the cost of implementing a global e-permit system that fully integrates with customs worldwide to ensure the traceability and trackability of flora and fauna from source to destination and, as a result, reduces the possibility of laundering illegal product in to the legal marketplace. Discussion with a number of CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Flora and Fauna) representatives have confirmed that this would cost somewhere between US$20 million and US$40 million, less than one year’s salary for the Disney CEO Robert Iger.

Walt Disney himself spoke of creating a place “Where Dreams Come True”, but in the case of The Lion King, maybe this will become “Where Dreams Meet Reality given the plummeting populations of wild lions and the realistic possibility of extinction. How would Walt Disney himself respond to future generations (Disney’s key customers) asking why they only have documentaries and movies to remember iconic species and the King himself?

And don’t get us started on the stupidity of resurrecting Dumbo!

See our letter to Mr Robert Igor, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

CITES – it’s time to fix the basics

During the time addressing the domestic trade in Australia in relation to elephant ivory and rhino horn, For the Love of Wildlife and Nature Needs More have become very concerned about the existing CITES trade permit and monitoring system. In addition, the evidence presented at the Parliamentary Inquiry into the unregulated domestic trade last year in Australia provided a platform for further shocking information to be exposed.

Attached is a letter that we sent to the Mr David Morgan in September 2018 as a result of what has been revealed, knowing we can no longer remain silent and action must be taken. At the time David Morgan was performing the administrative duties of the CITES Secretary General and we decided not to wait for the new CITES’ Secretary General to be appointed, due to there being no indication of how long this would take and it was appearing to drag out.

With the reverse listing and levy approach we are asking CITES signatories to consider before CoP18 as we feel that this offers a potential solution to fixing the significant problems and loopholes in the current legal trade system that is enabling illegal items to be laundered into the legal market place.

Please note, in sending this letter, this does not mean that we endorse the sustainable use model and the fact that a trade body is the key facilitator of managing the world’s precious flora and fauna. In sending this letter we acknowledge that this trade based approach will not be changed to a conservation focused approach in the short-term. As such, what we have currently needs to evolve to implement trade and control systems that are transparent, tamper-proof, appropriately resourced and fit-for-purpose.

In introducing this proposal to your local politician (wherever you are in the world) may we offer the following as a foundation for your email to assist in gaining their full attention. If you wish to do more, then please follow up with a meeting and share what you know in educating them in knowing the critical demise of the world’s majestic and iconic species. If you are not knocking on your local MP’s door, then their attention will be with the people who are! Wildlife requires action and please do not feel intimidated by a meeting – your local MP is there to represent YOU and your concerns.

You can also send the information to your local paper – MP’s respond to local news.

Thank you, on behalf of the animals and the natural world who need you now.

 

Dear ….

The last 18 months has seen an increased global focus on wildlife crime, as new estimates regarding the massive scale of illegal trafficking were published in the World Customs Organisation 2017 Illicit Trade Report. This report highlighted the estimated profit from the illegal trade in flora and fauna to be between $91- 258 billion USD per year, and stated, this is an amount that is, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, growing at 2-3 times the pace of the global economy. The report concluded, environmental crime is now the fourth largest transnational crime, after drug trafficking, counterfeiting and people trafficking. International organized crime uses the systemic loopholes in the legal trade system which is regulated by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). In addition to the illegal trade, in 2012 a UK government paper highlighted the value of the legal trade in flora and fauna to be $320 billion USD per year.

In addition to systemic loopholes, CITES now lists more than 35,000 species for trade restrictions, making identification and enforcement an impossible task for national law enforcement and customs bodies. Within the CITES framework the only solution to this escalating problem is to change the listing regime to default to a ‘reverse listing’ mode, i.e. listing only species in which trade is permitted. This is not a new idea, in fact it was first put forward by Australia in 1981 to the CITES Conference of Parties in New Dehli. At the time only 700 species were listed for trade restrictions and it was perhaps unsurprising that the proposal failed to garner sufficient support.

Set up as a non-self-executing treaty, CITES today lacks the funding to help poorer countries to implement effective electronic permitting systems that are integrated with global customs systems, which is essential to close the loopholes exploited by the traffickers. We propose that a small trade levy on the $320 billion USD per year trade conducted legally under CITES rules could help raise the necessary funds and make the overall system tamper-proof, traceable and transparent.

Only national governments (and the EU), which are signatories to CITES, can propose the necessary changes to fix the flaws in the current system and strike decisively against the illegal trade. Attached to this email is a copy of a letter sent to the CITES Secretariat in September 2018. As we are one of the 183 signatory parties, I request that the reverse listing approach proposed be considered by our government in the run-up to and as part of the agenda of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18) in Sri Lanka in May 2019.

Yours sincerely

 

…………………………………………………..

Open Letter regarding CITES Issues

(include the above link in your email)

We’d love to know which countries are active, so please let us know as we’d love to keep a track of how many people are getting on board. Also feel free to email Peter Lanius of Nature Needs More if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

 

Donate Today

Your gift to For the Love of Wildlife today makes a tangible difference in our work in saving the world’s exquisite wildlife. We thank you for your support. We can’t do this work without you!

You can donate using Paypal, Credit Card or Direct Debit or consider setting up a monthly contribution.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Getting involved

A world without wildlife is an unimaginable reality but at the current rate of decimation we are in what scientists are calling the 6thmass extinction – we are seeing thousands of species disappear before our very eyes. With your help, we can effectively combat some of the critical issues facing our ancient, majestic and magnificent animals.

How to Donate

Deposit directly to our bank account or consider monthly direct donations, use Paypal or credit card.

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Planned Giving

Create a lasting conservation legacy by including For the Love of Wildlife Ltd in your planned giving.

Through planned giving, you can balance your financial goals and charitable interests, leaving a legacy for conservation while benefiting from significant tax benefits.

Legacy Gifts

Bequests

Leaving a Legacy for the wildlife by including For the Love of Wildlife Ltd in Your Will.

With a bequest, you can donate all or part of your estate to For the Love of Wildlife Ltd through your will.

Is a bequest right for me?

It is important to have a Will to ensure your estate is given to the people and causes you most care about. Making or updating your Will need not be expensive or complicated but you should seek legal advice and talk through how you wish your estate to be distributed. Reviewing your Will every few years is also important as circumstances change throughout your life such as marriage, sale of a property, birth of children or grandchildren.

How do I get started?

Suggested wording

Simply give the following wording to your Solicitor to include in your Will or as a Codicil to your Will once you have decided what kind of gift you would like to include:

“I bequeath to the For the Love of Wildlife Ltd, ABN 20 807 354 752, to promote and support the protection of wildlife, (the residue of my estate) or the sum of (a specified sum), or my (specified items), free of all duties and taxes including, if any CGT, and the receipt of the Secretary or other authorised officer for the time being shall be a complete and sufficient discharge for the executor(s).”

If you have decided to leave a gift in your Will to For the Love of Wildlife Ltd, please let us know as we would like to welcome you as a Wildlife Guardian. You can contact us info@fortheloveofwildlife.org.au or call (+61) 417 939 042.

Types of gifts in Wills

Residuary
The remainder of an estate after specific gifts have been disbursed.

Percentage
A percentage of either the residue or the entire estate.

Specific asset
Real estate shares, bonds or other particular items of value.

Pecuniary
A specific gift of cash.

If you love what we do, then please become a member. $20 a year is all it costs.

Thank you. We cannot do this work without your generous and kind support. The world’s wildlife needs you.

 

The greatest chase you’ll never get to see!

 

THE GREAT Gazelle Chase is hotting-up to be one of the biggest and most unusual fundraising events of the year that, hopefully, you will never get to see!

On Saturday, November 3, conservation organisation, For the Love of Wildlife (FLOW), will be hosting a one-of-a-kind event on St Kilda Beach to raise funds to tackle the out-of-control wildlife trade that is driving some of the world’s most iconic species to extinction.

The fundraising event is being held to support Nature Needs More to raise funds for its rhino horn demand reduction campaign. For the Love of Wildlife aims to raise at least $10,000 so that a fake gazelle, performed by Married At First Sight star Matty Lockett, does not end up getting chased around the beach by a marauding pride of wildlife lovers.

The initiative is all part of the World Games for Wildlife, created by Nature Needs More. From November 5-21, people all over the world will come together for the inaugural games by doing  something active like playing sport or hosting events – all to raise funds for innovative projects tackling the illegal wildlife trade.

Founding Director of FLOW, Donalea Patman is encouraging everyone to dig deep to help save not only the gazelle, but to help save animals that have been decimated by poaching and trade such as lions, elephants and rhinos, one of which is killed every 8 hours for its horn.

Matty Lockett, who’s prepared to be the gazelle for The Great Gazelle Chase and do his part for the world’s iconic wildlife and FLOW Founding Director, Donalea Patman.

“It’s a tongue-in-cheek event to get more Australians thinking about our wildlife’s welfare. We’re global citizens and we have a global responsibility to protect wildlife. It doesn’t matter if the battle is in Africa or in Australia, it all needs our urgent attention,” Donalea said.

Dr Lynn Johnson, founder of Nature Needs More, also believes Australians can do more to help tackle the illegal wildlife trade. “Wildlife is now being used as a status symbol in some cultures around the world. Rhino horn, for example, is being used to conduct business deals,” Lynn said.

“There’s a terrible disconnect with the natural world at the moment. In Australia, it’s shocking to hear about people running over emus, killing hundreds of wedge-tailed eagles, and fairy penguins and getting nothing more than a slap on the wrist. At the same time, there’s a huge connection with sport and if we can raise awareness of the plight of wildlife via the sporting arena that’ll be fantastic,” Lynn added.

From a young age, Matty Lockett, who appeared on the hit TV show Married At First Site, fell in love with wildlife and believes all of wildlife should be protected. “It all came from my father, who grew up in the country and was pretty passionate against any form of animal hunting and that’s definitely rubbed-off on me,” Matty said. “I have a very short amount of time to get fit so please donate as much as you can!”

Donalea added: “If we can’t save elephants, lions and rhinos from extinction then there’s little chance of saving anything else.”

Donate today and #savethegazelle!
https://events.natureneedsmore.org/fundraisers/fortheloveofwildlife/The-Great-Gazelle-Chase