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Why It's Important to Support the Disney Conservation Fund

Happy Earth Day! Today, we take a moment to reflect on our home and try to better understand how to preserve it and make it a better place. We've been celebrating Earth Day all week long with ways to help save the Earth from your home, and a look at Joe Rohde's Best Animal Kingdom-Inspired Instagram Posts of 2020.We also dropped an insane line of Earth Day inspired shirts for 2020. Now, we want to take a more in-depth look at the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund and look into what they actually do, and where your money goes when you donate to the cause.

The Lost Bros Wilderness Explorers Jersey Tee - Russell
The Lost Bros Save Our Earth Tee

Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has inspired millions of people to take action to protect the planet and directed more than $70 million to reverse the decline of wildlife in more than half the countries in the world through efforts that engage communities in conservation. The Disney Conservation Fund was inspired by Walt Disney’s conservation legacy and established on Earth Day 1995 to help protect wildlife and wild places around the world. Walt cared so much about conservation and helping to keep our earth clean, that he made "efficiency" one of the four keys, a fundamental part of Cast Member professions across the Resort. DCF has supported projects spanning across six continents, all five oceans and more than half the countries in the world, and has awarded more than $70 million in grants supporting efforts to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet.

“When we, Imagineers, started the development of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we knew that we were entering a new territory of storytelling. These stories were not fantasies, but real. They were not classic tales, but ongoing epics whose conclusions are still unknown. They were not ours alone, but shared with people all around the world, who lived with and cared about the lives of wild creatures. We could not tell such stories unless we ourselves participated in the reality we were describing, contributed to the epic struggle, and shared our skill and our commitment with people around the world. Thus, we concluded that an entity like the Disney Conservation Fund was essential to our story. Without it, our own words and actions would be empty.

The story of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Disney Conservation Fund is not just a story that we tell. It’s a story we are living every day, every one of us. All of us on Earth share this planet with every living creature and with the systems that sustain them. For two decades now, through the actions of the Disney Conservation Fund, we’ve worked towards our dream: a dream of a future for our children in which there is still magic in the forest, the magic that comes from the countless miraculous creatures, some yet undiscovered, that share with us a tiny delicate place amidst a sea of distant stars.”— Joe Rohde, Creative Executive, Disney Imagineering

In order to drive donations to the Disney Conservation Fund, Disney parks offer a free collectible button with every donation made in-park to the fund. There are various versions of the button to collect, and they vary from each Disney property around the world.

Dr.Mark Penning, Vice President of Disney Animals, Science, and Environment (@Drmarkatdisney) recently spoke about how Disney spreads the magic of nature to help preserve our planet

If you're still hesitant on the Disney Conservation Fund, check out this interactive map of DCF supported projects. You can also read a PDF version of the Disney Conservation Fund book in it's entirety here. Also, here's a quick rundown of what the fund has accomplished so far:

  • The DCF is supporting “Reverse the Decline” collaborations with international and local conservation partners to stabilize and increase the populations of 10 focus animal categories; apes, butterflies, coral reefs, cranes, elephants, monkeys, rhinos, sea turtles, sharks & rays, and tigers.
  • In addition to DCF support, Disney Cast Members and employees are lending their expertise to these efforts. More than 180 Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment Cast Members have already participated directly in projects to save wildlife around the world.
  • Some highlights of this work in the past three years:
    • 103,000+ square miles of critical forest habitat achieving protection to support endangered apes in the Democratic Republic of Congo through a Great Apes Conservation Action Plan (the Jane Goodall Institute)
    • 2,000+ Atala butterflies and 1,000+ endangered Shaus’ swallowtail butterflies raised and released in the wild (University of Florida)
    • 2,300 coral pieces grown, 12 coral nursery sites established, and 3,000+ coral fragments planted to repopulate reefs in The Bahamas (Perry Institute for Marine Science)
    • 7 Siberian cranes outfitted with satellite transmitters during their migration to identify the most important wetland areas for conservation and protection (International Crane Foundation)
    • 1 million+ acres of forest habitat surveyed to protect important areas for African elephants (Wildlife Conservation Society)
    • 20 tons of plastic waste removed from the environment, 175+ families supported through income-generating programs, 164,000+ trees planted, and more than 37,000 acres of forest protected in Colombia and Brazil to protect cotton-top tamarin and golden lion tamarin monkeys(Associação Mico-Leão Dourado, Proyecto Tití, Save the Golden Lion Tamarin and Wildlife Conservation Network)
    • 20 Rhino Protection Units (anti-poaching teams) in Indonesia trained in advanced monitoring practices to better protect two national parks and the Sumatran rhinoswho live there (International Rhino Foundation)
    • 238,000 pounds of marine debris removed from sea turtle habitats and 1.2 kilometers of sea turtle nesting habitat restored and cleared of debris (University of Florida)
    • 156 species of sharks and rays studied to help identify where management or protection efforts are needed the most around the world (Wildlife Conservation Society and partners)
  • 4,131 miles of forest patrolled by community rangers to protect tigers in Sumatra, Indonesia (Wildlife Conservation Society)

Inspiring Action

  • Since 1995, the DCF has supported more than 2,000 conservation projects, helping more than 600 nonprofit organizations working hand-in-hand with communities to protect wildlife worldwide.
  • The DCF has recognized 150 Disney Conservation Heroes for their efforts to protect wildlife living alongside their communities in 47 countries.
  • Disney has helped 53 M+ kids connect with nature through Disney experiences like those found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and through programs, tools and resources supported by the Disney Conservation Fund.
  • Disney support has helped conservation programs engage more than 5M people through community outreach efforts.

Protecting the Planet

      • In collaboration with Fauna & Flora International’s community-based forest management program in Indonesia, Disney support helped strengthen the livelihoods of 52 communities while aiding in the protection of more than 200,000 acres of critical habitat to support endangered species including Sumatran tigers.
      • Disney supported Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s implementation of eight water restoration projects across California and Arizona to improve water use efficiency on agricultural land, reduce the amount of water diverted from rivers and creeks, and improve water quality, recreation and wildlife habitats.
      • In celebration of Disneynature films, The Walt Disney Studios and the Disney Conservation Fund have collaborated to support animals and habitats around the world, resulting in:
        • 3 Million trees planted in Brazil’s most endangered forest.
        • 40,000 Acres of a new marine protected area established to conserve coral reefs in The Bahamas.
        • 65,000 Acres of savanna protected to create conservation corridors in Kenya.
        • 130,000 Acres of wild chimpanzee habitat protected in the Congo, and 60,000+ local youths educated, and chimpanzees cared for.
        • 495,000 Acres of forest protected to restore key corridors for wild pandas and establish a new snow leopard conservation program in China.
        • Conservation projects across 400,000 acres of US national parks supported, park visitors educated, and animal and plant species protected.
        • Conservation projects supported across one million acres in Indonesia, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka, benefiting hundreds of species and protecting fresh drinking water for local populations.

Finally, to honor Earth Day yesterday, Jane Goodall herself sent a video message to the Disney Wildlife Conservation fund thanking them for their support of her work over the years and congratulating them on 25 years as a foundation.

Here at the Lost Bros, we heavily endorse and support the Disney Conservation Fund. The facts speak for themselves with this one and they truly do serve as a beacon of hope for a better tomorrow. Happy Earth Day from all of us here at the Lost Bros

To donate to the Disney Conservation fund, click here.