Our first year journey from Katie Frohardt, Executive Director
This time last year, we were in touch with you announcing our new name and next conservation chapter as Wild Earth Allies. We were inspired by the outpouring of support for our bold relaunch. The year that followed has been enormously positive, and filled with important milestones.
We have been:
- Proud to reconnect with old friends from more than two decades of mountain gorilla work, and to devote new energy to the plight of Grauer’s gorillas and chimpanzees in DRC, together with special talent like Dr. Augustin Basabose, founder of the Congolese NGO Primate Expertise;
- Energized by the expansion of our long-time efforts to protect marine turtles to focus on needs in El Salvador for hawksbill turtle conservation, together with a new NGO ProCosta led by a remarkable Executive Director Ani Cuevas and President Mike Liles who are working hard at the grassroots level and connecting regionally through ICAPO, the Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Initiative;
- Optimistic about the potential to build new botanic capacity in key landscapes around the world where threatened trees need greater visibility and more targeted conservation action. This has included visits to hidden jewels here in the US like the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Arizona, and discussions with notable botanists like Drs. Sy Sohmer and Steven Brewer to see where our help is most needed;
- Inspired every day by the Wild Earth Allies team in Cambodia led by Tuy Sereivathana (Vathana) together with Neang Thy and Dane Ouk, who work to conserve one of the most important remaining lowland evergreen forests in southeast Asia, Prey Lang. They work with a vision of a future with Asian elephants and other critical wildlife in it, and one where the livelihoods of indigenous communities like the Kuy, who depend on these forest resources, also thrive.
We are well-positioned to deepen and expand this work and more, hence why we recently launched The Wild Fund. With the necessary support, we will extend our track record of wildlife conservation to make an increasingly meaningful difference protecting vital areas of our natural world, together.
As we close our first year as Wild Earth Allies, we reflect on our core values of optimism, cultural respect, sharing learning and integrity. And, we celebrate a specific reflection of these values in the recent good news that our long-time colleague and recognized marine conservation expert José Urteaga has joined our Board of Directors.
José brings to Wild Earth Allies a wealth of experience not only in marine turtle protection, but in designing and implementing approaches that integrate human needs and conservation. We are honored to have José guiding us at Board level.
For nearly fifteen years, I have witnessed your commitment to conservation and tireless efforts to support nature protection worldwide. I know and believe in your core values, and the idea that successful conservation should be exercised through a pathway of respect, reciprocity, relevance, and responsibility with local partners.
– José Urteaga
We hope you will celebrate this milestone year with our extended family of practitioners, colleagues and supporters, by joining us today as Wild Earth Allies.