A message from WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper
As I reflect on the past year, I am thankful for what WCS staff around the world have accomplished, despite many challenges—and I am so grateful for your partnership in advancing our mission to save wildlife and wild places.
Earlier this fall we shared our 2021 Impact Report, which features highlights of what we’ve achieved together in 60 countries around the world and at our four zoos and aquarium in New York City. I hope you feel proud of the results you helped win, including:
Safeguarding Elephants with Strong Science
Elephant populations have stabilized or increased in areas throughout Africa where WCS has ensured long-term, effective site management and the necessary resources, anti-poaching systems, and training. For example, in Mozambique’s Niassa National Reserve, we have successfully stemmed a 10-year poaching crisis, achieving more than two years with zero poaching incidents.
You can also watch this short video to learn how groundbreaking WCS research has revealed that Gabon is home to 95,000 Critically Endangered forest elephants—much higher than previous estimates.
Bringing the Zoo to More People
We brought our world-class zoos and aquarium to more people during the pandemic through new virtual and in-person experiences—such as live cams, Wild Encounters with our animal ambassadors, Wildlife Camps, and the award-winning Animal Planet show, THE ZOO.
Protecting Intact Forests in Mesoamerica and Around the World
WCS is conserving forests and leading the charge to ensure they’re recognized for their critical role in protecting biodiversity and regulating climate. In the past year alone, WCS helped secure, expand, or improve protection for more than 2.5 million hectares of intact forest in seven countries—including a critical area in Belize that is core habitat for jaguars and other species. I invite you to watch this short video on why intact ecosystems matter, or read more about our effort to harness nature as a solution to the biodiversity, climate, and health crises.
Supporting Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities as Conservation Leaders
WCS supports 200 Indigenous communities across nearly 40 countries, ensuring they can access the resources they need to steward their lands and waters, and pursue sustainable livelihoods. In the past year we promoted sustainable beekeeping in Rwanda’s Congo Nile Divide region, which helps communities earn money while reducing catastrophic forest fires and other climate impacts. And in Melanesia, we helped empower and demonstrate the value of women fishers.
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