We Stand with #BlackLivesMatter
The WILD Foundation stands in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters around the world. We support those joining hands in the fight against racism and violence and are proud of our active legacy working across culture, race, and institutions to create a more equitable and diverse conservation sector. Our team continues this legacy and we are actively listening for how we can assist in the creation of a healthy, sustainable, and just world. Environmental justice depends on human justice. You cannot have a world that protects nature without protecting its people first. Black Lives Matter.
The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other victims of racial injustice have left our team feeling outraged, saddened, and frustrated. It is only through working together in diverse coalitions and communities can we achieve the type of world that we want to live in: a world that is safe for all. Black Lives Matter.
In the 1960s South Africa of Apartheid, when non-white people were segregated and subjugated, our founders (Magqubu Ntombela and Ian Player) worked together in the wilderness and, with a team of many races and cultures, they saved the white rhino from extinction. But racial inequity didn’t end with the abolishment of Apartheid in South Africa or the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Environmental justice is not possible while racial injustices continue to plague the world. The WILD Foundation continues the legacy of our founders today, and our team is dedicated to building strong communities that respect and protect nature for all races, cultures, species, and ecosystems.
We know that we don’t have all the answers. We also know that the answers we seek can only come from inclusive dialogue with other groups, organizations, communities, and races. We will strive to learn more, understand, and act for the environment, the black community, and all ethnicities and races subject to prejudice and injustice.
We are here, we are listening, and we are committed to continued action.
In the northwest part of the district of Quito, in one of the most biologically diverse areas of the world, lies the Mashpi Reserve. A known bird watching paradise, the Mashpi community provides a sense of symbiosis between human and nature. However, despite the promise that Mashpi brings, a glaring problem persists: the government fails to prioritize its waste recollection services. Esteban Barriga, an EXCELerator 2021 alumnus, saw this and how the waste management issue has affected the Mashpi community, and decided to do something about it.
The recently concluded COP15 is a historic event, and it has given us much to think about. The gathering of world leaders and conservation actors has resulted in the drafting of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). This is a landmark deal indeed, as it gives us a framework on how to move forward in the protection and conservation of the planet’s biodiversity. However, while we acknowledge the significance of such a feat, we are also aware of its pitfalls.
As of January 1, 2023, Vance G. Martin has stepped back from his role as the leader of WILD. Read more about what’s coming next for WILD.