Organizations

Since I support numerous organizations globally, below I included a few that I am most actively involved in.

Imagine Science Films

Imagine Science Films is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in existence since 2008 committed to promoting a high-level dialogue between scientists and filmmakers.

Our mission is to bridge the gap between art and science through film, thereby transforming the way science is communicated to the public and encouraging collaboration across disciplines.

Together, scientists, who dedicate their lives to studying the world in which we live, and filmmakers, who interpret and expose this knowledge, can make science accessible and stimulating to the broadest possible audience. Imagine Science Films is committed to drawing attention to the sciences, whether it is through art or our community outreach efforts.

Amazon Watch

Amazon Watch is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. We partner with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and the preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems.

We envision a world that honors and values cultural and biological diversity and the critical contribution of tropical rainforests to our planet’s life support system. We believe that indigenous self-determination is paramount, and see that indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contribute greatly to sustainable and equitable stewardship of the Earth. We strive for a world in which governments, corporations and civil society respect the collective rights of indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent over any activity affecting their territories and resources. We commit, in the spirit of partnership and mutual respect, to support our indigenous allies in their efforts to protect life, land, and culture in accordance with their aspirations and needs.

Rainforest Connection

Rainforest Connection (RFCx) transforms recycled cell-phones into autonomous, solar-powered listening devices that can monitor and pinpoint chainsaw activity at great distance.

This changes the game by providing the world’s first real-time logging detection system, pinpointing deforestation activity as it occurs, and providing the data openly, freely, and immediately to anyone around the world.

For the first time on a scalable level, responsible agents can arrive on the scene in time to interrupt the perpetrators and stop the damage, and the world can listen in as it occurs.

Mongabay

Mongabay.com was founded in 1999 as a source of information on tropical forests. Since then, the site has grown into a well-known source of environmental news and analysis as well as a providing environmental education materials to kids all over the world. Today Mongabay.com draws over 2 million visitors per month.
Mongabay.org – a non-profit organization – was formed in 2012 to facilitate the development of new education and journalism initiatives and leverage Mongabay’s existing network, traffic, and reputation. We aim to raise awareness about social and environmental issues relating to forests and other ecosystems.

Bay Area Tropical Forest Network

The Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) is an social network in the Bay Area broadly interested in tropical forest conservation and ecology. We gather monthly, typically for a happy hour beverage in the Peninsula area. Events are free and we provide snacks and drinks. Think Green Drinks but with a focus on forests.

Our goal is to foster peer-to-peer networking in a relaxed atmosphere where ideas, data, and collaboration flow freely. This is a great opportunity to connect with media, scientists, economists, foundations, activists, artists and many others thinking about these issues. Everyone is welcome! It is a great way to get in touch with other people working on similar interests or to learn more about current issues and initiatives in forest conservation. BATFN gatherings have resulted in grants, internships, academic opportunities, and new friendships

Attendees of BATFN typically include people from a range of fields and locations, including researchers and activists working in Brazil, Indonesia, Peru, Madagascar and other exiting places. If you are interested in exploring any of these areas — professionally, academically, or just out of casual interest — you shouldn’t miss BATFN events.

The Borneo Project 

The Borneo Project brings international attention and support to community-led efforts to defend forests, sustainable livelihoods, and human rights. We believe that protecting human rights and environmental integrity in Borneo is a critical component of the global movement for a just and peaceful world.

Future 500

Through genuine stakeholder engagement, Future 500 aligns the power of the private sector with the purpose of its most critical stakeholders. We envision a world that realizes sustainable economic growth by addressing social and environmental externalities with market-based solutions. We unite the corporate and NGO sector to break through gridlock, encourage thoughtful dialogue, and achieve broad systemic change.

Conservation Through Public Health

The heartbeat of gorilla conservation is rooted in earning the support of the local communities that share a backyard with these critically endangered animals. Many of Uganda’s most isolated and impoverished families inhabit these areas – their lifestyles imposing an imminent threat to the survival of their gorilla neighbours and eventually, themselves. Land encroachment, competition for food, and the spread of zoonotic disease from gorilla to human to livestock are all grim everyday realities. To bring this idea full-circle, consider this: Uganda is one of the most densely populated countries on earth, ranks 154 out 0f 177 countries worldwide on the UN human development scale, and is home to half of the estimated 780 mountain gorillas in the world.

There are no mountain gorillas in captivity, they are only found in the Afromontane rainforests that stretch across the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Uganda is home to an estimated half of them that live in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mgahinga National Park.

Sharing 98.4% identical genetic makeup, humans are more similar to their furry friends than one might think, and disease can spread between wildlife, humans and livestock as a result of humans and gorillas living in such close proximity. Gorillas have not developed immunities to these illnesses, so even something as harmless to a human as the common flu can be fatal.

Notorious throughout the global community for being one of the most impoverished nations in the world, it is no surprise that Uganda is one of the 22 worst affected countries with Tuberculosis, contributing to 80% of the global burden. Other major threats to its local people and wildlife include dysentery, anthrax, measles, diarrhoea and the flu. For example, in 2004 and 2005, an anthrax outbreak resulted in the death of over 300 hippos representing 5% of the hippo population in Queen Elizabeth National Park, putting cattle and people at risk from contracting this fatal disease. District medical officials reported cases of people who ate the hippo meat and developed clinical signs, further demonstrating the connection between the health of animal and humans.

The 2002 scabies outbreak in gorillas was the impetus that propelled Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka to found Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) with other concerned Ugandans. CTPH is a non-profit, non-governmental organization with an innovative methodology that focuses on the interdependence of wildlife and human health in and around Africa’s protected areas. CTPH spearheads gorilla conservation with a multi-disciplinary approach which not only focuses on gorilla health, but human and livestock as well, for in areas where wildlife, people, and livestock intersect, a downturn in any one invariably affects the survival of the others. CTPH uses integrated wildlife conservation and community public health interventions to implement three strategic programs: Wildlife Health Monitoring, Human Public Health and Information, Education & Communication. As of July 2009, two pilot programs are being conducted in a forest habitat of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and a savannah habitat of Queen Elizabeth National Park, a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve.

CTPH’s approach is rooted in the prevention of zoonotic disease transmission, but also recognizes that many communities living near protected areas depend on livelihoods based upon the gorilla tourism industry, which in turn depends on the gorilla’s health and survival. Revenue from gorilla tourism is transforming villages into flourishing trading centres enabling a sustainable livelihood for some of the poorest people in all of Africa. In Uganda alone, gorilla tourism contributes more than 50% of tourism revenue for the country, benefiting the local communities directly through employment opportunities and revenue sharing programs, and indirectly through the increased demand for new local businesses such as accommodation, food, and crafts for tourists.

Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi 

The Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY), is a Bolivian organization that is made up of a team of adolescents, Bolivian professionals and volunteers from across the globe. Founded in 1992, CIWY was the pioneer of the environmental movement in Bolivia and is recognised nationally and internationally for founding centres designated to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife. CIWY currently manages three parks: Parque Machia (Cochabamba), Ambue Ari (Santa Cruz) and Jacj Cuisi (North of La Paz).

Inti Wara Yassi group at Roots & Shoots meeting December 2010 London

the Jane Goodall Institute

Founded by renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, the Jane Goodall Institute is a global nonprofit that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. Our work builds on Dr. Goodall’s scientific work and her humanitarian vision. Specifically, we seek to:

  • Improve global understanding and treatment of great apes through research, public education and advocacy
  • Contribute to the preservation of great apes and their habitats by combining conservation with education and promotion of sustainable livelihoods in local communities
  • Create a worldwide network of young people who have learned to care deeply for their human community, for all animals and for the environment, and who will take responsible action to care for them

Core Values
There are several core values that inform everything we do:

  • We strive to respect, nourish and protect all living things; people, animals and the environment are all interconnected
  • We believe that knowledge leads to understanding, and that understanding will encourage us to take action
  • We believe that every individual has the ability to make a positive difference
  • We believe that flexibility and open-mindedness are essential to enable us to respond to a changing world
  • We require integrity and compassion in all that we do and say

Dr. Jane tickling me at the Primate Society of Great Britain 2010 Winter Meeting London

EcoHealth Alliance 

Local conservation. Global health.
EcoHealth Alliance is an international organization of scientists dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity. For more than 35 years, EcoHealth Alliance has focused its efforts on conservation. Today, we are known for our innovative research on the intricate relationships between wildlife, ecosystems and human health.

Bwindi Community Hospital

Bwindi Community Hospital is a Church of Uganda (Anglican) Hospital under the Diocese of Kinkiizi. It is staffed by a team of 115. These include; doctors, nurses, midwives, other health workers and support staff. 70% of our employees are from within our catchment area and 30% are from other parts of Uganda.

Our Vision

A healthy and productive community free from preventable disease and with excellent health services accessible to all.

The staff and management collaborated together to produce this shared vision. The Hospital believes that prevention is better than cure, and that if a disease is preventable we should be out in the community trying to stop it from occurring rather than just treating cases as they come to us. However, when people do become sick, we aim to provide them with the high quality care they need.

At many other Hospitals in Uganda health workers are absent or have low morale, drugs are out of stock more often than they are present, and patients wait for hours in queues. At Bwindi Community Hospital, staff members are on duty 24 hours a day, we plan ahead so that no drug is ever out of stock, and we make sure all patients are attended to quickly. We strive to serve our patients well and to achieve excellence.
Accessibility for All is the most important part of our Vision. We believe that all people, rich or poor, have an equal right to access health care, and that those living high in the mountains need care just as much as those living next to the Hospital, which is why we send teams into the community on seven days a week.

 

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