Today, The Walt Disney Company announced it has awarded grants to 43 nonprofit organizations working with communities across 25 countries to protect more than 60 species this year, continuing Disney’s ongoing commitment of more than $120 million given to date in support of a healthier planet for people and wildlife. In the spirit of the year-round Disney Planet Possible, Disney is honored to support these nonprofit organizations’ ongoing courage, adaptability, and commitment to making a difference.
These are just a few of their Disney Planet Possible stories:
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Okapi Conservation Project works to protect the Okapi Wildlife Reserve’s rainforest and wildlife. In the past few years, everyday challenges have intensified: poor infrastructure has increased travel and field supply delivery costs; growing insecurity in the region requires a team member to fly to the nearest bank to withdraw program funds and avoid a 12-hour journey on unsafe roads; and the team had to develop strict communication and evacuation plans should a security breach occur. The team continues to adapt and drive collaborative community programs that aim to improve livelihoods, protect the forest, and respect the connection of human health with nature and the culture and traditions of the indigenous Mbuti people.
In Brazil’s Cerrado biome, the Institute for the Conservation of Wild Animals is helping giant anteaters cope with some of their biggest threats: collisions with cars on roadways and loss of habitat. In a place where habitat loss reached record levels in the past year, the team’s research helps to identify important anteater hotspots for protection and also rescues and rehabilitates injured and orphaned animals. Their research also supported the creation and launch of new state-wide roadway safety requirements to protect both people and wildlife.
In Indonesia, Borneo’s peat-swamp forests are home to incredible biodiversity, including the world’s largest orangutan populations. Each year, fires damage public health, release CO2, and harm forests and wildlife. In the last two years, Borneo Nature Foundation has supported members of its community tree nursery program, planting 96,302 seedlings in burned and degraded peatland. This year’s grant will help the foundation continue to address the causes of fire in the region by restoring peatlands, supporting local youth and community education, and strengthening local firefighting capacity and fire prevention networks.
In Australia, Nature Foundation Limited manages seven nature reserves for conservation across more than 500,000 hectares. This team is supporting a brighter future for both the critically endangered Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren and their neighbors—Traditional Owners of the Ngarrindjeri community who share this land—by improving and increasing available habitat for the birds and launching a cultural heritage assessment to ensure community cultural values, traditions, and heritage are incorporated and protected throughout conservation programs.
In Mexico, Shark Team One is working with communities of the Yucatan Peninsula to protect one of the last remaining populations of endangered whale sharks by reducing negative human impacts, creating protected marine wildlife corridors, and building sustainable ecotourism and artisanal fishing communities. Their research led to the first sighting of a pregnant whale shark in this area, representing an important moment of hope for this species, as it will help the team focus their efforts on protecting previously unknown critical nursery habitat.
- In the United States, the Greater Farallones Association’s Long-Term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students is empowering students to get outdoors to observe and collect data from 27 species of marine life at more than 60 rocky intertidal and sandy beach sites along California national marine sanctuary coastlines, including near critical kelp restoration sites in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. The team engages over 5,000 students annually statewide, inspiring STEM learning and motivating future stewards of our oceans.
These are just a few of the inspiring and impactful projects Disney is supporting this year. Disney is committed to saving wildlife and building a global community determined to protect the magic of nature together. Since 1995, the Company has directed more than $120 million and the expertise of its dedicated teams to support organizations working with communities to save wildlife, to inspire action, and to protect the planet.