As part of their 25th Anniversary goal to raise £1 million in vital funds to support global conservation heroes, the Whitley Fund For Nature held a ‘‘Wild & Wonderful’’ gala dinner at the Natural History Museum in London.
The evening, celebrating the charity’s 25 years, highlighted the achievements of award-winning conservation leaders from Africa, Asia and South America. WFN Trustee, Sir David Attenborough, gave an interview with WFN Ambassador and television presenter Kate Humble on stage, where he praised the Whitley Award winners for having “huge energy, huge passion, and huge knowledge!” He continued by saying, “I believe that these individuals, who have been supported by the Whitley Fund For Nature, will become centres from which to spread the message, and the knowledge, and the zest, and the enthusiasm to create positive change all over their community.”
The Whitley Fund For Nature supports the work of conservationists across the globe, helping to protect endangered wildlife and their habitats. Edward Whitley, founder of the Whitley Fund For Nature, commented that “the absolute root of this charity – the founding idea – is that successful conservation has to come from local leaders. It cannot be exported around the world by well-meaning outsiders. It has to come from within. Our winners are inspirational leaders in their countries and they’re making enormous and lasting impact.”
The Gala evening opened with a unique collaboration between the Whitley Fund For Nature and Fashion For Conservation to highlight that the decisions made by us all on the high street impact wildlife around the world. With fashion ranking as the 2nd most polluting industry in the world, WFN and FFC set out to recognise trailblazing designers leading the revolution to transform the industry.
Central to the evening was the task to fundraise £1 million to support award-winning conservationists beyond their first grant, or “Whitley Award,” which will enable these conservation heroes to deliver long-term solutions for both wildlife and the people living closest to them. The Gala took the Fund to a total of £800,000 with the LA-based Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation making the first pledge.
For this anniversary event, the Whitley Fund For Nature and Fashion For Conservation joined forces with mission-driven music artist, Elle L, who has played a pivotal role in bringing to life FFC’s vision all over the UK and Europe. Elle was an ambassador for this year’s Gala, as she is an active advocate for the environment with a focus to awaken herself and others to our relationship with nature. “If we come together and take action to live and create more consciously, we can protect future generations, ecosystems and wildlife,” Elle said.
For more information about the Whitley Fund For Nature, visit www.whitleyaward.org, and for more information about Fashion For Conservation, visit www.fashionforconservation.com. http://www.fashionforconservation.com/london-hope-gala/