July 29, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Today, Mars Petcare (via its WHISKAS brand) marks Global Tiger Day by expanding Mars’ support for the WWF Tigers Alive Initiative, a global conservation program to help protect tigers from extinction, and to double their numbers by 2022. The next phase of the partnership will also support two key projects: A “zero poaching” initiative to assist in the advancement of enforcement work, and a “landscape” initiative, which will help to identify safe spaces for tigers in the wild.
The original partnership recognized a shared philosophy between WHISKAS and WWF, that together we have more impact on the future of wild cats, and in particular tigers. The strength of this connection led to a successful campaign in the UK in 2013 where it will continue to be active. The partnership will also be rolled out in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium before the end of 2014, with the ultimate goal to create a global program.
Mars, Incorporated board member, Frank Mars, said, “The shared purpose of Mars Petcare and WWF to protect the independence and well-being of the largest of all the 37 cat species has been a great driver in the success of this partnership. We believe the expansion of our relationship will continue to be a catalyst for greater global public awareness around this critical issue. At Mars, we have many passionate Associates who are dedicated to looking after your cats, and it is our ambition to continue to harness this work for the good of their endangered cousins as well.”
$1.5m has been raised so far in the first year for projects that include supporting the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) on the border of Nepal and India. This is one of the 12 priority tiger landscapes, where the species faces loss of habitat due to farming, unsustainable development and above all, poaching.
Money raised by WHISKAS last summer in the UK for TAL has gone directly towards the creation of 17 community based anti-poaching units (CBAPUs) comprising of 94 members. In addition, funds provided these units with new searchlights, tents, life jackets for river crossings while on patrol, solar panels for powering guard posts, and motorbikes to help enforcement groups cover large areas in a shorter space of time. For the third consecutive year now, there have been no reports of tigers being poached in the TAL region.
With over 97 percent of the world’s tigers believed to have disappeared in the last 100 years, it is estimated that as few as 3,200 wild tigers remain. Mars Petcare will focus on supporting the following WWF Tigers Alive Initiative key objectives:
“Tigers are a potent symbol of the Earth’s rich biodiversity, and this partnership is a potent symbol of how we can protect nature by working together. Business and development can and must happen in a way that is sustainable, and that allows space for nature and wildlife. Our goal in working together is to double the tiger population, our actions together will decide the tiger’s future,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International.
Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE(R), ROYAL CANIN(R), WHISKAS(R), KITEKAT(R), BANFIELD(R) Pet Hospital and NUTRO(R); Chocolate – M&M’S(R), SNICKERS(R), DOVE(R), GALAXY(R), MARS(R), MILKY WAY(R) and TWIX(R); Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT(R), EXTRA(R), ORBIT(R) and 5(TM) chewing gums, SKITTLES(R) and STARBURST(R) candies, and ALTOIDS(R) AND LIFESAVERS(R) mints. Food – UNCLE BEN’S(R), DOLMIO(R), EBLY(R), MASTERFOODS(R), SEEDS OF CHANGE(R) and ROYCO(R); Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS(TM), THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY(TM), KLIX(R) and FLAVIA(R); Symbioscience – COCOAVIA(TM) and WISDOM PANEL(TM).