Disney Conservation Fund Celebrates 20-Year Anniversary by Unveiling New Initiative to Protect the Planet


By Dr. Beth Stevens, senior vice president, Environment and Conservation, Disney Citizenship

Have you ever thought about the basics nature provides us? It may be easy to take these gifts for granted, but it’s because of nature’s resources that we have clean air to breathe, fresh water to drink and food to eat, among many other necessities we need to live. But these goods are not guaranteed, and our future depends upon nature and a healthy planet.

That’s why protecting nature and celebrating the Disney Conservation Fund’s (DCF) 20th anniversary is the focal point of the Company’s Earth Month celebration this year. On Earth Day in 1995, DCF was established to accomplish a meaningful mission—to protect wildlife and wild places and connect people with nature. Fast forward 20 years, and the fund’s mighty reach and $40 million it has contributed in the form of grants have supported 330 nonprofit organizations, helped protect more than 400 different species, and inspired millions of kids and families to explore the great outdoors.

In honor of this special milestone, DCF is looking to make an even greater difference for wildlife, habitats and kids. As part of its new two-pronged “Reverse the Decline, Increase the Time” initiative, the fund will help to reverse the decline of

10 threatened animals—African elephants, butterflies, coral reefs, tamarin monkeys, great apes, sea turtles, sharks and rays, Siberian cranes, Sumatran rhinos and Sumatran tigers. We are working with leading conservation organizations on this effort to develop and implement a comprehensive, measurable strategic plan to reverse the decline in these critical animal populations around the world. In addition, the “Reverse the Decline initiative will provide opportunities for Disney to apply the expertise and talents of its cast members and employees to help threatened animals. Already, scientists, educators and veterinarians on Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment team are collaborating with each organization to help protect these species and their habitats.

Secondly, DCF is working with notable nonprofit organizations to create more opportunities to “increase the time” kids spend outdoors. The whole concept of why it’s important to build a connection to nature is that caring about nature starts with spending time in nature. It’s imperative that we help inspire the next generation of environmental stewards—and it all starts with spending time outside.

Wildlife and wild places have always been an inspiration to Disney, and we take pride in instilling that same inspiration in kids and families. We believe that conservation and caring for the planet are more than just good ideas—they are core to who we are as a company. With DCF’s new initiative, we hope that our actions will help protect some of nature’s most precious habitats and ensure the health of our planet for generations to come.

A book about the Reverse the Decline, Increase the Time initiative, as well as a list of supported organizations, can be found at Disney.com/Conservation.