ITCF’s mission is to contribute to the conservation of tropical forests, by funding and carrying out highly practical and concrete projects in the tropics. Its goal is to dedicate its support to projects over a very long period of time, in order to ensure their long-term viability, and to fund what is traditionally so difficult to fund, namely operational costs.
In a world where 80% of protected areas are underfunded, understaffed and underprotected, we emphasize foremost on ensuring the integrity of our protected areas, in order to make certain that biodiversity is effectively preserved. To reach its goals, ITCF fundraises among the public, foremost visitors to the zoos involved, while also seeking the support of corporate partners and grants from other funds.
ITCF’s ultimate aim is to replicate its current long-term project in Belize also in Africa and in Asia. However, this second phase shall only be feasible and implemented when the Belizean project has reached its completion, i.e. when all protected areas encompassed within the project have been linked and consolidated, and their funding is fully secured.
In 1988, the Papiliorama Zoo of Kerzers, Switzerland and the Royal Burgers’ Zoo Arnhem, Netherlands both opened their respective indoor tropical exhibits. Their directors, Maarten Bijleveld and the late Antoon van Hooff decided to unite efforts in order not only to talk about the fate of tropical forests, but to actually do something about it: the International Tropical Conservation Fund (ITCF) was born. Two charities were simultaneously created, one in Switzerland, and one in Holland, and both are still based at the respective zoos. The ITCF now also exists as a 501c3 organization in the United States of America.
The Shipstern Conservation & Management Area in north-eastern Belize (Central America), ITCF’s main project to this day, was acquired in 1989, and covers approximately 88 km2, or 21’750 acres. This protected area is very diverse in habitats, ranging from lagoons and mangroves to dry coastal as well as subtropical forests typical of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is owned and managed by the Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI), a Belizean NGO created by ITCF, on which board several ITCF board members are represented. ITCF to this day remains the main funder of CSFI and Shipstern Conservation & Management Area.
The ITCFund – USA (also known as ClimatePath Ecologic Fund) is a US 501c3 charity created to fund high impact ecological conservation projects.
As a partner with the Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative, a primary goal is to help support tropical forest preservation work in Belize.
E.D. & faculty, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business,
CEO ClimatePath, Chairman
Fair Trade & certification specialist
assoc. dean of Saint Mary’s College of California (retired)
ITCF is currently seeking to find more partners among zoos, in order to replicate the zoo-based support model which has been used for the past 25 years. Does your organization want to save tropical forests? Please contact us.
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