Mars Petcare to continue support for WHISKAS “Big Cat/Little Cat” initiative in UK & Ireland as well as launching in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium
Target to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022
to help save species from extinction
(July 29, 2014) -- 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:
- TX2 – continuing to support and become the largest contributor to this global target* to double the number of tigers in the wild by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022. This ambitious goal takes conservation from saving the species to planning for a future in which it can thrive. Coupled with this target is the call to action for all tiger range countries to accurately survey current numbers so that a new global tiger figure can be released in 2016, the midway point to TX2.
- Zero Poaching Initiative - working to raise the bar in ensuring higher management standards, government support and effective protection and enforcement work.
- Landscape Initiative - the Tigers Alive Initiative has identified at least 20 flagship sites across 12 landscapes where tiger numbers can not only be recovered, but doubled with improved management and funding. These landscapes include Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam
"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.
*TX2 was agreed at the 2010 Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg by the 13 tiger range countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam.
About Mars, Incorporated
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.
Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, KITEKAT®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital and NUTRO®; Chocolate – M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFESAVERS® mints. Food – UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYCO®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience – COCOAVIA™ and WISDOM PANEL™.
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. More information: panda.org.
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