The mission of the Focus Conservation Fund is to preserve biodiversity and habitat by promoting:
local community investment in the value of biodiversity;
an awareness of the role of people in ecologic systems;
the discovery and development of local economic opportunities in ecotourism.
We have an international team of Directors of the Focus Conservation Fund, which have supported our work for years.
WHAT WE DO.
Partnership with Instituto Sustentar de Responsibilidade SocioAmbiental
In 2007, FCF President Douglas Trent and his Brazilian partner, Jussara Utsch, started the Brazilian NGO, Instituto Sustentar. This organization has been a leading voice for sustainability in Brazil, having created SUSTENTAR – International Forum on Sustainable Development, now in its 12th version. A number of other programs have included a series of courses on Nature that Douglas directed. In 2013, the first version of the Pantanal Wildlife Program started in Cáceres, MT, the Pantanal, with funding from Petrobras/Petrobras Socioambiental. This program features the three pillars of sustainability: wildlife and ecological research, connection to nature environmental education, and community-based economic development.
By forming partnerships with UNEMAT (state university), IFMT (national university), the Cáceres city government, the state and national governments, the University of Kansas, University of Radboud Nijegem, other NGOs working in the region, associations of local fisherman, artisans, hotels and boat-hotels, and others, we received a mission from the stakeholders to develop community-based ecotourism.
This program ran in the first phase, from 2013 to 2015. Results obtained include 14 published research papers, 5 masters and doctorate thesis, and over 44,000 children and young adults got into the field with binoculars donated by the Focus Conservation Fund. We were able to create a new nature destination and trained over 50 nature tour guides. We were able to raise awareness of the region with its tremendous wildlife populations, and had press coverage in over 34 countries in 12 different languages. Some of this can be seen elsewhere in this site, and also visit www.bichosdopantanal.org.
This program was renewed in 2018 and is currently taking place not only in Cáceres, but also in the county to the north, Porto Estrela. We have now given our environmental education classes and field experience to over 100,000 children and adults. Our press coverage continues as well, and some can be seen on this site.