Panthera, a wild cat conservation organization based in New York City, has announced commitments totaling $80 million over ten years from philanthropists in Hong Kong, India, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
Pledges of $20 million each from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi; Jho Low, CEO of Jynwel Capital and director of the Jynwel Charitable Foundation; Hemendra Kothari, chair of DSP Blackrock India and the Wildlife Conservation Trust; and Panthera co-founders Thomas and Daphne Recanati Kaplan will support the organization's $200 million Initiative for Wild Cats, with a focus on tigers, lions, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, and cougars.
The initiative aims to mitigate primary threats to wild cat populations, including poaching for both the local and international trade; retaliatory and punitive killing from conflict with humans; unsustainable hunting of wild cat prey; and the fragmentation and loss of wild cat habitat. Cross-border efforts to be funded by the commitments include protecting and stabilizing more than half the world's most important Asian tiger and African lion populations; securing a corridor for jaguars across eighteen countries in Latin America; creating community-based conservation projects in countries with snow leopard populations; reducing the killing and poaching of cheetahs and leopards; and implementing a range-wide conservation strategy for cougars across North America.
"Today marks a turning point for global cat conservation, and we at Panthera are deeply moved by His Highness's leadership in this noble cause," said Thomas Kaplan, referring to the crown prince. "His support is a game changer, opening a path for us to create what has become an unprecedented alliance of philanthropists from Arabia, China, India, and America, now united in a common cause."