June 21-July 12, 2002
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U.Va., World Wildlife Fund sign agreement

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U.Va., World Wildlife Fund sign agreement

The University of Virginia and the World Wildlife Fund have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on critical environmental management issues and research in Africa, Latin America and other rapidly developing regions.

Gene Block and William Eichbaum
Photo by Andrew Shurtleff
Gene Block (left), U.Va.’s vice president and provost, signs a memo of understanding with William Eichbaum, vice president for endangered spaces in the World Wildlife Fund organization. The agreement means the University and WWF will work together on environmental management issues and research in such places as Africa and Latin America.

The agreement will strengthen existing links between U.Va. and the fund’s U.S. office, particularly in terrestrial and marine ecosystem monitoring, assessment and policy development.

The University and WWF will raise awareness on critical environmental management issues, raise the profile of important research findings and support innovative research, collaborations and monitoring programs for the most effective conservation of resources.

“The World Wildlife Fund promotes environmental research and sound land-use policy and is a natural ally for U.Va.’s research and education initiatives in southern Africa and other developing regions,” said Jeffrey Plank, U.Va.’s assistant vice president for research and public service.

The agreement between U.Va. and WWF allows the organizations to share resources to promote biodiversity and environmental management and, where possible, to cooperate and develop research projects. Representatives from U.Va.’s Center for Regional Environmental Studies and WWF’s Endangered Spaces Program will meet regularly and coordinate activities. The organizations also may seek joint funding for some projects. While the understanding strengthens links between U.Va. and WWF, it does not create a joint venture or partnership.

“By combining forces with a world-class research institution such as the University of Virginia, WWF can enhance its efforts to save the world’s most outstanding marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats,” said William Eichbaum, vice president for endangered spaces. “Africa is a natural starting point for this agreement, as it contains some of the world’s most diverse, endangered and charismatic species, and both institutions have a long history there.”


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