University Of Virginia,
World Wildlife Fund Join Forces For African And Latin American Conservation
May 29, 2002-- The University
of Virginia and the World Wildlife Fund signed a memorandum of understanding
today to work on critical environmental management issues and research
in Africa, Latin America and other rapidly developing regions.
agreement will strengthen already existing links between U.Va. and
the World Wildlife 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.
agreement was signed during a three-day workshop at U.Va. involving
officials from four African universities, U.Va., the U.S. State
Department, the United Nations, the National Academy of Sciences,
the National Research Council, the World Wildlife Fund and other
international conservation organizations. The African universities
include the University of Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique, the University
of Venda in South Africa, the University of Botswana and the University
of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.
purpose of the workshop for U.Va. and the African universities is
to discuss conservation issues and to form a consortium with far-reaching
implications in education, research, health care and public policy.
U.Va.'s relationship with the World Wildlife Fund will further benefit
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. "U.Va. has conducted environmental research in Africa
for 25 years, and we have
strong relationships with researchers and educators there. The World
Wildlife Fund shares our devotion to the study and stewardship of
the environment in southern Africa and elsewhere."
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 between the two
combining forces with a world-class research institution such as
the University of Virginia, WWF can enhance its efforts to save
the worlds 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 worlds most diverse, endangered
and charismatic species, and both institutions have a long history
Fariss Samarrai, (434) 924-3778 or Lee Poston, (202) 778-9536