Entering its Fifth Decade, Wildlife Trust Re-Brands as EcoHealth Alliance
21 Sep, 2010, 08:00 ET
Building on its strong history in conservation, and central role in conservation medicine, EcoHealth Alliance defines the intersection between local wildlife conservation
and global health research.
NEW YORK, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wildlife Trust, a non-profit international conservation organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and safeguarding human and animal health, today announced that the organization will be re-branded with a new name and tagline: EcoHealth Alliance, "Local Conservation, Global Health." The organization also launched its new website at http://www.ecohealthalliance.org today, and re-branding efforts will extend to hiring new scientists, developing additional programs, and forming new alliance partners.
Wildlife Trust was founded in 1971 as a wildlife conservation organization; however, over the past two decades it has built its reputation as the world leader in conservation medicine based on research into the interconnected relationships between ecosystems and animal and human health. "There are few times in an organization's history that can truly be defined as transformative, and we have reached one of those times," said Dr. Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance. "Building on our strong history, we have grown beyond our original conservation focus to become the central organization defining the intersection of local conservation and global health."
Emphasizing global health
A leader in the One Health movement, EcoHealth Alliance is on the forefront of informing the public, businesses, and the scientific community about emerging diseases, including potential pandemics. According to Daszak, the organization's "re-branding efforts were timed to coincide with back-to-school and the important end-of-year business cycle when everyone is concerned about preventing disease whether it's the common cold or H1N1 'Swine' flu."
"These re-branding efforts bring to a close a two-year strategic process led by our board of directors, staff, and alliance members," Daszak said. "The new EcoHealth Alliance branding encapsulates what our work stands for: we're a committed, hardworking group striving to protect wildlife and safeguard health in an ever-changing global environment."
Since last year the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been working with EcoHealth Alliance to institute a new global emerging pandemic threat program based on EcoHealth Alliance's innovative disease-outbreak hotspots map. The five-year program, called PREDICT, brings together a coalition of organizations to research emerging diseases among high-risk wildlife and in high-risk countries. To internally spearhead this important program and others, EcoHealth Alliance recently hired Dr. William "Billy" Karesh as its executive vice president for Health and Policy.
"All of our programs, including PREDICT, have implications for conservation, health, and global economies," according to Karesh. "Our models suggest that in a global pandemic, a quarter of the world's population could be infected, causing between 51 and 81 million deaths and economic losses could that could top $4 trillion. We're working hard to ensure that doesn't happen."
Building on a legacy of local conservation
According to Daszak, EcoHealth Alliance's re-branding efforts will continue into the coming year, with new people, programs, and partnerships; however, the organization's legacy of successful, locally managed wildlife conservation programs and continued focus on promoting better management of coastal habitats will help ensure that ecosystems remain intact and endangered species survive the threats or human-induced change, pollution, and climate change.
"Our organization's conservation heritage remains vibrant and important to us—in our mission and the continuing work of our alliance partners," Daszak said. "In the water with sea turtles, dolphins, right whales and manatees, and on land with Asian elephants, jaguars, large cats, pampas deer, and bats, animals will still be a key focus for EcoHealth Alliance, as we carry on our efforts in support of conservation medicine and global health."
About EcoHealth Alliance
Building on 40 years of innovative science, EcoHealth Alliance (formerly Wildlife Trust) is a non-profit international conservation organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and safeguarding human health from the emergence of disease. The organization develops ways to combat the effects of damaged ecosystems on human and wildlife health. It specializes in saving biodiversity in human-dominated ecosystems where ecological health is most at risk from habitat loss, species imbalance, pollution and other environmental issues. EcoHealth Alliance scientists also identify and examine the causes affecting the health of global ecosystems in the U.S. and more than 20 countries worldwide. EcoHealth Alliance's strength is founded on innovations in research, education, training, and support from a global network of EcoHealth Alliance conservation partners. For more information, visit http://ecohealthalliance.org.
EcoHealth Alliance is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization.
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Dr. William Karesh
Dr. Peter Daszak
SOURCE EcoHealth Alliance
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