Our Impact

Highlights of ICFC's conservation outcomes:

  • Since 2009, ICFC has protected 10 million hectares of the Brazilian Amazon in partnership with the Kayapo Indigenous People.
  • Our 50 project areas combined cover 15 million hectaresan area larger than most of the world’s countries — and are home to 374 Threatened or Near Threatened species – and these are just the ones we know about!
  • ICFC has helped purchase land totalling over 11,000 hectares for 12 nature reserves of high conservation value.
  • There are large climate co-benefits from our work. The prime example is our Kayapo Project.  Based on conservative estimates, the project is achieving avoided emissions of 30 Megatonnes of carbon or 110 Mt CO2e each year -- equal to one-sixth of Canada's annual GHG emissions, at a cost of a few cents per tonne of CO2e.
  • ICFC put in place required long-term finance to protect Peru’s first conservation concession (Los Amigos), a diverse old-growth Amazonian forest that indirectly protects an additional million hectares, including a reserve for uncontacted indigenous people.
  • Mali’s “desert elephants” owe their survival to a project of ICFC and WILD Foundation that has benefited humans and elephants over an area of 40,000 km2. Remarkably, in a region beset by armed militants, this project has brought striking security benefits.
  • The hooded grebe in Patagonia is no longer declining toward extinction due to our work there.
  • ICFC is protecting shorebirds at key stopover and wintering sites in Latin America and has contributed to efforts that are helping the world’s most endangered migratory shorebird—the spoon-billed sandpiper in Asia.
  • ICFC played a key role in instigating work that would develop into the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP), which has been a phenomenal success in using remote sensing data to detect and make public the precise locations and causes of deforestation, leading to early government intervention.  In 2019 MAAP covered 83% of the Amazon and aided the Peruvian government in achieving a 92% reduction in illegal goldmining in La Pampa through Operation Mercury.
  • Our partner in Cambodia has developed an effective, inexpensive anti-trawling device that doubles as an artificial reef to safeguard marine protected areas against destructive illegal bottom-trawling.
  • In Lake Malawi, a biodiversity hotspot with about 1000 fish species (most found nowhere else), fish populations are recovering and livelihoods improving thanks to our project’s support for community-led Fisheries Management Committees.
  • Our project in Sulawesi (Indonesia) has shifted cultural attitudes toward conservation and is responsible for the only population of the Endangered maleo bird that is increasing.
  • Thanks to support from a Canadian family foundation, we have strengthened protection at South Africa’s most important rhino reserves, reducing poaching rates.
  • Our project in Bolivia has increased numbers of the Critically Endangered blue-throated macaw and protected the Beni Savanna ecosystem.

Volunteers at Reserva Natural Rincon de Santa Maria, Argentina

Benefits to people

Our projects bring human benefits directly and indirectly.  In a typical year:

  • 1,410 are employed or otherwise financially assisted (with ICFC funding) in carrying out project (conservation) activities
  • 48,784 people are otherwise assisted in developing or improving sustainable livelihoods (e.g. ecotourism, fishing, agroforestry, non-timber forest products such as Brazil nuts, traditional handicrafts,  beekeeping)
  • 7,524 are volunteers & others carrying out project activities or involved in project-led community resource management
  • 186.480 are engaged through education/outreach or consultation such as community meetings
  • 2.7 million benefit from ecosystem services (e.g. water, non-timber forest products, risk reduction for landslides etc.)

The entire world benefits from climate mitigation associated with our projects. And not easily quantified is the large effect some of our projects have had in instilling across communities and regions pride in iconic wildlife species and appreciation of conservation needs. Our work has spawned shorebird festivals in Patagonia and festivals celebrating the maleo and sea turtles in Sulawesi, where a political election campaign poster said "You should love me as much as you love the maleo!".

Rangers at Bahia de San Antonio, Argentina.  Photo: Patricia Gonzalez

Increasing our impact through learning

ICFC practices adaptive management of projects, which means we have the flexibility to adjust work plans as we see what is working more or less well and as circumstances change. We share with our field partners innovations that have worked well in other projects. Together we’re learning while working every day.

One example out of many: We have a small project led by Kristina Cockle in the Atlantic Forest in Argentina that engages local youth and farmers to restore bird habitat and protect tree species needed by specialist cavity-nesting birds. The project tests the efficacy of a wide range of creative educational techniques by collecting information on the knowledge and attiudes of school children and farmers before and after the instruction. The findings are used to continually improve the educational aspects of the project. Information on these techniques and findings has been shared by ICFC with field partners of other projects that have an educational component.

ICFC also shares information with peer international conservation organizations, including trip reports from visiting projects we have co-funded.

Awards and recognition 

ICFC was the top ranked conservation charity in Canada in the Financial Post’s 2017 charity ratings (the last done by FP) and is rated four out of four stars by Charity Intelligence Canada. Our Mali Elephant Project was awarded the prestigious Equator Prize in 2017 by the United Nations. Our project in Cambodia received the National Geographic Society’s Marine Protection Prize and is a Mission Blue “Hope Spot”. Project field personnel have received the Disney Conservation Hero Award (a project field manager, name withheld for safety reasons), the Whitley Award (Carlos Vasquez Almazan, Guatemala, and Dominique Bikaba, DRC), and the Indianapolis Prize (Amanda Vincent, marine conservation).

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