While others may be sitting in a drab set of office blocks looking out onto London with their idle computers occasionally utilised to check Facebook every now and again, I am lucky enough to be working with the EIA helping out with the day-to-day workload.
From oceans and forests to tigers, elephants and whales, EIA has proven highly effective in the world of conservation, unlike other fat cat charities worried about their next paychecks and not what they actually stand for. Its offices may not be the biggest or the fanciest, but it sure does stand for something great and the message it conveys is the cornerstone of its work, which a nice refresher from others.
So why EIA? A few years back, I was dragged along to a tiger forum by a friend of mine to report back for my group the World Conservation and Wildlife Trust (previously Respect Honour Nature) and, following the hour-and-a-half talk that followed, I found myself drawn to one charity in particular.
I remember that it was more like a secret MI5 for animals than a normal charity; secret filming and undercover work, and all for the sake of saving critically endangered species and, in a sense, the world. It covers all the bases with a low overhead to ensure the money from donations go where it’s meant to – the frontline work. What more can I say?
My group, the WCWT, was set up by three inspired British teens (myself being one of them) determined to raise awareness about how serious climate change is and to set up and fundraise for a variety of conservation projects.
The WCWT organises projects to raise awareness and to help combat climate change via reaching out to the younger generation. Recently, we have been working with EIA and Dakini Media to help save rainforests, tigers, coral reefs and biodiversity, so far having raised more than £27,000. In the Chinese Year of the Tiger, we were involved in a project which made a phenomenal £120,000 to help the plight of the tiger, alongside Dakini Media and EIA.
Now we are looking at oceanic conservation, having launched our Marine Conservation project last September, which will run through until November 2012 when we will launch our final film of two (our first film created around the UK coastline with professional underwater photographers) on the destruction of our seas and the beauty that lies underneath the waves.
Well, that’s me in a compressed nutshell – wouldn’t want to bore anyone, now would I? Also, I just want to add how great the people at the EIA truly are and how driven they are to actually make a difference. Hopefully one day everyone will be like that …
Chief Director, World Conservation and Wildlife Trust