IFAW Turns 50 And Gets A New Look

Congress passed major U.S. environmental laws, like the Endangered Species Act, just about 50 years ago, and not surprisingly, that era saw the birth of several environmental nonprofits including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Natural Resources Defense Council, just to name two.  Now, having grown and thrived through the decades, IFAW is making changes in the hope of attracting the next generation at this critical moment for species and the planet.  As the UN Extinction Report that was released on Monday makes clear, educating people who have come of age in the new millennium and inspiring them to take action is crucial to saving animals, people, and the planet going forward.

  • At the outset, IFAW took on the problem of seal hunting and in 1983 succeeded in achieving a European ban on whitecoat harp seal products in 1983, thereby saving more than 1 million seal pups. Since then, it has taken on more problems threatening more species in more than 40 countries.
  • Today their work spans the globe in places like Kenya and India, as well as the United States. The organization employs new and innovative ways to combat poaching, partners with technology platforms to reduce online wildlife crime, and works with industry to test ropeless fishing technologies that eliminate the threat of whale entanglement in commercial fishing gear.
  • And it’s creating networks worldwide to help rescue animals during and after natural disasters.

IFAW’s CEO Azzedine Downes wanted the organization to better connect people to their work, particularly “Millennials and younger generations who respond to action, not just shots of animals in the wild.”  So IFAW partnered with Min Lew of Base Design, who “took a critical look at the animal welfare and conservation sectors,” and found that “this generation is looking for fresh thinking, not simply a plea for help. The new branding breaks those entrenched branding codes to show that while IFAW protects animals, IFAW is people, doing the work and creating change.”  Together with IFAW, Base conceived of ‘animals and people thriving together’ as the driving brand concept. 

Why This Matters: Times change, so should environmental messaging and tactics and the lessons IFAW learned in its process are instructive. We started ODP for many of the same reasons IFAW decided to get a makeover — to connect with young people and to help them take action.  IFAW is one of our flagship partners at ODP.  We agree with IFAW CEO Azzedine Downes who says “This work takes all of us. By rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing animals, one by one—by protecting their habitats and helping them flourish—we can save other species. And our own.”  To borrow a phrase from the good ol’ days “Right On!”  

Up Next

Climate Change Causing Birds to Shrink

Climate Change Causing Birds to Shrink

  In September we wrote about a study that revealed that bird populations have declined nearly 30 percent — a loss of 3 billion birds — in the last fifty years. While scientists don’t quite know what’s caused this decline, new evidence shows that in addition to species decline, North American migratory bids have been […]

Continue Reading 413 words
The Makah Tribe Wants to Resume Hunt Whales, NOAA Must Pick a Side in Animal vs. Tribal Rights

The Makah Tribe Wants to Resume Hunt Whales, NOAA Must Pick a Side in Animal vs. Tribal Rights

As the LA Times recently reported, this year, an administrative trial in Washington state could dictate whether the Makah tribe can resume hunting gray whales. The Makah, who live in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula have asked the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for a waiver from the Marine Mammal Protection Act so they can restart their […]

Continue Reading 571 words
One Fun Thing: Almost All Dolphins Are Right Side Dominant

One Fun Thing: Almost All Dolphins Are Right Side Dominant

More than 90 percent of humans are right-handed — and most animals (80%) are similarly right-side dominant. But bottlenose dolphins are almost exclusively right dominant.  According to CNN, scientists conducting research on dolphins observed that dolphins always turn to their left when foraging for food on the seabed.  They thrust their noses or snouts into […]

Continue Reading 125 words