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

We Need Animals to Survive—But First, We Need to Include Them

We Need Animals to Survive—But First, We Need to Include Them

By Beth Allgood, U.S. Country Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare It’s often said that dogs are man’s best friend. This common phrase may seem simple to most, but it holds a very important lesson: animals are important to human wellbeing. IFAW’s newest report, Animals are Key to Human Development: A Guidebook for Incorporating Conservation […]

Continue Reading 1003 words
One Cool Thing: Wildlife Comes Out At National Parks

One Cool Thing: Wildlife Comes Out At National Parks

Park Rangers at National Parks that have been closed for many weeks have observed things they had never seen before.  For example, pronghorn antelope in the sun-scorched lowlands of Death Valley National Park, and at Yosemite, with traffic a distant memory, deer, bobcats, and black bears have made their way into Yosemite Valley and are […]

Continue Reading 173 words

One “Creepy” Thing: Georgia’s Newest Pest — The Tegu Lizard

The New York Times reported over the weekend that Georgia has yet another problem besides continuing increases in COVID patients.  An invasive South American exotic lizard species has made its way to Georgia where it is now threatening native wildlife because, according to state Fish & Game officials, they can eat whatever they want (insert […]

Continue Reading 105 words