The Walt Disney Company Announces $7M Investment in Forest Protection Projects

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BURBANK, Calif. — The Walt Disney Company announced today a $7 million investment in forest projects that will build on its long history of conservation and environmental stewardship. The projects will protect forests in the Amazon, the Congo and the United States safeguarding ecosystems that benefit climate and quality of life on the planet.

The investment is being made in partnership with leading non-governmental organizations Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund that, like Disney, put great emphasis on science and technical excellence.

Forest protection is one of the most effective ways to combat climate change, improve the livelihood of local communities and protect threatened wildlife. Healthy forests provide food, shelter and income to millions of people around the world. The projects supported by Disney will also benefit species ranging from gorillas in Africa to North American songbirds.

Support for these projects, using a variety of conservation strategies including avoided deforestation, reforestation, and improved forest management, supplement Disney’s companywide efforts to combat climate change by reducing fossil fuel use and switching to cleaner forms of energy.

“Disney has always been a conservation leader,” said Disney President and CEO Robert A. Iger. “Now, more than ever, it’s essential to take swift action to preserve our most vulnerable natural environments for future generations and to be innovative in achieving that goal.”

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Photo Call: Tinker Bell, Cast and Crew and Friends at United Nations Ceremony

Recently we told you about the United Nations applauding Tinker Bell’s commitment to the environment by making her an ‘Honorary Ambassador of Green’ in a ceremony this past Sunday.

Below is a series of photos of Tink, the cast and crew of Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure who were in attendance of the event as well as a few other guests.

All photos by Alex J. Berliner © Berliner Studio/BEImages. All rights reserved. Courtesy of Disney.

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Disneyland Resort Wins California’s Top Environmental Leadership Award

ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 20  — Disneyland Resort has won the 2009 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), California’s highest and most prestigious environmental honor. The award recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment and building public-private partnerships. Governor Schwarzenegger recognized Disneyland Resort and 14 other GEELA recipients at a reception at the Governors’ Global Climate Summit 2 in Los Angeles on September 30.

“I applaud the Disneyland Resort for their wonderful commitment to our state’s commerce and environment. They are an inspiration to many and I thank them for their outstanding leadership,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.

“This honor recognizes Disneyland Resort’s ongoing commitment to developing socially responsible and environmentally friendly practices that promote environmental protection and economic growth,” said Frank Dela Vara, director of environmental affairs and conservation at Disneyland Resort. “We are proud of our commitment to exploring and implementing new technologies and practices that further the environmental legacy left by Walt Disney.”

Award recipients are chosen in 10 different categories based on their strength in eight specific areas including results, transferability, environmental impact, resource conservation, economic progress, innovation and uniqueness, pollution prevention and environmental justice. Disneyland received the award for several sustainable practices implemented at the Resort, including the environmentally conscientious efforts to refill the Paradise Bay at Disney’s California Adventure; the use of the Resort’s processed cooking oil to fuel its steam train locomotives; and the water and energy conservation features incorporated in the Resort’s new central bakery.

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Say ‘Hello’ and ‘Bon Voyage’ to Dory, Disney’s Entry in the Tour de Turtles

Dory Enters the Tour de TurtlesVERO BEACH, Fla., Aug. 6, 2009 – With nearly 200 encouraging fans, a loggerhead sea turtle named Dory returned to the Atlantic Ocean after successfully laying eggs near the shores of Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.

Dory is one of 10 sea turtles participating in Tour de Turtles: A Sea Turtle Migration Marathon hosted by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC). The program is designed to spotlight the challenges facing sea turtles, with each participant representing a “cause” or threat to sea turtle survival.

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Disney Channel Stars’ Anthem ‘Send it On’ to Debut on Radio Disney 8/7, iTunes; Television Special on 8/28

Disney's Friends for Change“Send it On,” the inspiring anthem for Disney’s “Friends for Change: Project Green,” performed by Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, will debut FRIDAY, AUGUST 7 on Radio Disney and will be available TUESDAY, AUGUST 11 on iTunes, itunes.com/disneyfriendsforchange, for .99 cents, with all proceeds benefitting environmental charities through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. The “Send it On” music video premieres FRIDAY, AUGUST 14 on Disney Channel, and SATURDAY, AUGUST 15 on Disney.com and the ABC Television Network.

A half-hour special programming event, “Lights, Camera, Take Action! Backstage with Disney’s Friends for Change,” taking viewers behind the scenes during production of the campaign, will premiere FRIDAY, AUGUST 28 immediately following “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie” (8:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel.

Twenty-nine Disney stars are featured in the Friends for Change messages on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Radio Disney and Disney.com, inviting young people to join together and make a difference. They are: Moises Arias, Miley Cyrus, Jason Earles, Mitchel Musso and Emily Osment (“Hannah Montana”), Jason Dolley (“Hatching Pete” and the upcoming “Good Luck Charlie”), Nicole Anderson, Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Chelsea Staub (“JONAS”), Allisyn Ashley Arm, Doug Brochu, Sterling Knight, Demi Lovato, Brandon Mychal Smith and Tiffany Thornton (“Sonny With A Chance”), Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse, Debby Ryan, Larramie “Doc” Shaw and Brenda Song (“The Suite Life on Deck”), Jake T. Austin, Selena Gomez, David Henrie and Jennifer Stone (“Wizards of Waverly Place”), Hutch Dano, Adam Hicks and Daniel Curtis Lee (of Disney XD’s “Zeke and Luther”).

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International Veterinary Team Helps Swaziland Save Habitat and Help Control Elephant Population

Veterinarians Perform an Elephant Vasectomy

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Aug. 5, 2009 – Led by Disney’s Animal Programs, an international coalition of veterinarians from conservation groups, zoos, universities and private industry have returned from Africa after effectively sterilizing seven bull elephants in Swaziland’s Big Game Parks.

As a result of this effort, Swaziland wildlife officials will be able to better manage the elephant population in wildlife parks and reserves over the next decade.

Elephant overpopulation in wildlife parks and reserves in Swaziland and other southern Africa countries is a growing concern that can have devastating effects on the natural habitat as well as other animal species that live there. Wildlife officials in several countries are considering culling elephants in order to control the population growth. One of the ways to address this concern is with an innovative population management tool developed by an international veterinary team to help save habitat without harming elephants.

“Surgical vasectomy helps reduce elephant birth rates, while maintaining normal hormone levels and common elephant social behaviors,” according to veterinarian Dr. Mark Stetter, director of Animal Health at Disney’s Animal Programs. ”With this procedure, we’re pleased to help wildlife officials in Africa balance the need to provide quality elephant care with an eye toward sustaining the ecosystem for other native animals.”

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Now Offers Vero Beach’s Adopt-A-Nest Program for Sea Turtle Conservation

As if the reasons for visiting Rafiki’s Planet Watch weren’t numerous enough, Out of the Wild, the area’s gift shop is now offering Adopt-A-Nest packages from Disney’s Vero Beach resort.

Up until now, the offer has been available exclusively at the Vero Beach Resort, but now guests at Walt Disney World have the opportunity to adopt their own sea turtle nest while benefitting sea turtle conservation through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF).

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Disneynature’s Two Films Nominated for Eight Awards at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

Out of a record 425 submissions representing 25 countries, the judges of the Jackson Hole Film Festival have selected Disneynature’s Crimson Wing and EARTH as nominees for a total of eight awards.

Crimson Wing has been announced as a finalist for categories including Best Animal Behavior Program, best Wildlife Habitat Program and Best Theatrical Program.

EARTH has been announced as a finalist for Best Theatrical Program as well as the festival’s top prize, Outstanding Achievment. EARTH is one of only three films nominated for this award which seeks out to recognize a specific
outstanding achievement in technology, innovative storytelling, use of CGI or 3-D, in-field challenge or other extraordinary accomplishment.

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SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Grant $700,000 to Help Protect At-Risk Animals

SEAWORLD & BUSCH GARDENS CONSERVATION FUND LOGO

ORLANDO, Fla., July 16  — Endangered species and habitats under stress will get a much-needed lift this week thanks to $700,000 in grants being awarded by the non-profit SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund to wildlife protection projects in the U.S. and around the world.

The Fund’s board of directors approved grants to 83 projects, including wildlife rescue and rehabilitation efforts, research of little-known species, protection of critical habitat, and grassroots education efforts aimed at increasing awareness and changing behaviors.

One of the Fund’s 2009 grant recipients, Save the Elephants, is working to protect the Earth’s largest land animal, using technology in unexpected and effective ways to reduce conflicts with humans.

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Disney Celebrates Rare White Rhino Birth in Uganda; Mom Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Uganda’s first white rhino born in 27 years has a family tree with Disney roots. First-time mother Nande, a 10-year-old female white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, gave birth June 24 to a healthy male calf at the Ziwa Sanctuary in Uganda after a 16-month gestation period. © Disney

Uganda’s first white rhino born in 27 years has a family tree with Disney roots. First-time mother Nande, a 10-year-old female white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, gave birth June 24 to a healthy male calf at the Ziwa Sanctuary in Uganda after a 16-month gestation period. © Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., July 13, 2009 — Uganda’s first white rhino born in 27 years has a family tree with Disney roots.

First-time mother Nande, a 10-year-old female white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, gave birth June 24 to a healthy male calf at the Ziwa Sanctuary in Uganda after a 16-month gestation period.

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