Wildlife Friendly™ certification is a global program providing best practice guidelines for farming, ranching, and other enterprises who seek to generate sustainable livelihoods while protecting key species of biodiversity. Our certification programs, also including species-focused initiatives such as Elephant Friendly™ Tea, Jaguar Friendly™ Coffee, and Wildlife Friendly™ IBIS Rice™, are trusted labels that guide consumers towards products that genuinely contribute to species and habitat conservation. Examples of Certified Wildlife Friendly™ and Certified Predator Friendly™ enterprises include producers of dairy, meat, poultry, honey, and crops that use non-lethal management practices and allow for the passage of wildlife and protection of habitat across productive lands. WFEN also certifies tourism enterprises under its core Certified Wildlife Friendly™ Tourism program, such as community-based tour operators and lodges, and others under its Certified Sea Turtle Friendly™ Tourism program, such as resorts that are protecting key sea turtle nesting and foraging habitat while minimizing other tourism related impacts on these species. Wildlife Friendly™ certification provides a science-driven framework for producers seeking to implement practices that support ecosystem integrity, while also requiring that local communities are actively involved and see real benefits from truly Wildlife Friendly™ practices. Consumers are willing to pay a small premium for these products, absorbing the cost often associated with the implementation of best practices for biodiversity. The stories behind certified products and producers build consumer brand loyalty and open access to new markets, while bringing benefits to local communities. Incentivizing best practices across the landscape works to ensure positive conservation outcomes and increased tolerance for wildlife. Across the globe, Wildlife Friendly™ certification and the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network are leading the way in promoting agriculture for biodiversity along supply chains and in promoting shared values, understanding, and respect between producers and consumers.30 January 2020
Both the Marsican brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus) and the Italian honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica) are threatened by the alteration of ecosystems caused by humans. If the bear is critically endangered and on the verge of extinction, then the bees are not safe either. The overall goal of this project is to enhance the biodiversity of the ecosystems and increase food sources for the Marsican brown bear through pollinator insects such as Italian honey bees which would replace non-endemic swarms.
Another important goal of the project is to reduce human-bear conflicts leading to the potential destruction of the small Marsican bear population in Central Italy through poaching (culling is not a legal option). Through promoting cooperation with the beekeepers, this project aims to make beekeepers more aware of the necessity of protecting their farms and see the bear as added promotional value, instead of a competitor.
Funding, secured by the NGO Salviamo l’Orso, is used to purchase and donate native bee swarms, beehives and electric fences to local beekeepers who suffered bear damage, to prevent and reduce future losses caused by bears. The honey produced through these hives will also help compensate for the loss of production. Sixty percent of the honey produced through the donated hives is kept by the beekeeper, while the rest is collected by the NGO and sold locally as bear-friendly honey, to increase awareness on this issue and promote sustainable honey production.
This project is led by a local NGO (Salviamo l’Orso) in collaboration with scientists, funded by grants provided by Patagonia (www.patagonia.com) and Tides (www.tides.com). The project began in 2016 and is ongoing to present date (2019).20 September 2019