October 17, 2020
1 pm PDT
The Pangolin Crisis Fund (PCF) has the express goal of stopping the poaching, trafficking, and the demand and consumption of pangolin meat and scales. Founded in 2019 by WCN and Save Pangolins, the PCF has invested in programs around the world that protect pangolins and their habitats as well as orchestrate campaigns to reduce the demand for pangolin products. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, pangolins were not well known on a global scale, so their vulnerable status went largely unnoticed. The PCF has highlighted the connection between today’s pandemic and the broader threat of the illegal wildlife trade, and to date, the PCF has supported 10 projects in 14 countries and disbursed over $918,000 toward pangolin conservation.
Paul Thomson specializes in highly threatened and endangered species, incubating conservation startups, and building leadership capacity in the environmental field. He serves as WCN's Director of Conservation Programs, as well as Co-founder and Executive Director of Save Pangolins. He leads the Pangolin Crisis Fund in the hopes that, as a collective community of conservationists, philanthropists, and the public, we can stop the pangolin poaching crisis and save the species from the edge of extinction.
Founder and Executive Director, CHANGE
Since 2014, Hong has been leading her wildlife team at Center of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE) to reduce the demand in Vietnam for illegal wildlife products from endangered species such as pangolins, rhinos and elephants. In response to COVID-19, CHANGE has launched an extensive campaign to end wildlife trade by calling on both the government and the public to take needed actions. Hong was one of 12 rising civic leaders from 12 nations joining the first cohort of Obama Scholars Program at Columbia University in New York City. In 2019, Hong was listed by Forbes Vietnam as one of the 50 most influential Vietnamese women and won the Green Warrior of the Year Award.
Manager of Conservation, WWF-Pakistan
Muhammad Waseem is a leading wildlife biologist who has studied animal behavior in Pakistan since 2005. With 17 years of field experience, Muhammad conducts ecological surveys, conservation education, and management planning for wildlife. He radio-collared the first common leopard in Pakistan in 2012, and has studied leopard population dynamics and introduced livestock compensation programs to reduce human-leopard conflict. In November 2017, Waseem shifted to pangolin conservation, completing studies on the status of Indian pangolins and the scope of the illegal trade in pangolin scales. He helps create community-led pangolin protection zones and advances pangolin conservation with help from the Pangolin Crisis Fund.
Photography credit: Lawrence Weitz