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COVID-19 Response letter from TGLF Founder Sean Willmore

April 14, 2020

We hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe in these unprecedented times in modern history. There is much pain for many: losing livelihoods, freedoms and loved ones. It is a time when a single zoonotic virus, most likely escaping from wildlife that was being traded in markets, has stopped an entire world economy!

A time when the climate crisis manifests itself in unprecedented extreme fires, floods and storms. Of course the virus, the fires… all of it …are what science would call feedback loops, or the philosophical may call Karma, but really it is the simple result of people not taking care of our natural world and the life systems that sustain us all.

When we collectively allow 200 species to become extinct every single day, and ecosystems to be cleared at a rate of 30 million hectares a year (or one soccer pitch every second) and we place “progress” above the threats to our very own life systems… this is the inevitable, very sad and painful result for humanity.

But it is not all bad news. Even through this crisis many Rangers bravely continue their work protecting wildlife, and The Thin Green Line is working with our partners on ways to support Rangers during this time. Many will have their employment threatened as tourism and its resultant income dries up. Many may be challenged with increases in poaching due to severe unemployment around their protected areas. And many will have family members severely affected by the virus.

The Thin Green Line Foundation is forging on to support those Rangers, with the small but dedicated team working from home, reaching out far and wide from their isolation – like so many other people and organisations.

We are of course continuing to provide critical support to the families of Fallen Rangers through this time, and we are also considering ways of paying for medical costs for Rangers who may be affected by COVID-19 in coming weeks or months.

We will also provide materials and resources to our Rangers, and we will work closely with our project partners to enable them to disseminate information on how to minimise risks of exposure to COVID-19.

We are collaborating with our many trusted project partners working in different regions across the world, to see how The Thin Green Line Foundation can best support those many men and women working on the frontline of conservation, during these very fluid and difficult times.

We thank you, our dedicated and generous supporters, and hope that together, when we exit this man-made crisis, we can all work together to create a more just and sustainable future for all living beings.

We hope we can all continue to work together to support our Rangers across the globe, defending life and living systems, to help prevent future catastrophes caused by wildlife-to-human disease transmission and by seeing these events for what they clearly are – symptoms of a much larger problem. It’s time for Humanity to stand up and protect its home. Let’s take that challenge at this critical crossroads!

Yours Hopefully,

Sean Willmore

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We believe the practical, direct action of rangers is the most necessary and effective way to overcome the environmental challenges of our time. Thin Green Line is a global not-for-profit conservation organisation.