Fondation Ensemble pays tribute to 8 heroines fighting to protect animal biodiversity

What unites them is their total commitment to the cause of animal rights. Claudine André, Véronique Audibert, Céline Danaud, Sabrina Krief, Amandine Renaud, Andrea Marshall, Claire Nouvian and Antoinette van de Water all head exemplary organizations with which the Foundation has chosen to partner. These women activists, who are regularly confronted with lobbies, poaching, trafficking and other destructive practices, deserve the utmost admiration.


Claudine André – Lola Ya Bonobo
In 1993, while Kinshasa was being pillaged, Claudine went to help out at the zoo. Mikeno, a baby bonobo, was left there several months with little hope of surviving. But Claudine rose to the challenge and was determined to save him. That is how she embarked on an adventure that has never stopped. She set up an association ‘Friends of Bonobos in Congo’ and fights to this day for their protection.


Véronique Audibert – Poh Kao
This former documentary maker set up ‘Poh Kao, Tigers and Men’ to protect the Indochinese tiger. Her encounters with the ethnic communities in north-eastern Cambodia led her to find out more about the region, designated a global biodiversity hotspot. In 2017, Poh Kao was awarded a prize by the Ministry of Environment for its community conservation approach. Today, it serves as a model for upscaling.


 Céline Danaud – Projet Primate France
‘The world’s great apes are fast becoming critically endangered. Guinea is at the centre of an international trafficking network and provides apes not only for the pet trade but also for circuses and a number of zoos in China. But poachers are not the only ones to blame in this story – there’s a whole chain of people behind the trafficking. Projet Primates France was set up in 2005 by a handful of former volunteers at the Chimpanzee Conservation Center (CCC) to develop an infrastructure in France to help the CCC, which is located in Guinea and cut off from everything …’


Sabrina Krief –
A veterinary scientist and associate professor at the French National Museum of Natural History, Sabrina Krief did a doctoral thesis and post-doctoral research on the feeding behavior and chemistry of natural substances consumed by chimpanzees. ‘In 2004, I joined the Eco-anthropology and Ethnobiology unit at the Museum, where my research focuses on chimpanzees, their health and the plants they eat. Since 2008, we have been working on the effects of human activity on the behavior and ecology of chimpanzees.’


Andrea Marshall – MMF
Andrea Marshall was the first person in the world to complete a PhD on manta rays. After completing her thesis in 2008, Andrea stayed on in Mozambique to spearhead the conservation efforts of this species. Along with other members of her team, she founded the Marine Megafauna Association, which grew into the now widely known Marine Megafauna Foundation. Now a global ambassador for manta rays, Andrea continues to pursue international conservation initiatives for manta rays and fight for their protection worldwide


Claire Nouvian – Bloom
In 2007 Géo magazine elected Claire Nouvian ‘the planet’s guardian angel’, highlighting her commitment to protecting an environment that is little-known and vulnerable though essential to the planet’s equilibrium– the deep sea. Claire founded the non-profit organization BLOOM in 2005. And in June 2016, Claire and BLOOM’s small but extraordinary team were part of a coalition of organizations that obtained a ban on deep-sea bottom trawling below 800m in all European waters. This year, Claire was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, also known as the Green Nobel Prize.


Amandine Renaud – P-WAC
In 2013, Amandine set up P-WAC, a rehabilitation center for primates in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which takes in chimpanzees and other primates that are victims of poaching before releasing them back into the wild with the support of ’substitute’ families. Amandine and her team are launching a women’s reforestation group to regenerate the Mayombe forests, the chimpanzee’s natural habitat. A primatologist, Amandine is currently working on a doctorate in natural anthropology and studying the relations between Congolese women and the great apes to gain an understanding of how best to ensure the protection of chimpanzees and their peaceful coexistence with local communities.


Antoinette van de Water – Bring The Elephant Home
Antoinette van de Water’s commitment started in 2002 during a volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park in Thaïland. She fell in love with a baby elephant that had lost his mother. In Bangkok, she encountered an other youngster begging for food. “This baby had such a look of terror in his eyes that it changed the course of my life forever. It broke my heart, but I wasn’t able to do anything to help this begging baby elephant”. Antoinette then founded « Bring the Elephant Home ».
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