New York – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), FINCH and founding partner Mars, Incorporated today announced an innovative partnership with The Economist Group, publisher of The Economist, which will help to transform the lives of animals across the world.

Under the partnership, The Economist Group, which also publishes 1843 and The World In, will join The Lion’s Share, a fund which asks advertisers to contribute a percentage of their media spend to fund wildlife conservation each time they feature an animal in an advertisement.

While corporate partners contribute 0.5 per cent of their media spend when they feature an animal in an advertisement, The Economist Group’s role will be unique as it contributes 0.5 per cent of the amount it receives from advertisers featuring animals in their commercials in the group’s publications.

“This latest partnership with the Economist Group marks the development of a new model for this innovative fund, and a new opportunity for media companies to join The Lion’s Share and contribute to preserving and protecting wildlife and biodiversity around the world,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.

"We are pleased to partner with the United Nations Development Programme as the inaugural publishing partner for the Lion's Share initiative," said Chris Stibbs, CEO of The Economist Group.

"We are proud to have The Economist Group take part in this program which both aligns with our brand values and supports the UNDP accomplish their goal of wildlife conservation," he added.

The Fund, which will be hosted by UNDP, is seeking to raise $100m a year within three years, with the money being invested in a range of wildlife conservation and animal welfare programs. Other partners include advertising giant BBDO and leading analytics company Nielsen.

In the first six years, The Lion’s Share fund aims to contribute significantly to issues such as:

·         Saving the world’s last 4,000 wild tigers, including by re-establishing their fragmented habitats and helping strengthen tiger-friendly livelihoods for people living in tiger habitats.

·         Protecting elephants and rhinos from poaching by combating the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn, including through innovative anti-poaching technologies.

·         Reducing the illegal trade of birds, fish and reptiles and other exotic pets in five countries by reducing the supply and demand for illegal pets through new research and investigation, awareness raising and enforcement.

·         Securing 1 million hectares of terrestrial and marine wilderness including critical corridors for big cat species, elephants and rhinos, including through land purchase and establishment of robust conservation-based management systems.

·         Supporting animal welfare by raising public awareness for compassion for animals, highlighting the causes and advancing solutions to help reduce abandonment and increase adoption.

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