The annual Remember a Charity Week runs from 6-12 September to raise awareness of the importance of legacy giving in the UK – and EIA UK is very pleased to participate once again.
Legacies are a privilege and we can never anticipate when we might receive them. A new legacy of any amount is always a lovely surprise, tinged with sadness because someone who believed in our work has passed away.
Legacies are particularly special gifts because they are an investment in future generations by people whose lives have ended.
For 37 years, EIA has investigated and campaigned against environmental crime and abuse. It has achieved far more than Dave Currey, Allan Thornton and I, as founders, could have anticipated even in our wildest dreams – and we did have some quite wild dreams of what EIA could do!
We have achieved things that many people said were impossible – EIA has made a huge contribution to protecting our precious planet and continues to do so. It is a highly respected organisation internationally.
In our time, we have saved the lives of millions of wild birds that would have been caught for the pet trade; we have ensured the international ban on commercial whaling has remained in place and continues to protect great whale species whose populations were devastated by industrial commercial whaling and we are securing a future for whales, dolphins and porpoises by tackling hunting and non-hunting threats including bycatch and plastic pollution.
Our remarkable investigations and campaigning over two years led to the adoption of the international ban on the ivory trade in 1989, saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of elephants.
Although wild tigers, elephants and rhinos are cruelly threatened by the illegal wildlife trade, our work over more than three decades has ensured they have not been driven into extinction. And now we are also tackling the devastating illegal trade in pangolins.
We have prevented destruction of forests and the homes of indigenous forest people – the guardians of the forests who rely on them for their very survival. We have changed international legislation providing greater protection for forests, wildlife, the ozone layer and our climate.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the way we work. Our office reopened at the beginning of August, but with a limit on the number of people working there at one time. International travel to meetings and field investigations came to an abrupt halt in March 2020 and it is uncertain how it will resume in the future.
I am very proud of how EIA staff adapted to the challenges of working online from home in these unprecedented times. We continue to expose illegal wildlife and timber traders; our Ocean and Climate campaigns are making very significant contributions to tackling climate change and plastic pollution; our Forests campaign is successfully focussed on deforestation, illegal logging and timber trafficking.
We have continued communications with governments and NGOs around the world and participated in numerous virtual international meetings. In short, our website shows that the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop EIA in its tracks! Instead, we have increased our outputs, employed more staff and achieved remarkable results.
The pandemic has made us even more determined to protect wildlife, habitats and the natural world to ensure a safer future for generations to come.
COVID-19 brought uncertainty to future funding for our work. However, our loyal supporters have generously continued to support our work and we have been very fortunate to receive significant legacy income in the past two years, which has provided more financial security and enabled more work. For this, we are truly grateful.
Legacies make a real difference to what we can achieve and we sincerely thank all those who remember EIA UK in their will.
To find out more about remembering EIA in your Will, please visit the legacy section of our website.