Milton Ives, an HSBC employee from London , is heading to Ecuador to take part in two weeks of wildlife conservation. His expedition is part of Investing in Nature, a £11 million, five-year eco-partnership between HSBC and environmental charity, Earthwatch.
Milton, a Senior Manager in International Secondments, will leave his desk in the London office to help Earthwatch scientists investigate the ecology of the forest birds in a bid to save them and their dwindling tropical habitat.
Milton will help survey the tropical forests to track seasonal shifts in bird populations, including endangered Woodstar hummingbirds and Andean cocks-of-the-rock. After hiking up to the site, Adrian will help set up and check mist nets, check captured birds' physical condition, conduct bird surveys and document forest structure.
Milton said; "I am really looking forward to this trip to western Ecuador . This area is home to some amazing bird species and I hope that my time in the field will contribute to saving them for future generations to enjoy. I am also looking forward to interacting with members of the local community and sharing their vision of the region and the wildlife within it."
Milton is just one of 500 HSBC Environmental Fellows who will work on conservation projects ranging from Australia 's Vanishing Frogs to the Blue Swallows of South Africa in 2004. By 2006, 2,000 employees will have contributed the equivalent of a century of environmental research. These Environmental Fellows will also be eligible for a grant of up to £400 to initiate a local environmental project on their return home.
Frank Vorhies, Chief Executive of Earthwatch Institute ( Europe ), said: "The first two years of the Investing in Nature partnership have been extremely successful. Over 500 HSBC employees have joined Earthwatch projects across the globe, contributing over 25 years of vital environmental research. This year Milton will be among another 500 employees that will have the unique opportunity to get directly involved in environmental research."
Richard Spence, General Manager Southern Division, said: "The Investing in Nature partnership has come a fair way over the past two years. This partnership has raised the level of awareness of environmental issues at all levels in HSBC and been an entirely beneficial experience. Already we have introduced an environmental reporting system in our main markets which is now being extended to the rest of the Group."
Investing in Nature is a partnership between HSBC, Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), Earthwatch and WWF. It is the largest ever-single donation to environmental charities and is well on the way to meeting its five-year targets.