Two HSBC employees from London are setting off across the globe to take part in two weeks of wildlife conservation this month. Their adventures are part of Investing in Nature, an £11 million, five-year eco-partnership between HSBC and environmental NGO, Earthwatch Institute (Europe).
Dalbir Sangha, an HSBC Analyst Programmer, will be leaving his desk in London and travelling to the Kuruman River Reserve in South Africa to join Earthwatch scientists in their study of five colonies of individually recognisable meerkats. Dalbir will help scientists to discover more about cooperative breeding, whereby some animals help other adults to raise their young instead of breeding for themselves.
In Barbados, Nicola Carney, an HSBC intranet project manager, will be working with Earthwatch to help protect the critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle, hunted for their tender meat, eggs, and valuable "tortoiseshell" markings.
Nicola says, 'I am a keen diver and fascinated by marine life. This project will satisfy my interest but more importantly, it will give me the opportunity to give something back to the ocean. This is a truly urgent conservation project and I am anxious to get out there and get stuck in.'
Dalbir and Nicola are just two of 500 HSBC Environmental Fellows who will work on Earthwatch conservation projects in 2004, ranging from Spanish dolphins to zebras in Kenya. By 2006, 2,000 HSBC employees will have contributed the equivalent of a century of environmental research and 200 talented scientists will have received valuable training. The HSBC fellows will also be eligible for a grant of up to £400 to initiate a local environmental project on their return home.
The five-year Investing in Nature partnership also involves Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), and WWF, and is the largest-ever single donation to the environmental charities. In addition to Earthwatch's contribution, Investing in Nature will clean up three of the world's major rivers, benefiting 50 million people who depend upon them, and help save 20,000 rare plant species from extinction.
Richard Spence, HSBC General Manager, Southern Division, says, 'Investing in Nature is well on the way to meeting its five year goals, and the partnership has really raised the level of environmental awareness amongst all levels of staff. With Earthwatch, HSBC employees not only contribute to vital conservation work around the world, but share their new-found knowledge with colleagues, family and friends on their return through the local environmental projects they create.'
Frank Vorhies, CEO of Earthwatch, says, 'Investing in Nature is a great example of how businesses and NGOs can work successfully together. We are able to link the network of HSBC employees worldwide with the environmental knowledge available from Earthwatch scientists to raise awareness and understanding of environmental issues on a global and local level.'
'Our work with HSBC, allows us to fulfil our mission by engaging their employees in scientific research projects and at the same time we are all able to further support the efforts of HSBC in promoting a sustainable environment.'
To date, 620 HSBC employees from over 40 countries have contributed 25 years of vital environmental research in projects around the world through the Earthwatch programme.
Zoe Gamble, Press Officer, Earthwatch: Tel: +44 (0)1865 318806 or email: email@example.com
Ann-Marie Evans, Media Relations Manager, HSBC Holdings plc, Tel: +44 (0) 207 991 0846 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org