“All life on Earth began in and depends on our oceans,” said Deborah Gibbins, cief operating officer at Mary Kay. “Water is the most valuable resource on our planet, and it’s essential that we do our part to protect it. When we began scaling our partnership with The Nature Conservancy last year, we focused on the waterways surrounding our home state of Texas. But we’re a global company, and we knew the need for support stretched far beyond the Gulf of Mexico. We’re thrilled to advance ecosystems and biodiversity conservation globally.”
Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Its practices are rooted in science and are driven by pragmatic solutions to the most pressing conservation threats at the largest scale.
Beyond the Texas fisheries program, Mary Kay will also support The Nature Conservancy through the following programs:
Australia: In Northern Australia, Mary Kay will partner with indigenous communities to increase women’s role in conservation, including refining community-based healthy spatial development, working with government and non-government partners to scale up the adoption of conservation tools, and establishing a women’s camp at Fish River Station, a 445,000-acre property in the Northern Territory.
New Zealand: In New Zealand, Mary Kay and The Nature Conservancy will engage with indigenous people in sustainable aquaculture, including supporting the implementation of restorative activities in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf to restore wild shellfish populations and launching a challenge fund to encourage greater philanthropic support for restoration of wildlife.
Mexico: In Mexico, Mary Kay and The Nature Conservancy will partner on the Monterrey Water Fund, which will enhance watersheds and support women in the area. These improvements include irrigation systems, a substrate study, and the diversification of plant production.
China: In China, Mary Kay and The Nature Conservancy will work to protect rural headwaters to secure clean drinking water for millions of people across the country. By 2021, the team will demonstrate five headwater production projects in Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, and one other province.
General Ocean: The partnership will also mitigate plastic pollution in Indo-Pacific tuna fisheries. Together, they will work with leading plastic researchers to identify the fisheries that are the biggest contributors to ocean pollution so high-impact pilot programs and be put in place to mitigate pollution and clean up our seas.
Solomon Islands: In the Solomon Islands, the partnership will protect turtles through female-led ecotourism of the South Pacific Ocean. Mary Kay’s contribution will help create a viable, locally-run ecotourism venture in the Arnavon Islands that strengthens turtle conservation and provides equitable, sustainable financial returns to communities that are best positioned to protect endangered species.
Colombia: Through the Bogota Water Fund, the partnership will improve water security for millions of people in Colombia.
Canada: In Canada, Mary Kay and The Nature Conservancy will strengthen indigenous stewards by supporting current and future community leaders in traditional territories. This is an investment in a healthy future for these communities, their lands and waters for future generations.
Europe: In the UK and Germany, the partnership will work to protect biodiversity and marine resources as they introduce the native European oyster. In Spain, the partnership will work to create a water fund—the country currently faces some of the worst challenges in terms of water scarcity and water quality.
According to Lily Verdone, director of freshwater and marine at The Nature Conservancy, protecting oceans is about more than just “protecting our planet: oceans add $1.5 trillion to the global economy each year. Mary Kay has long worked to impact change that will sustain the earth for generations to come, so they are a natural—and welcome—partner for The Nature Conservancy. We’d already seen such impactful change in Texas, and we’re thrilled to see what their contributions will help us accomplish in communities across the world.”
Mary Kay also sponsored EarthxOcean conference, a livestreaming event that brought experts, researchers and conservations together in a livestream to discuss topics such as the High Seas Initiative, coral reef restoration, ocean plastic solutions and sustainable fisheries.