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Press Relases June 10, 2008

Mcdonald's and Conservation International Team Up to Protect China's Panda Habitats

Educational Program Includes "Panda Cams"; "Kung Fu Panda" Happy Meal(R) to Inform Children on Panda Preservation

OAK BROOK, Ill. - McDonald's is proud to announce its support of Conservation International’s (CI) program to protect wild pandas – one of the Earth’s most threatened species. This latest initiative builds on the 20 year partnership between the two organizations to create positive environmental solutions for our planet.

Though they are the national symbol of China, CI's scientists indicate that they believe there are less than 1,600 pandas left in the wild. To help protect this important species, CI has launched a comprehensive giant panda conservation plan. McDonald's has joined this effort by contributing to CI projects that work with "Panda Guardians," including local communities, nature reserve staff, and researchers. This work also involves setting up cameras in remote areas that track wild pandas in their natural environments without human interaction. These "panda cams" in the forest of China’s Southwest Mountains allow environmentalists to observe the pandas as well as the other creatures that share this habitat. These photos are used to determine where pandas travel, and help scientists focus their conservation efforts where they will be most effective. McDonald's is displaying these images for kids and schools on in the U.S. and around the globe.

"McDonald's support is very important for the long-term success of our program to benefit the panda population, the forests they call home and the local communities who support our work," said Peter Seligmann, chief executive officer and chairman, Conservation International. "By showing our panda cams on their website, McDonald's also allows us to make conservation in this distant place very real for kids and families around the world, further encouraging them to incorporate conservation into their everyday lives."

"McDonald's long-time partnership with Conservation International has focused on many areas that benefit the environment, and we're excited to be collaborating now on programs that are not only protecting endangered species, but also reaching kids and families worldwide through responsible marketing in an effort to engage and inspire the next generation of environmentalists, said Mary Dillon, global chief marketing officer, McDonald's. "We're using our tie-ins with popular movies such as 'Kung Fu Panda' to help inform and inspire kids, and saving pandas is something they really care about."

Latest McDonald's/CI Leadership Programs:

  • Endangered Animals Happy Meal: Beginning this August, countries throughout Europe will launch McDonald's Endangered Animals Happy Meal devoted to building awareness of endangered animals, the destruction of their habitat and outlining simple steps kids can take to lessen their environmental impact. Through information on Happy Meal boxes and online activation, McDonald's is empowering kids to help save the environment by encouraging them to make small changes of their own. McDonald's will also make a financial contribution toward CI's efforts to secure long-term protection of vital habitats in three critically important tropical forest areas: Central Cardamoms Protection Forest, Cambodia; Harapan Forest, Sumatra and Maiko-Tayna Landscape, Democratic Republic of Congo. Happy Meals will feature toys and activity kits about the Black Rhino, Asian Elephant, leatherback turtle, polar bear, tiger, Snow Leopard, Giant Panda and gorilla with educational information on their eco-systems.

  • National Treasures – Kids Caring for Nature: In China, McDonald's is preparing to launch a national treasures program with CI to encourage kids to get close to nature and learn about their country's special environment and rare animals.As kids build awareness and pride in the country's indigenous animals and environments, they will also learn actions they can take to protect them.

  • Marketing with Environment Themes: Previously, in 2007, McDonald's and CI joined forces with DreamWorks to encourage kids to "Bee Good to the Planet" as part of McDonald's "Bee Movie(TM)" Happy Meal promotion. McDonald's also pledged funds to support CI projects in South Africa and Mexico to protect important bee habitats.

McDonald's Happy Meals, educational materials and interactive online sites have been designed to help educate children on a variety of eco concerns around the world.

Since becoming CI's first corporate partner in 1990, McDonald's has worked closely with the organization to develop global policies and programs to advance environmental responsibility around the world and to educate children on environmental protection.Together, McDonald's and CI have supported initiatives worldwide including protection of the Amazon rain forest, a sustainable fish program and development of McDonald's supplier environmental scorecard.

About McDonald's:

McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 local restaurants in 118 countries. Approximately 70 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent, local men and women.Please visit to learn more about the company.

Katrin Olson
Conservation International


Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB) provides a new forum for collaboration between the private sector and the environmental community. Created in partnership with Conservation International (CI) and the Ford Motor Company, CELB operates as a division of CI and is governed by a distinct executive board of leaders from the business and environmental communities-engaging the private sector worldwide in creating solutions to critical global environmental problems in which industry plays a defining role. For further information about CELB, please visit


Katrin Olson
[email protected]

 Photo credits for banner image: (Zebras in Botswana) © CI, Chris Brooks