ExxonMobil to support conservation of endangered golden lion tamarin in Brazil

ExxonMobil announced today it is supporting the conservation of the endangered golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia), an iconic species of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil.

  • Partnership with the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund and the Associação Mico-Leão Dourado
  • Contribution will fund plantation of 20,000 native seedlings to reforest critical golden lion tamarin habitat
  • Part of ExxonMobil’s commitment to social responsibility and environmental protection

The golden lion tamarin’s habitat is currently restricted to an area which, if connected, would be no longer than 60 square miles. It has been fragmented by infrastructure and agriculture, threatening the long-term genetic viability of the species, and forest corridors are key to reconnecting disparate populations.

Through a one-year pilot partnership with the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (Funbio) and the Associação Mico-Leão Dourado (AMLD), ExxonMobil will provide $250,000 USD to fund the plantation of 20,000 seedlings to rebuild a critical area that has been interrupted by a state highway. ExxonMobil will be the only international oil company supporting this reforestation project.

“Today, on the national day of the golden lion tamarin, we are proud to join in celebration of this species we all cherish,” said Valeria Rossi, Public & Government Affairs Manager of ExxonMobil Brasil. “ExxonMobil has been a partner in Brazil’s development for more than a century, and we look forward to bolstering the proven, decades-long conservation efforts of local Brazilian organizations on this project.”

“Successful conservation programs like this are key to protecting Brazil’s precious biodiversity and ensuring the sustainability of critical ecosystems for generations to come,” said Alexandre Ferrazoli, Project Manager of Funbio. “Atlantic Forests are not only biodiversity hotspots, but they are also important carbon sinks that reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.”

“Only 3,000 golden lion tamarin individuals remain in the wild,” said Luís Paulo Ferraz, Executive Secretary of AMLD. “We are thrilled about this new partnership with ExxonMobil, which will help sustain our mission of guaranteeing the survival of this national symbol of Brazil.”

The Brazilian Biodiversity Fund is a non-profit civil society institution created in 1996 with donations provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Funbio is a National Implementing Entity for both the GEF and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and has supported more than 280 conservation projects.

The Associação Mico-Leão Dourado was founded in 1992, building on the work of the Smithsonian-affiliated Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Program. They are dedicated to protecting the species and ensuring its long-term survival in its natural habitat.

ExxonMobil is one of the largest exploration acreage holders in Brazil among international companies (with 26 offshore blocks totaling more than 2.3 million net acres). The company has had business activities in Brazil since 1912 and has about 1,400 employees – 98% of whom are Brazilian nationals – in the country across its chemical, upstream and business service center operations.