11/2/2000

UNITED NATIONS, THE WILD FOUNDATION SALUTE AEP’S ANIMAL CONSERVATION STEPS

NEW YORK – American Electric Power was recognized Nov. 2 for its advertising featuring wild animals and for protecting wild animals found in South America, Asia and Africa.

At the second annual WILD awards ceremony, the WILD Foundation and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) presented AEP the 2000 International Excellence Award. Accepting the award was Nick Ashooh, AEP’s senior vice president of corporate communications, Columbus. Also receiving the same award was HMS Hallmark agency of Columbus, formerly HMS Partners.

“AEP’s ad featuring the family of giraffes in Ohio caught our eye,” said Vance G. Martin, president of the WILD Foundation. “When we dug a little deeper, we found that the company has made a significant commitment to the preservation and restoration of tropical forests in Brazil and Bolivia. This protection of habitat, of course, is beneficial to endangered and other wild species. We feel as though AEP is a worthy recipient of this recognition and international award.”

The International Excellence Award is given to firms and advertising agencies that feature wild nature in ads and that are actively involved in projects to protect and sustain wild nature.

“It is very gratifying for AEP to be recognized by these prestigious organizations for our efforts to support habitat for wild animals,” Ashooh said. “People who haven’t seen the Wilds in southeastern Ohio would be pleasantly surprised to see animals from Asia and Africa roaming around almost 10,000 acres of carefully reclaimed surface-mined coal land that AEP donated. The giraffes in our ad were photographed at the Wilds.”

The Wilds opened to the public in 1994. The non-profit organization is dedicated to genetic research, breeding programs and education to preserve endangered and threatened species.

“In South America AEP helped forge a partnership in 1997 with the government of Bolivia, conservation organizations and other corporations to establish the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park to protect nearly four million acres of threatened tropical forests,” Ashooh said. “The benefits include preservation of forests, protection of hundreds of animal species and the capture of carbon dioxide that would have been released to the atmosphere by logging.

“The Guaraqueaba Climate Action Project, which AEP helped create in Brazil, seeks to restore and protect 20,000 acres of degraded or denuded tropical forest,” he said. “Funds are being used to protect threatened lands, regenerate forests and provide sustainable development for local communities. The project area is the largest contiguous remnant of Atlantic Rain Forest, which has been reduced to 7% of its original range. As such, the project is a critical conservation priority and has been designated a World Biosphere Reserve. The project area is home to at least 15 species of endangered birds as well as a recently discovered primate.”

To learn more about these initiatives, see AEP´s environmental page.
American Electric Power is a multinational energy company based in Columbus, Ohio. AEP owns and operates more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity, making it one of America’s largest generators of electricity. The company is also a leading wholesale energy marketer and trader, ranking second in the U.S. in electricity volume. AEP provides retail electricity to more than 9 million customers worldwide and has more than $35 billion in assets, primarily in the U.S. with holdings in select international markets. Wholly owned subsidiaries are involved in power engineering and construction services, energy management and telecommunications.

The WILD Foundation of Ojai, Calif., founded in 1974, is dedicated to protecting and sustaining critical wild areas, wilderness values and endangered wildlife throughout the world. In addition to its own educational and conservation programs, the foundation supports the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the World Wilderness Congress and the Wilderness Leadership School.

UNEP was established in 1972 at the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm to encourage strategic partnerships for environmental protection.

Tom Ayres
Sr. Commun. Consultant
American Electric Power
614/223-1973

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