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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Trusts and Foundations

Sir Michael Uren OBE and The Michael Uren Foundation

Without the support of Sir Michael and The Michael Uren Foundation, it is fair to say that International Animal Rescue would not be the charity it is today. The Foundation has enabled IAR to make huge strides in the fields of animal welfare and wildlife and habitat conservation.

We learned with great sadness that Sir Michael passed away on 9th August 2019. We lost a true friend and generous benefactor to our charity. He will be sadly missed but we hope that his legacy will live on through our work and that of The Michael Uren Foundation.

The relationship between the two organisations began in 2005 after Sir Michael Uren read about the Indian dancing bear rescue project in the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper. He made a donation towards the project and thus that first connection was made. When invited by Chief Executive Alan Knight to find out more about the charity’s work, Michael was keen to hear about IAR’s projects not only in India but also in Indonesia, Armenia and Costa Rica. As a generous philanthropist supporting causes as diverse as medical research, education and the armed forces, Sir Michael has also made an enduring contribution to the conservation of wildlife and habitats through his Foundation’s support for International Animal Rescue.

Over the years, The Michael Uren Foundation has supported IAR’s mission with funding in excess of £7m. The grants provided have enabled the following programmes and activities:

  • Supporting the Indian dancing bear rescue project with regular contributions towards the running costs of the bear sanctuaries in Agra, Bannerghatta and Bhopal;
  • Wildlife protection in Costa Rica;
  • Providing matched funding for IAR’s Christmas supporter appeals;
  • Funding the purchase of the land in Ketapang, West Kalimantan on which IAR’s Orangutan Conservation Centre was built;
  • Providing the funds to build and equip the entire Orangutan Conservation Centre;
  • Biodiversity studies and habitat protection in Batutegi (Lampung, South Sumatra);
  • Habitat protection and community development in Pematang Gadung (West Kalimantan);
  • Funding the construction of the environmental research and education centre located on the Ketapang site. This magnificent building has been named the “Sir Michael Uren Learning Centre” in his honour. The mission for the centre is to build public awareness, understanding and the ability, through research and education, to protect the environment and enable sustainable growth in the Ketapang Regency community;
  • and in 2019, the Michael Uren Foundation made a grant of over £3m to fund a unique project that has secured the future of a threatened c.95k acre deep peat forest in West Kalimantan that is home to an estimated 1,000 critically endangered orangutans.

We will always be grateful for the lasting contribution made by Sir Michael and the Foundation to the work of International Animal Rescue. Their generous support continues to protect the future of endangered animals and habitats at what could not be a more critical time for wildlife, the natural environment and the planet as a whole.