Nature’s heroes: The Fong family versus climate change

Collared Pika
© Jukka Jantunen / Shutterstock

Though conservation victories are hard won, protecting our planet comes naturally to our donors. To say thank you to nature’s heroes, we’re dedicating a week to telling their stories. And who doesn’t like a good hero story?

Xavier and Arya Fong are like any other kids, their bedrooms filled with stuffed animals – on their beds, shelves and often scattered around the floor. Xavier’s collection is a safari theme with zebras, lions and giraffes while Arya’s has a mythological theme with unicorns and dragons.

But Xavier and Arya don’t just love animals – they’re committed to protecting them. Xavier’s diet is largely vegetarian because he can’t stomach the idea of factory farming while Arya fundraises with her friends for WWF-Canada to protect animals in the face of environmental disasters, like Australia’s bushfires. Every birthday, both Xavier and Arya donate to WWF-Canada through the Echo-Age program.

“My kids give me hope,” says James Fong. “And that’s a good thing. Because they’re going to need the strength of their convictions to fight climate change, which I know will be the biggest challenge of their lifetime.”

He’s right.

While habitat loss is the single biggest cause of wildlife loss, it’s also driven by climate change. We’re already seeing its impacts in the Arctic where many species depend on sea ice for survival — walruses are hauling out on land rather than the ice and narwhals are becoming more vulnerable to predation from killer whales. If we can’t get global emissions under control, we risk not only losing species like the collared pika, freshwater turtles, and bees but a climate catastrophe with devastating consequences for nature and people.

Arya, Jennifer and Xavier Fong, donors to WWF-Canada
© James Fong

To ensure it doesn’t get that bad, James is protecting his family and the planet with a gift in his Will. “As climate change worsens, I’ll have peace of mind knowing that I did all that I could to help my children, and their future children. With this gift, I can say that I made a meaningful contribution in the fight against climate change.”

It’s part of a lifelong commitment to safeguarding nature that began over thirty years ago when James first donated to WWF-Canada in university. “I’ve continued to donate monthly since then. To be blunt, I don’t see why I should stop giving when I die. I want to continue to give and the gift my wife Jennifer and I have left in our Will does just that.”

With nature’s heroes like James and his family by our side, WWF-Canada will continue fighting climate change with our planet’s superpower: nature. Protecting and restoring forests, wetlands, grasslands and other carbon-storing habitats are nature-based solutions that reduce the devastating effects of climate change now and in the future so that all life on the planet can thrive.

“The gift in my Will to WWF-Canada won’t be the only legacy I leave behind for the environment. At 12 and 14 years old, Xavier and Arya are young eco-warriors. When I’m gone, I trust them to carry my torch and continue our core family value – helping others.”

Female narwhal in the Canadian Arctic
© / Doug Allan / WWF

Our work is made possible through the generous contributions of donors like you. Find out how you can leave a lasting legacy for wildlife