Martha Davis, President of Earth Island Institute, and Brian H. Williams, Founder of the Red Panda Network, today announced that Red Panda Network will become independent of Earth island Institute effective September 1, 2010, after 5 years as a project of the parent organization.

“Earth Island Institute is an innovative organizational home for many environmental initiatives,” said Davis. “While many of our projects have found a long-term home in our network, we have regularly supported those projects that chose to set off on their own. We are proud of the considerable accomplishments and growing leadership of Red Panda Network in creating a sustainable future for marginalized peoples of Asia.”

Red Panda Network was incorporated in 2007 as a California nonprofit, and 2010 as a 501(c)(3) organization to assume the work of the existing Red Panda Network project. Brian Williams will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the new Red Panda Network organization [update: resigned in August 2011].

Since Earth Island’s founding in 1982, some 60 projects have called Earth Island home, and among the notable projects that have gone on to independence are Rainforest Action Network, International Rivers Network, Northern Appalachian Restoration Project, Urban Habitat Program, Bluewater Network, and Sea Turtle Restoration Project.

“Red Panda Network has been fortunate to work with Earth Island Institute as a project incubator. The infrastructure support, program guidance and dynamic community of environmental leaders has allowed Red Panda Network to mature into a strong, independent organization,” said Williams.

In five years with Earth Island Institute, Red Panda Network has developed a strong niche in community-based monitoring. They have created the world’s first long-term monitoring of a red panda population, the largest study of the red panda population in Nepal, and raised local awareness about the importance of red panda in eastern Nepal. “We are honored to support the work of local people in eastern Nepal and to help in the mutual understanding and cooperation amongst marginalized villagers.”

For more information about the work of Red Panda Network, please contact RPN via email (info@redpandanetwork.org) or telephone (877-584-6056).

For more information about the work of Earth Island Institute, please contact John A. Knox, Executive Director, (johnknox@earthisland.org or 510-859-9100) or visit www.earthisland.org.