Wilderness in waiting: Conservation during COVID-19

Wilderness in waiting

Wilderness in waiting: Conservation during COVID-19

“Wilderness in attendant” is a weekly series in four parts, highlighting the proud heritage of African wildlife during the COVID pandemic.

Without regular income streams from tourism, many conservation and community projects dealing with Africa’s most vulnerable wildlife and populations are themselves threatened. I have spoken with several luxury lodges across Africa to hear their thoughts, what is being done to mitigate the losses, and most importantly what we can do to support.

Wilderness in waiting

Grumeti, Malilangwe and Singita Lowveld Trusts

Singita, one of the most famous and loved groups of lodges in Africa, has a proud vision of 100 years to protect and preserve vast areas of African wilderness, achieved through three strategic trusts and funds, namely the Grumeti Fund in Tanzania, The Malilangwe. Trust in Zimbabwe then Singita Lowveld Trust in South Africa. These funds have been used for large-scale works, providing emergency aid to many vulnerable families who need food parcels, assistance to students who need data and remote access packages, a hand sanitizer and distribution of information brochures, and much more.

COVID pandemic on tourism

With the impact of the COVID pandemic on tourism, Singita’s CMO, Lindy Rousseau, is not afraid to describe the painful situation: “Africa’s wildlife is threatened. African governments have few resources to be able to fund the critical work that needs to be done to save as much wilderness and wildlife as possible. Tourism is one of the most viable ways of raising awareness and attracting resources to help us save as many wilderness areas in Africa as possible. Tourism not only benefits local communities by providing much-needed jobs and vocational training, but it also offers a future for these communities. ”

Inge Kotze, Conservation GM, adds that “the human-wildlife conflict with the communities bordering our protected areas is an ongoing challenge that requires constant monitoring and early detection to bring the animal back to the reserve. Any form of crop damage or loss of livestock is damaging, but now more than ever. ”

Donations to support conservation efforts are welcome for the Grumeti Fund in Tanzania, the Malilangwe Fund in Zimbabwe and the Singita Lowveld Trust in South Africa.

Wilderness in waiting

The Africa Foundation

The Africa Foundation is the conservation arm of & BEYOND and is active in 73 amazing communities across Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia where the lodges have an imprint.

Speaking about the current situation, Valeri Mouton from & BEYOND told me: “People are at the heart of who and what we do, thus also supporting our community development partner, Africa Foundation, in its call for action. helping 73 communities surrounding our lodge operations with key projects, particularly water and sanitation projects to increase the resilience of our communities in Covid-19. ”

Learn more and donate to this noble cause at africafoundation.org.za/donate.

Wilderness in waiting

Wilderness Wildlife Trust

Concerns have been expressed repeatedly about the possibility of an increase in poaching during this period. Dr. Neil Midlane, Sustainability Officer for Wilderness Safaris, comments: “We expect commercial poaching unions to capitalize on this moment by expanding their efforts to obtain ivory, rhino horn, bushmeat and other wildlife products. It is for this reason that we have developed many alternative plans through our Group Sustainable Development Fund and through our non-profit partner, the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, to continue protecting our wilderness and their priceless assets. ”

“With funding from our non-profit partner, the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, and our Wilderness Safaris Group Sustainability Fund, we have provided the funding necessary to support conservation efforts in Hwange, including maintaining the anti-poaching unit Operational scorpion, as well as rhinos watch the Okavango Delta in Botswana. ”

Commenting also on the challenge of the human-wildlife conflict, Dr. Mildane reminds us that it could be even more difficult. “In our concessions in Namibia, we continue to support mitigation efforts in these areas, including a recent grant from the Wilderness Wildlife Trust to the Desert Lion Conservation Project, to support their early warning systems and lion guard teams . We also recently launched an innovative community farming project in Botswana to solve this problem. ”

Watch this moving clip below or visit wildernesstrust.com/donate to support it.

How you can help

The sad fact is that not all shelters or funds will be able to support themselves in the long term, so if you can afford support, do it. If you are dreaming of your next vacation, remember that with a trip to Africa, you not only support conservation, but a safari experience also ticks the box as a great socially distant vacation. Most importantly, if you have planned a trip, please postpone rather than cancel. Some of the most vulnerable wilderness areas on the planet depend on it.

Wilderness in waiting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.