Conservation Collectives give me hope for wildlife conservation efforts around the world. The purpose of this post is to highlight a few examples of Conservation Collectives and how their collaborative endeavours increase impact.
As the 9th of August is Women’s Day in South Africa, I will start with Women for Wildlife. Their tagline says it all – Women for Wildlife is an international movement to support, empower and unite women and girls around the world who are passionately devoted to wildlife and conservation. Their list of woman visionaries for wildlife conservation is simply awe-inspiring!
As the 11th of August is World Elephant Day, let’s have a look at Elephants Alive. I have witnessed first-hand the integrity and passion of the Elephants Alive team. This little video story says it all…
“Momentarily his trunk snorkelled to catch our odour, he now knew we were there. We were different – no gun, no fidgeting legs to take flight, no tangible fear. Did he sense this? He fed closer and closer in a deliberate straight line towards us. At about 10 metres from us he lifted his gigantic head to cast his amber eyes more clearly upon us. The blazing blue sky behind him was larger than the frame of him but somehow what he presented made the sky fade away insignificantly. He stopped feeding to edge closer, stretching out his muscled trunk before him as if to reach for my shoe. Time stood still as we shared a feeling of ‘’I am because of what we all are.” Ubuntu is the word, the African philosophy, the personification of this connection and the power of this shared vulnerability.”
Dr Michelle Henley is the cofounder, directer and principal researcher of Elephants Alive. A woman of vision, an impressive Conservation Collective has grown up around her work and the work of her partners and collaborators. This includes the Black Mambas, Bush Babies Environmental Education, Saving the Survivors and the Blue Sky Society Trust.
The Kruger to Canyon Biosphere Region is another significant Conservation Collective bringing together many stakeholders on the western border of the famous Kruger National Park. This local focus feeds the broader conservation work of organisations like the Peace Parks Foundation (the subject of a previous blog post).
Another example is the Endangered Wildlife Trust. Focusing on endangered species, this organisation becomes a Conservation Collective in multiple regions across southern and east Africa. There are some exciting things happening for African Wilddog conservation through EWT.
Education can create a Conservation Collective. The wonderful work of the Southern African Wildlife College proves this.
I have written here of what I know in one small corner of Southern Africa. Yet I have no doubt that similar Conservation Collectives exist the world over.
One way you can be part of a Conservation Collective in a part of the world you love is to volunteer or intern with GVI. Their virtual open day for the month of August is focused on the conservation of endangered species in Madagascar, Thailand, Greece and Belize. The open day is Saturday 21 August at 1pm (BST). Register now!