One of the world’s great challenges is to find ways of conserving wildlife while at the same time helping local communities to meet their own development needs and improve their quality of life. It is a delicate balancing act, requiring initiative and innovation. Jonathan and Angie actively support and endorse the work of the following organizations:
Our Mission statement:
The Cheetah Conservation Fund’s (CCF)
The Bishop Simeon Trust (BST)
The East African Wildlife Society (EAWS)
The East African Wildlife Society was founded in 1961 as the Kenya Wildlife Society and has been in the forefront of active conservation in the region ever since. EAWS is committed to promoting conservation and wise use of East Africa’s wildlife and environment. Jonathan served for many years as a member of the Swara Editorial Committee responsible for monitoring the content of the society’s excellent wildlife magazine. Jonathan and Angie have helped to raise funds for the purchase of a computer and a generator, and continue to support the societies work, and strongly recommend that anyone interested in East Africa’s wildlife becomes a member of the society.
Friends of Conservation (FOC)
Friends of Consevation joins with local people and partners to support sustainable ways of living in harmony with wildlife, ecosystems and the environment, and seeks to ensure that future generations benefit from the continued protection of the natural heritage of our planet. FOC began life as Friends of the Masai Mara through the vision of Abercrombie and Kent’s Jorie Butler Kent and Geoffrey Kent. Jonathan served for many years on the Conservation Committee of FOC. Jonathan and Angie’s lecture at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in London in 2003 on behalf of FOC raised £11,000 pounds for Cheetah 1, a predator surveillance vehicle donated to the Mara Conservancy to help monitor tourist activity. A similar function at the RGS in 2004 raised sufficient funds for the purchase of a Land Rover for the Narok County Council, to be used for similar purposes on the east side of the Mara River. For those many visitors to the Masai Mara who feel they would like to contribute something to the conservation of the area and its wildlife, FOC is a worthy recipient of funding.
The Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT)
The Galapagos Conservation Trust is a UK based charitable organization whose purpose is to promote knowledge of the Galapagos Islands and to raise funds for, and awareness of, the conservation needs of the Galapagos Islands. Many of you will have read about the threats to these enchanting islands: the dramatic influx of people eager to seek employment on the islands, conflict with local fishermen, the threat that large numbers of tourists pose to this fragile environment, and the widespread threat to sharks from the shark-fin-soup industry. Jonathan and Angie visited the islands for the first time in 2004 and have recently become UK Patrons of GCT. www.gct.org
The Green Belt Movement
The Green Belt Movement was founded in 1977 by charismatic environmental campaigner Dr. Wangari Maathai, blossoming into an Africa-wide initiative that has galvanized followers to plant more than 30 million trees across the continent. In Kenya’s rural communities alone, women have created tree nurseries and planted nearly 900,000 trees. In 2004 Dr. Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work: ‘When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and hope.’ With great courage and disregard for her own wellbeing, Dr. Maathai has steadfastly campaigned for the empowerment of women, the struggle for democracy and human rights, and broad scale environmental conservation. Today she is Patron of the Billion Tree Campaign, urging leaders to raise awareness on climate change and avoid deforestation in their respective countries: ‘In Kenya for example, if the Government directs every farmer to plant 25 trees in every acre of land, our forest cover would increase from the current 1.7% to 10% which is the globally accepted minimum.’ Angie is passionate about trees and gardening and is busily taking up the challenge! We can all play our part in this initiative by planting trees or paying someone else to do so on our behalf to reduce our carbon footprint. www.greenbeltmovement.org or www.unep.org/billiontreecampaign
Rhino Ark is a Charitable Trust helping to conserve one of Kenya’s finest indigenous forests and its total habitat by resolving human/wildlife conflict in the Aberdare mountain range and its ecosystem by raising funds to fence the area. In this way Rhino Ark is helping to ensure that all stake-holders benefit and the rhino, bongo, indeed all flora and fauna species will be secure. Rhino Ark’s world-famous annual Rhino Charge offers teams of contestants in four-wheel-drive-vehicles the chance to test themselves against the most arduous off-road terrain Kenya has to offer. Team sponsorship raises substantial sums of money to help fund the construction and maintenance of 400 kms of electric fence designed to protect the Aberdare Conservation Area (incorporating Aberdare National Park), and minimise conflict between wildlife and the local human population. The Aberdares are home of the world-famous Ark and Treetops hotels. Jonathan is a UK Patron of RA.
Local Ocean Trust (LOT) and Watamu Turtle Watch (WTW).
WTW was formed in 1997 to focus conservation efforts on sea Turtles in Kenya’s Watamu Marine Park and along the shores of Mida Creek, with a related education programme. It soon became apparent that the future success of this project was intrinsically linked to the well being of the surrounding marine environment and to the protection of turtles across their migratory range. Concerned by the widespread degradation of the Kenyan marine ecosystem and national exploitation of marine turtles, in 2002 WTW spawned a ‘big brother, the LOT, to undertake the general marine conservation work for WTW both locally and nationally. WTW remains as the flagship programme, focusing specifically on sea turtle conservation through research, education and awareness, conducted with the active participation of the local people.