Wildlife ACT are founding members of Project Rhino KZN
Most of our planet's wildlife is found in rural areas. Local communities are stewards to nearly a quarter of the Earth's land surface. Therefore the fates of conservation and rural communities are intertwined.
When rural communities are ostracized from conservation areas, are not helped to sustain themselves, or given adequate conservation education, we cannot expect these communities to do anything but look to protected areas for resources as a means of survival.
While anti-poaching and rhino rescue efforts are crucial to the immediate fight, the Rhino War will ultimately be won through education in the end. When communities that live on the borders of rhino reserves understand why rhinos need to be conserved, how they can benefit from rhino conservation, and why poaching is unsustainable, a buffer zone of friendly forces is created around each rhino population, making poaching less and less likely, until one day poaching is a thing of the past.
To help address the issues around rhino conservation, Wildlife ACT has initiated Community Conservation Projects around five game reserves in Zululand where critical rhino populations and other endangered species need protection:
- Somkhanda Game Reserve (KwaGumbi and Mandlakazi Communities)
- Mkhuze Game Reserve (KwaJobe and KwaNgwenya Communities)
- Tembe Elephant Park (KwaTembe Community)
- Ndumo Game Reserve (Matenjwa and KwaTembe Communities)
- Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park (Hlabisa Community)
Ironically, local community members have no way to visit their neighbouring game reserve to even experience the wildlife and the beauty of the African savanna that draws tourists from around the world. Visiting reserves with rhinos, elephants, lions and buffalo must be done in a vehicle, yet 90% of the people who live around these game reserves are too poor to own, or have access to, a car. Therefore, Wildlife ACT offers ways for local communities to form a bond of understanding, appreciation and stewardship with rhinos and other wildlife, through:
- Educational Game Drives into neighbouring game reserves
- Educational Overnight Bush Camps in neighbouring game reserves
- Community Conservation Presentations
- In-School Conservation Lessons
- Wildlife Ambassador Clubs
Poverty is also a driving force behind poaching. Poachers are almost always unemployed men who are desperate for the money. Communities need to see the economic benefit of conservation. To help address this, we have partnered with other organizations to offer additional services to these communities as well, such as:
- Conservation Job Creation
- Conservation Job Training
- Assistance in Community Development
These educational and economic processes are slow and expensive, but the results are worth it. When communities are partners in conservation with their local rhino reserves, snaring rates go down and rhino horn poachers find no local support. This process has been validated in parks and game reserves around the world. Please help us win this fight by supporting our community rhino conservation projects.
Contributions Pay For:
- USD $20 feeds a child at the bush camp in Somkhanda Game Reserve
- USD $80 covers the transport and air time of a Community Conservation Educator for one month
- USD $150 sends a child to a Bush Camp in Somkhanda Game Reserve
- USD $400 covers School Conservation Lessons for one month
- USD $1,800 funds an entire 4-day Conservation Education Bush Camp for local children
ZAR30 000 (roughly $2,100) funds a FULL 4 day experience for approximately 30 kids.
About Wildlife ACT Fund
The mission of Wildlife ACT Fund is to create and conduct conservation education programs in communities that border protected areas in order to help preserve biodiversity, with particular focus on stabilizing populations of rhinos and other endangered species imperiled by poaching activity.
Please visit our website to see what we have achieved thus far with our Community Conservation Programs.