Conservation and related education projects in Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania have gained new impetus following the provision of $ 20 000 (USD) grants to leading environmental organisations by the Ford Motor Company.
Ford Motor Company has donated $10 000 to the Africa Foundation to empower its environmental education programme in Tanzania and Mozambique, while also assisting the eradication of alien vegetation for Black Rhino relocation in Tanzania.
A further $10 000 has been granted to the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT), located in the heart of Kenya’s Greater Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem, to help engage with the local Maasai community to conserve critical wildlife and wilderness, and assist with wildlife species monitoring.
“The Africa Foundation and the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust are doing exceptional work to help preserve Africa’s precious natural resources and eco-diversity. Ford Motor Company is proud to be associated with these non-profit organisations,” said Neale Hill, Director of Marketing Sales and Service, Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.
“Environmental sustainability goes hand-in-hand with education efforts, and it’s essential that people are made aware of the impact they have on wildlife and the environment,” Hill added. “Engaging with communities to protect the environment and actively promote conservation is the only way we can ensure it will be preserved for future generations.”
The Africa Foundation, which features Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah as its illustrious patrons, works in numerous sub-Saharan Africa countries and focuses on the environment, conservation, clean water, health and education, and bringing meaningful development to the people living in or close to conservation areas.
The organisation offers an environmental education programme where it works closely with schools to improve children’s lives in general – around health, educational improvements – while also engendering a passion for wildlife and conservation.
The programme is now being implemented on Mozambique’s Benguerra Island, and in Tanzania at Mnemba Island off Zanzibar, as well as several of the country’s national parks including Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti.
Africa Foundation is also involved in the re-introduction of rhino into the Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania, where the species is now extinct. However, this first involves eradication of alien vegetation, followed by the ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the region’s ecology. The project will also create jobs and transfer skills for local people employed in this programme.
Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT)
Operating in the Chyulu Hills landscape, in the heart of Kenya’s Greater Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem, the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust has partnered with the Maasai landowners since 2000 to demonstrate the benefits from conservation.
The area boasts a rich natural heritage, with elephant, rhino, wild dog, giraffe and lion located in this region, and use it as a critical migration route between the national parks.
Accordingly, MWCT funds and operates programs that promote sustainable economic benefits from conserving this ecosystem. Lease payments for conservancy zones, carbon credits, payments for watershed protection, sustainable ecotourism, wildlife monitoring and security, conservation and tourism employment are all key drivers for its successful community-based conservation.
MWCT is developing sustainable financing mechanisms, primarily around payment for ecosystem services. To this end, the organisation has, over the last six years led eight other project partners towards successful verification of the Chyulu REDD+ project, bringing to the market 2 million carbon credits. Over the next four years, the organisation plans to start bringing other mechanisms online, earning revenue to support its conservation programmes. The funds received from Ford will continue its successful conservation approaches towards nature and wildlife preservation, specifically towards its wildlife species monitoring efforts.