The Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF) made the single biggest donation to rhino conservation in SANParks’ history today.
The foundation, a private foundation in the United States; the Nature Conservation Trust (NCT), a South African public benefit organisation (PBO); and South African National Parks (SANParks) announced the historic R255 million (USD $23.7 million) at the Rosebank office of Standard Bank, which also announced its own support for the initiative by providing favourable banking fees and interest on the funds which they will hold.
This will also see a three-year initiative to combat rhino poaching in Kruger National Park and test anti-poaching tactics that can be applied in other regions of Africa, where poaching can be a source of funding for armed groups, come about.
The effort in Kruger will create an Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) using sophisticated detection and tracking equipment and infrastructure on the ground and in the air; elite canine units and highly-trained ranger teams; and improved intelligence gathering and observation and surveillance systems.
Kruger’s poaching problem is fuelled mainly by illicit criminal networks in Mozambique, South Africa, and East Asia, but evidence suggests that armed groups elsewhere in Africa derive significant funding from poaching activities. Kruger’s IPZ will also serve as a testing ground to inform targeted efforts to combat poaching in these other African regions.
The Leadership for Conservation in Africa (LCA), led by its South African-based CEO Chris Marais, will provide advisory and advocacy support for the collaboration.
HGBF has committed an additional RAND 1.9 billion (USD $175 million) in support of its Africa Great Lakes Peace Initiative, which also includes funding for anti-poaching efforts designed to interrupt the capital flow to armed groups.
For more information please contact:
Howard G. Buffett Foundation
Leadership for Conservation in Africa
South African National Parks
Tel: 012 426 5203; Cell: 073 373 4999