I want to share four things that I hope will make you really happy.
(1) Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust is helping combat the Illegal Wildlife Trade through sophisticated evidence collection and forensic analysis. By collecting and analysing wildlife DNA, hair, tissue, or feathers, identifying toxins and causes of death, and classifying animal products, we are providing robust, indisputable evidence in wildlife crime court cases that is helping to successfully prosecute criminals. The big picture: to combat the illegal wildlife trade and other wildlife crimes by sharing expertise and growing capacity in wildlife crime scene investigations throughout Zimbabwe and beyond.
(2) We’re excited to be bringing back our rural Education Conservation programs in a COVID-adapting world. We’ve lost two years so there’s no more time to waste to continue developing the locals’ investment in nature and their homeland. The big picture: to inspire interests in nature-based employment and build resiliency into rural livelihoods by showing that coexisting with wildlife is an opportunity for development in local communities. Nowhere else in the world is it as important to steward an intimate appreciation for charismatic wildlife. Read more here.
(3) It’s estimated that more than 2 tons of wood is being illegally harvested from Victoria Falls forest areas each day. Working with “My Trees,” The Trust is providing 2,100 rocket stoves to high-density areas, which will reduce the amount of firewood collected from our dwindling forests by nearly 70% and generate income through attached carbon credits. The big picture: to curtail the rate of deforestation in Victoria Falls’ forest areas, improve the respiratory health of communities cooking indoors, and free up time for women who are responsible for wood collection so that they can focus on other income, matters of health, and the general wellbeing of their families. Read more here.
(4) Here’s to you! Because of our exceptional and amazing community, we exceeded our fundraising goals for 2021 and are off to a strong start in 2022. Two substantial matching grants, loyal commitments from our dedicated donors around the world, and the support of foundations and grant-makers was overwhelming and inspiring. The big picture: we’re projecting enough budget growth this year to grow our programs’ capacity, open an Interpretative Centre, and bring back staff retrenched because of COVID.
Africa has the highest species richness of large mammals on the planet. Once the most safeguarded places on earth because of its remoteness, it’s now home to the most trafficked animals in the world.
The three things it will take to preserve our landscapes and wildlife are education, stopping wildlife crimes, and meaningful conservation wins for our wildlife and natural resources. The Trust is proud to be a leader in these arenas, and is grateful for the confidence and support of our community. We hope you and others will follow our lead and stay tuned for what should be a great year for wildlife.
Thank you, for everything!
For Wild Africa,