Peace Parks and the pandemic
COVID-19 has once again reminded us of how important it is to respect all life and that nature has a way of fighting back if we keep on ignoring the many and clear warning signs all around us. Peace Parks has always worked towards one clear goal: to reconnect Africa’s wild spaces to create a future for man in harmony with nature. Increasingly, as intact habitats are lost to human encroachment, species continue to go extinct, and more and more wildlife is removed from its natural environment; we are creating the perfect conditions for another global catastrophe to take place. Zoonotic diseases, which are transferred from wild animals to people, are not a new phenomena and, unfortunately, COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic that will have severe health and economic consequences at a global scale. We are all connected and we are all in this together.
If we can conquer boundaries to re-establish, renew and preserve large functional ecosystems, we can ensure that there is a place for humans and a place for animals to co-exist on Earth – safely and sustainably.
Werner Myburgh, Peace Parks Foundation CEO
Despite COVID-19 lockdowns instituted at varying levels across many countries in southern Africa, our operational work is fortunately still continuing, although limited in some cases.
Wherever we work with communities, alternative livelihoods projects have been scaled down and large group gatherings ceased. We are focused on securing donations to help vulnerable communities in and around conservation areas gain access to personal protective gear. To this end, Peace Parks has already donated $100 000 of its own resources towards the procurement of soap, sanitisers, face masks, gloves, thermometers, and other critically important necessities to households, clinics and health workers in areas where we have an operational footprint.
How you can help
Whether you support one household, or many, every contribution assists us in reaching the more than 75 000 households that we need to provide with essential equipment and information, in an effort to curb COVID-19 infections in vulnerable communities in southern Africa.
Your R150 / $9 could help one family stay safe during these times. Donate now!
Operation activity in parks are greatly reduced and all major projects such as infrastructure construction and wildlife rewilding have been paused. Core protection and anti-poaching activities continue unabated with response helicopters and surveillance aircraft, funded by Peace Parks, remaining fully operational. Indications show that due to the worsening economy, the killing of wildlife for illicit trade and meat markets will escalate and we will now need to be more vigilant than ever. With so many other pressing global concerns – animals and wildlife without a voice will suffer the most.
Our head office has closed, but we have rapidly adapted to working from home and this ‘new normal’ seems to be working well.