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“Intrinsic to human nature is the aspiration to create something of value for posterity,” says Mr Hansjürg Saager, Chairman of the Peace Parks Foundation Legacy Trust.
“Leaving a legacy means we can give a gift in favour of an organisation which will represent our personalities in the living memory of our society, maybe many generations after death. I think it is a noble idea, to be still alive and to know that you are contributing to something that will change the world, even when you are gone.”
Mr Saager was addressing guests at the launch of the Peace Parks Foundation Legacy Trust at his Eikendal Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. Together with his wife, Francesca, and on behalf of Peace Parks Foundation Club, of which he is a founding member, Mr Saager addressed the need for a funding platform that will allow members to bequeath a portion of their estates to support the operational needs of Peace Parks Foundation. Living legacies were also mentioned as an option.
Peace Parks Foundation was established in 1997 by visionary founders Dr Anton Rupert, Dr Nelson Mandela and HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. The mission of the organisation is to facilitate the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas (peace parks) and develop human resources, thereby supporting sustainable economic development, the conservation of biodiversity and regional peace and stability.
A new generation of leadership has taken up the mantle of Peace Parks Foundation under the chairmanship of Johann Rupert. Working with governments throughout the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Foundation aims to facilitate the delivery of fully functioning peace parks, managed in harmony with their surrounding communities in order to create sustainable local, national and regional benefit flows. Over the past 16 years, the Foundation has grown from strength to strength, successfully facilitating the development of transfrontier conservation areas in southern Africa which, at over a million square kilometres, now rival the combined landmass of France and Spain.
Says Mr Werner Myburgh, CEO: “Peace Parks Foundation is proud of what it has achieved over the past 16 years and the role it has played in facilitating the region’s transfrontier conservation areas. With long-term partners like the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, through KfW, and the Dutch and Swedish Postcode lotteries, as well as numerous supporters in the form of trusts, foundations, Club 21 members and Peace Parks Club corporate and individual members, the Foundation has successfully channelled significant funding to projects on the ground, while maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance and keeping administrative costs to below 18% since inception.”
Mr Myburgh however emphasises that most of the secured funding is ring-fenced for projects and programmes throughout the SADC region, and usually does not contribute to the everyday operational costs which are vital to keeping the organisation afloat.
It is with this in mind that the Peace Parks Foundation Legacy Trust was launched, with Mr Saager at the helm. The Trust offers supporters the opportunity to include the Foundation as a beneficiary of their estate. They could also establish a living legacy, whereby they annually contribute a specified amount to the Foundation’s operational expenses or, should they prefer, to a specified project or programme. “It will be my duty as Chairman of the Peace Parks Foundation Legacy Trust to ensure that the purposes of the legacies will be followed to the letter. I ask you to join the Peace Parks Foundation Legacy Trust, thereby helping to secure the Foundation’s future operations. Members of Peace Parks Foundation are realists, because they believe in miracles,” concluded Mr Saager.