Peace Parks Foundation's response to COVID-19 in southern Africa.
Community Development, Kavango Zambezi TFCA, Simalaha Community Conservancy, Technology and Innovation

Protecting nature – metre by metre

Peace Parks Foundation is proud to announce a partnership with innovative, for-purpose venture EarthToday and the Union of Nature Foundation, joining a network of forward-thinking conservation NGOs that are collaborating to protect the planet’s precious natural assets.  

EarthToday is on a mission to increase awareness on the state of the planet and accelerate its protection on a global scale. They connect brands, individuals, nature protection organisations and non-profits in a whole new model of collaboration to share content and protect nature. Metre x metre.

Through EarthToday.com, Union of Nature provides a world-first business model to support funding for the activities of credible, scalable conservation organisations, by allowing individuals and companies to protect m² of nature and receive unique certificates of protection, units of nature (uon). The participating organisations receive funds through each uon certificate sold and in return, commit to bring new m2 of nature under protection, on a 1:1 basis. We are excited to be joining Rewilding Europe, WILD Foundation, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Fundación Rewilding Argentina and Ark Natuurontwikkeling as part of this ground-breaking collaboration.  

As Peace Parks Foundation, we are always searching for new and innovative ways to fund conservation. This model is perfectly aligned with this ideal – providing an exciting platform to engage audiences in conservation – while also bringing together a range of conservation organisations that are dedicated to actively protecting the natural resources that our futures depend on.

Colin Porteous, Chief Investment Officer, Peace Parks Foundation

Tali Bielski, Managing Director of the Union of Nature Foundation, explains that: 

“Peace Parks plays a key role in developing global, forward-thinking finance conservation models and therefore they are a perfect match and ideal founding partner. They have both the vision and the ability to scale, and engage local communities in their approach, something we strongly believe is crucial if we want to protect 50% of our planet by 2050. Peace Parks has a long track record protecting vast tracts of land. It is an essential criteria because our commitment to the EarthToday community, is that the m² they help protect are conserved for the long term”.

For the launch, Peace Parks has made uons available within the pioneering Simalaha Community Conservancy in southern Zambia. The Conservancy comprises 1800 km2 of communal land and lies within one of six key wildlife dispersal areas in the world’s largest transfrontier conservation area, the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA).

Part of a planned corridor linking Chobe National Park in Botswana to Kafue National Park in Zambia, the conservancy is fundamental to re-establishing wildlife populations and their ancient migration routes across borders. 

In Simalaha, the Sesheke and Sekhute Chiefdoms, supported by Peace Parks and its partners, are taking ownership of their own destiny: following a community-led approach to improve basic human rights – such as access to food, health, livelihood opportunities and education – by responsibly managing and protecting natural resources and wildlife.

“Simalaha has been a remarkable success story and an exemplary model for the community-led conservation concept. Communities play a leading role in managing the reserve through the Simalaha Community Conservancy Trust, while a holistic range of programmes is being implemented to help the community draw benefits from the protection of the area. Through EarthToday, we are excited to invite passionate individuals and organisations to join us in continuing to secure a sustainable future for conservation and communities,” Porteous says. 

Through donor funding and partnerships with government and communities, Peace Parks is supporting the communities through various projects that improvethe social, economic and environmental circumstances of the local people. This includes skills development, provision of alternative livelihoods, conservation agriculture, school eco-clubs, food security, sustainable use of natural resources, water provision, health services, tourism development, and many others. 

Income from nature-based economies was also identified as a critical component of the Conservancy. To this end, Peace Parks supported the establishment of a 500km2 wildlife sanctuary in Simalaha, which has been rewilded with more than 2000 animals from 11 species and is home to a total of more than 3450 animals.

To protect m² of nature that support Union of Nature member organisations, go to Peace Parks Foundation’s EarthToday profile, where you can also be informed, inspired and educated about our work. 

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