‘Conservation is a state of harmony between people and land’  From the Chairman’s Desk

‘Conservation is a state of harmony between people and land’ From the Chairman’s Desk

‘Conservation is a state of harmony between people and land

From the Chairman’s Desk…

 

The start of a new year has never before been welcomed with such enthusiasm.  2020 was an intensely disruptive year with the impact of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns affecting everyone. The long-term implications of the global pandemic will be felt for years.  And, although we are by no means out of the woods in terms of the coronavirus and the second wave of infections, we are relieved not to be back in total lockdown and that a vaccine is in sight.  There are signs that the economy is starting to get back on track and, most importantly, that the tourism industry will start opening up again, albeit slowly.

The Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) is intrinsically linked to tourism. Its very foundation is based on responsible tourism and working with local communities to protect and conserve our wilderness areas – our unique fauna and flora. The team, partners and communities we work alongside, have made huge strides in achieving our goals and objectives. We are happy to say there have been positive outcomes and the ripple effect of our agile approach to challenges, is paying off. We are proud of our achievements and it warms my conservation heart to know we are making a difference, despite the challenges of 2020.

The past year was not an easy one. We all felt the effect the pandemic had on people, economies, governments and tourism. Without tourists the properties within the Mantis Collection were unable to operate, which had a huge impact on the Company, its employees and suppliers. There was also a devastating knock-on effect in the communities we support.  Many lost their concessions and livelihoods, which put them under enormous financial pressure and food security became a concern. As the entire country began to experience the impact of Covid-19, ensuring the survival of people became a priority.

This meant we had to adapt our strategy to respond to this crisis in manner that supported our projects and the challenges facing our beneficiaries. To assist the very communities that had supported our conservation initiatives over the past few years.  And we did.

As we reflect on the successes of 2020, what becomes clear is that this was only made possible by the CCFA team’s dedication and hard work.  It was about everyone being flexible in adapting to the changes we are facing.  This has made our commitment to achieving our goals stronger: Working together to build a better Africa for our communities, our wildlife and our future tourists.

Sponsored students completing their Field Guide Training

Below, a quick review on some of the 2020 ‘highlights’.   A wonderful achievement that shows the tenacity of CCFA … especially given the circumstances.

Harvesting and bottling CCFA honey

Fundraising event in London with historian and storyteller, Michael Charlton

The road ahead

One of the key learning from this global crisis is the importance and strength of partnerships to achieve positive outcomes. We need to be open to adapting to our changing environment and, as long as there is commitment from an organisation to deliver on its social contract, many hurdles and challenges can be overcome. 

We have set goals for 2021, some include:

  • Creating food gardens in two different communities, to establish a sustainable food source
  • Planting 300 indigenous and fruit trees within the first 6 months of the year as part of our Greening the Community Project
  • Enrolling 20 Students on the Wilderness Foundation Africa’s Siyazenzela Life and Employability Course
  • Tripling the number of beehives  – enabling a sustainable food source and creating more employment opportunities
  • Hosting and co-ordinating sex education classes in Namibia and the distribution of reusable sanitary towels

In addition to our goals and ‘wish lists’ for 2021 and beyond, we will continue to grow strategic partnerships and mentor communities to secure a better future for our wilderness areas. 

Partnering with Indalo for the Greening the Community Project 

We wish to thank you for your continued support and are hopeful that 2021 will be a better one for the world.

 

We all know that, ‘‘Even the smallest voice can make a difference in a big way’

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