Life at CCF

A Full Circle Experience!

  • by Cheetah Conservation Fund Canada June 6, 2024
A Full Circle Experience!

How did a visit to CCF Namibia by a young Namibian man in 1995 spark curiosity about the world of wildlife conservation? After his first encounter with CCF, it did not take long for Matti Nghikembua to return in 1997 for an internship. In 1998, he was given the opportunity to join the CCF staff; an offer he immediately accepted.  Today, Matti is the Chief Ecologist and Forest Steward, and last week he presented his doctoral defence for his PhD research on “Wildlife activity patterns and encroaching woody vegetation response to bush thinning on farmlands in north-central Namibia.”

Matti is passionate about his work with CCF, and embraces CCF’s holistic approach to ensuring sustainable conservation.  Matti’s work experience and his studies have reinforced his view that conservation efforts need to be inclusive, addressing the needs of both wildlife and human populations.  It is now his turn to mentor interns and young scientists, fostering the next generation of conservationists.

CCF’s school outreach and their regular hosting of schools at the Centre is key in transforming people’s traditional attitudes towards their environment. The team activities and education program endeavour to change the prevailing attitudes towards the environment which emphasized dominance over nature, to a more eco-centric view, characterized by strengthened national pride in conserving the Namibian ecosystem and the cheetah.  At the core of the program, it illustrates the value of Namibia’s natural resources to communities and hence the importance of protecting their surroundings for a better future.

Matti is a great example of how CCF’s work helps the next generation to be better informed and to understand the impact of their actions on their environment and their livelihoods.  He has completed a full circle – from a young person learning about conservation to now mentoring youth in being stewards of their land.

Read about Matty’s journey here.

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