CCF works globally for cheetah conservation—but we also don’t forget our own backyard. Staff recently traveled to the northwest of the country to participate in wildlife management meetings with Conservancies in the Opuwo area.
We’re also increasing our role and support of the Greater Waterberg Landscape—an area near us. For me, it’s always been critical to support the human communities in the cheetah’s ecosystem. After a 2012 survey and need’s assessment, we knew we needed to more aggressively support livestock and wildlife management. So we did! We have been provided and won a grant supported by the European Union and administered by the Civil Society Foundation of Namibia, along with support from several other funders, including the Disney Wildlife Fund and the Busch Gardens Conservation Fund to carry forward monthly training in local communities.
We’ll work over the next year to train communities in rangeland management, bush encroachment and habitat restoration, veterinary care and healthcare for livestock, financial management, naturalist training, habitat restoration, harvest, wildlife integration and we’ll continue with existing environmental education programs.
By helping build capacity within the communities we couldn’t be more excited about how our community will grow and how our land and wildlife will also benefit.
I also recently accepted the position as the Chairperson of the Large Carnivore Management Association of Namibia (LCMAN). CCF has been a founding member of and active partner with LCMAN—a forum of stakeholders that promotes and supports the conservation of healthy populations of free-ranging large carnivores. Given that over 80 percent of Namibia is farmland, a major focus of the LCMAN is to provide farmers with practical advice to assist in reducing livestock predation by these species, and thereby to promote their co-existence.
Looking further afield, Dr. Bruce Brewer, CCF Manager, and I traveled to Cornell University for my week as an A.D. White Professor on the Ithaca campus giving lectures and meetings on the future of the cheetah and how CCF and Cornell can work closely together in supporting our cheetah programs in research, biomass and education. I gave multiple lectures during the week to variety of departments from veterinarians to ecologists and business students as well as a public talk to the students and our cheetah friends in the upper New York State area called, “A Future for Cheetahs: How Biofuels and Goat Cheese can Save Wildlife and Lead to Sustainable Development in Namibia.”