FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHEETAH CONSERVATION FUND HOSTS 18TH ANNUAL FUNDRAISING GALA, ‘A CELEBRATION OF SPEED & ELEGANCE’
OTJIWARONGO, Namibia (16 July 2016) – For the 18th consecutive year, Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) celebrated the speed and elegance of the cheetah with fellow Namibians at its annual Gala Dinner at the Windhoek Country Club on the 15th of July. Mike Hill, CCF’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, was the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. Because of the kind and generous people who support the species, this year’s Gala was the most successful in the long history of the organisation.
The evening’s featured speaker was Dr. Peggy Oti-Boateng, Senior Programme Specialist for Science and Technology and Coordinator for the African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ANSTI) in the UNESCO Multi-Sectoral Regional Office in Harare, Zimbabwe. Dr Oti-Boateng has over 32 years experience in teaching, research and development of technologies for sustainable development and in science and technology policy-making. Oti-Boateng’s talk highlighted the problems of lacking science in education in southern Africa and the need to encourage young women in science and technology.
CCF’s International Patron, the Honourable Prof. Peter Katjivivi, Parliament President of the Namibian National Assembly, spoke on the new Namibian Conservation Parliamentary Caucus (NACOPAC). NACOPAC is a multiparty collaboration of parliamentarians committed to strengthening conservation governance and sustainable economic development in Namibia and the southern Africa region.
“In order to guarantee a permanent place for cheetahs on Earth, and in Namibia’s ecosystems, we need to work together to conserve this species, our national treasure”, said CCF Founder and Executive Director, Dr Laurie Marker. “With our programmes to educate farmers and develop livelihoods for rural citizens, CCF aims to inspire and support an economic system where humans can thrive within the natural scope of a healthy, bio-diverse landscape, with cheetahs and other large predators. We achieve this with partners and colleagues such as those who were honoured at this year’s gala”.
Dr. Marker presented four 2016 Cheetah Conservation Awards, of behalf of the CCF Board of Directors, recognising those who have helped conserve the cheetah and the Namibian environment. Highlights of the awards programme included:
Dr. Chris Brown was presented with CCF’s 2016 Cheetah Conservationist of the Year for his dedication to the Namibian environment and community conservation. (see below for full bio).
The 2016 Cheetah Conservation Farmer of the Year was presented to Dr. Libertine Amathila (see below for full bio). for her care and dedication to her livestock guarding dog.
The 2016 Cheetah Conservation Educator of the Year Award was presented to Dr. Willem J. Jankowitz, retired Director of the School of Natural Resources of the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) (see below for full bio). CCF has worked closely with Dr. Jankowitz, and the school of Natural Resources training over 150 student interns in the past 17 years.
Cheetah Conservation Fund’s 2016 Special Loyalty Award was presented to Mr. Manfred Böttger for his years of support given to CCF. He has attended CCF’s gala dinner annually for the
past 18 years. (see below for full bio).
The annual CCF Gala is a much-anticipated celebration in Namibian conservation circles, for its festive atmosphere and because it recognises those who have played important roles in helping ensure the survival of the species. The dinner brought together more than 280 guests from business, conservation, agriculture and government sectors in Namibia, and CCF supporters from other nations, both on the continent and beyond. The silent auction once again was a huge success, with more than 120 items donated by local and international businesses, including artwork, jewellery, Namibian craftwork and tourism ‘get-aways’ at exclusive Namibian and international tourist venues, including stays at the NamibRand Reserve, and the Swakopmund Hotel.
Dr. Laurie Marker
067 306225 or 0811247887
The Cheetah Conservation Fund is a Namibian non-profit trust dedicated to the long-term survival of the cheetah and its ecosystems.
Since 1990, CCF has developed education and conservation programmes based on its biomedical and ecological cheetah research studies, published scientific research papers and has presented educational programmes to over 450 000 outreach school learners and over 3000 farmers. In addition, CCF has donated nearly 600 Anatolian livestock guarding dogs to commercial and communal farmers as part of their innovative non-lethal livestock management programme.
Research into cheetah biology has greatly increased our understanding of the fastest land animal ad education programmes for schools and the farming community helps change public attitudes to allow predator and humans to co-exist. However, despite the many successes of CCF programmes, the cheetah is still Africa’s most endangered cat, with less than 10,000 remaining in the world’s wild population. Namibia harbours about on quarter of the world’s remaining cheetah.
CCF has hosted several hundred wildlife biologists, conservationists and extension agents from throughout the cheetah’s range, teaching them about how to resolve human/wildlife conflict in their own countries. CCF’s motto, “We Can Live Together” is an important part of their philosophy which they teach to several thousand school learners each year from throughout Namibia.
If you would like more information on CCF’s research, conservation and education programmes, please contact CCF at:
Cheetah Conservation Fund
P.O. Box 1755, Otjiwarongo
Tel (in Namibia): (067) 306225, Tel (international): (+264 67) 306225
Fax: (067) 306247, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.cheetah.org
2016 CCF AWARD WINNERS
2016 Conservationist of the Year – Dr. Chris Brown
Dr Chris Brown is an ecologist and environmental scientist. Chris has worked for over thirty years in environmental known as Namibia’s ‘Dr Green’. Shortly after completing his PhD, Chris took up the post of ornithologist in the then Directorate of Nature Conservation for Namibia and began making an impact! Through his passion and leadership, he set the Namibian Bird Atlas project which almost every keen birder in the country has contributed to.
As the Head of the Namibia Directorate of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), he played a key role in drafting the environmental clauses in the Namibian Constitution and Vision 2030. His team was known as the ‘dream team’ as he lead the country in global initiatives to halt and reverse serious environmental degradation on the planet and arranged for Namibia to sign, ratify and accede to a number of multilateral environmental agreements, including those dealing with combating human-accelerated climate change and desertification, and biodiversity and wetland conservation. Namibia’s efforts to improve biodiversity conservation and reverse desertification have been regarded as exemplary internationally.
As head of the DEA, he spearheaded initiatives to improve the generation and flow of environmental information to all levels of society, and championed the idea of public involvement in decision-making — one of the cornerstones of sustainable development. Chris also wrote Namibia’s Green Plan, and in was involved in the compilation of various National Development Plans. These efforts have transformed thinking at strategic, administrative and operational levels.
Chris has lead the efforts to mainstream the Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) programme in the Ministry to make CBNRM one of Namibia’s flagship achievements since independence. Dr Brown, ran the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) for 13 years, where he now serves on the Board of Trustees. He is a shareholder and Director in the Gondwana Collection, one of the largest private parks and tourism companies in Namibia, where he is responsible for the parks & environment portfolio. Where Manny Goldbeck, Gondwana Collection’s CEO, calls Chris ‘A Conservationist of World Class’.
Dr Brown has a PhD in Zoology from the University of Natal and has published more than 100 scientific papers and reports. His doctorate thesis was on the conservation of the Bearded Vulture and he has maintained a strong interest in ornithology, particularly in birds as indicators of environmental health. Chris has the unique combination of scientific rigour, remarkable leadership, and big-picture outlook. Chris is a conservation visionary.
2016 Cheetah Conservation Farmer of the Year – Dr. Libertine Amathila
Dr Libertine Amathila served as Namibia’s Minister for Local and Regional Government and Housing and the Minister for Health and Social Services before becoming Deputy Prime Minister in 2005. In 2010, she retired from government service to devote her full attention to farm near Gobabis, where she provides excellent care for her livestock using her CCF Livestock Guarding Dog. Dr Amathila originally contacted CCF because she was having livestock loss due to cheetahs, and CCF provided her with a Livestock Guarding Dog. Today, this dog protects 160 goats and cares for all the other animals around the household. Dr Amathila was born in Fransfontein, Kunene Region in December 1940. She attended Otjiwarongo Primary School then attended Augustineum College in Okahandja. In 1962 she went into exile to Tanzania via Botswana, and there she dedicated her life to academic study. She earned a diploma in Nutrition and Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Diploma for Epidemiology, among others. In 1969, Dr Amathila received a scholarship to study medicine in Poland and graduated from the Warsaw Medical Academy, becoming the first Namibian female medical doctor. She then voluntarily left to work in Zambia, Lusaka, at the SWAPO refugee camps. Later, se transferred to Angola to become the Director of the Children’s Centre at Kwanza Sul, where she worked going from camp to camp, organising health projects. It is not a surprise that in 1987, she was awarded the Omungulumbashe medal (commemorated in the prestigious decoration for veterans of the Liberation War), for bravery and long service.
During the liberation struggle Dr Amathila was known as ‘Meme Doctor’ due to her bigheartedness and love for humanity. Dr Amathila worked as a medical doctor to help Namibian refugees in different camps as well as wounded PLAN fighters, which won her Nansen Refugee Award in 1991 (the first person to win the Nansen Refugee Award in 1954, was Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and first chair of the UN Human Rights Commission). The award is given for their extraordinary service to refugees and outstanding work on behalf of the displaced.
Today she continues to work with marginalized communities which includes the Vahimba and San people, making sure they had access to education as well as health facilities, and is currently working with schools in Koakoland developing a dining hall and kitchen. Her book titled “Making A Difference” continues to inspire young and old Namibians and encourages young women to be focused, determined, have courage as well as discipline.
2016 Cheetah Conservation Educator of the Year – Dr. Willem J. Jankowitz
Doctor, as he is known, was born in Keetmanshoop where his early school was in Maltahohe and Bethanie. He matriculated at Windhoek High School and studied at the University of the Free State where he finished a Masters in Plant Geography and a PhD in Plant Ecology. In 1970 he joined the Directorate of Nature Conservation: Research Department focusing on plant research. He published the first book on Aloes: Aloes of Namibia/South West Africa and did outstanding research work on the mysterious fairy circles in Namibia and the plant ecology of the Waterberg Plateau. In 1980, he continued an Academic career, lecturing at the University of the North, then at the Teacher’s Training College in Windhoek, and in 1990 at the old Academy, which became the Polytechnic of Namibia, currently known as Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST). Dr Jankowitz was Dean for the School of Engineering and Applied Science, from 1997-1999 and the Dean for the Nature Conservation and Agriculture Departments for the next five years, and the Director until he retired in 2010. To this day, he remains engaged as a lecturer. He has written numerous research and journal papers, and mentored several hundred undergraduate students and numerous Master’s and Doctorate students. Dr Jankowitz is a founding member and first chairman of the SAAB (South African Association of Botanists) in Namibia – 1985; Member and chairman of SWAOU (Teacher’s Association) – 1986; Life member – Association of S.A. Geographers; Chairman of NATH -1991, Member of Senate; Polytechnic of Namibia 1995 – 2007; Member of Advisory Board: Sam Nujoma Marine and Coastal Resources and Research Centre.
Cheetah Conservation Fund’s 2016 Special Loyalty Award – Mr. Manfred Böttger
Mr Manfred Böttger, is the owner and manager of the Swaco Group of Companies, a 100% Namibian owned and managed holding company dealing in commodities since 1933. Through his leadership, the Swaco Group of Companies belies in the creation of much-needed job opportunities in the mainstream of the Namibian economy and supports Cheetah Conservation Fund’s efforts in this area. Manfred and his family are staunch conservationists and have been strong supporters of CCF for the past 25 years, since its founding in Namibia. He has come to ALL18 of CCF’s Annual Galas with his family and is one of the main silent auction supporters each year.
The Swaco Group of Companies’ purpose is to create wealth for all our internal stakeholders. We would further like to make a meaningful contribution towards wealth creation and the creation of much-needed job opportunities in the mainstream of the Namibian economy. In this way, we contribute towards the realization of our Nation’s aspirations in this regard and enhance our own sustainability and legitimacy.