FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dr. Laurie Marker (ph: 067- 306225, cell: 081-1247887) or Patricia Tricorache (cell: 081-458-6006)
Gebhardt Nikanor of Cheetah Conservation Fund Named 2013 Disney Conservation Hero
(Otjiwarongo, Namibia, 13 August 2013) – The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) today announced Gebhardt (Gebs) Nikanor as a Disney Conservation Hero. Nikanor, an Education Officer at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) since 2001, was recognised for his passion and dedication to protecting wildlife and wild places in Namibia.
Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) nominated Gebs for his dedication to educating Namibian children and youth about the plight of the cheetah. He is one of only fourteen award recipients this year.
“It is such a privilege for us to know and work with Gebs. He has touched the lives of over 100,000 students, farmers, and future conservationists through his tireless commitment to community outreach on behalf of the wild cheetah,” said Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of CCF. “Gebs stands out as a shining example to all who share in his vision of environmental stewardship.”
Disney Conservation Heroes receive an award medal, recognition certificate and cash award that is shared with their nominating organisation. The DWCF annually invites non-profit organisations who have received conservation funding in the past to nominate individuals in communities around the world for their incredible conservation efforts. Since 2004, Disney has honoured 85 Conservation Heroes, including CCF’s Senior Ecologist and Education Officer, Matti Nghikembua, who was conferred this honour in 2006.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is a Namibian non-profit trust dedicated to the long-term survival of the cheetah and its ecosystems. Since 1990, the organisation has developed education and conservation programmes based on its bio-medical cheetah research studies, published over 60 scientific research papers and has presented educational programmes to more than 300,000 outreach school learners, donated over 400 livestock guarding dogs to commercial and communal farmers as part of the CCF innovative non-lethal livestock management programme, has trained over 300 conservation biologists from 15 cheetah-range countries, and has established a cheetah genome resource bank of cheetah sperm, tissue and blood samples.
Research into cheetah biology and ecology has greatly increased our understanding of the fastest land animal and education programmes for schools and the farming community help 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 big cat with ~10,000 cheetahs remaining. To learn more visit www.cheetah.org
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund works to save species and habitats and to connect kids to nature to help develop lifelong conservation values. To date, DWCF has granted more than US$20 million to support conservation programs in 112 countries. Projects chosen for funding must address a critical conservation need, contribute solid field science and incorporate community conservation education and engagement. To learn more visit disney.com/conservation.