The Challenge

Rapidly growing populations combined with low-level conservation threatens Africa’s wildlife and ecosystems

Dear Reader

I am delighted to be able to introduce membership to an extraordinary travel and ‘conservation legacy’ concept. As an environmental enterprise WP is about helping you create meaningful conservation legacies by guiding you to, and investing in, wilderness. WP offers its members both ‘special access’ travel opportunities to Africa’s most beautiful, and yet endangered ecosystems, and the ability to build robust conservation investment proposals for the journey beyond. Travel with Wild Philanthropy will be to see Africa through a new lens, as well as an opportunity to invest in sustainable conservation economies for the longer term. This is where the real adventure begins.

In addition to the travel membership benefits WP provides feasibility studies and business proposals on the ground, as well as annual reporting on your individual conservation legacy objectives. WP is all about impact reporting ensuring you are clear on the environmental, social and financial blends we will be discussing. A % of your membership fee will be donated to the Wild Philanthropy Trust which has the potential to generate $750k annually through the group, enough to cover the operational costs of three significant conservation areas and over 2 million hectares of wild African ecosystem.

After fifteen years of running Journeys by Design, Wild Philanthropy was born. We have, together, the opportunity to put back, as a business, into the resource on which the specialist African safari market has depended (dare I say ‘depleted’). As an environmental scientist it is my stated ambition that membership to WP will generate enough revenue to cover the operational costs of three significant ecosystems covering over 2 million hectares of wild Africa. I hope you will agree with me that this is a meaningful conservation legacy which we can achieve in your lifetime with your help, and my steerage as CEO of both WP and JbD.

We have, very worryingly, as little as ten years before we need to re-stock ‘wild’ Africa and to reverse the tragic decline in large mammal populations through the unprecedented degradation of key wilderness and conservation areas. Some estimate that we may see the extinction of the lion in ten years, elephant in fifteen. 

We are therefore (urgently) looking for 50 extraordinary people to partner with Wild Philanthropy to start the journey of a lifetime to appreciate Africa in all her glory, and nurture and replenish her stocks. This is, ultimately, about the world we hand to our children. On the current trajectory what does the world that your grandchildren inherit look like to you?

Crucially WP holds a central database of land opportunities, relevant ground skills and local charity analysis. Using travel as a portal (note that we will pass on all travel at cost to our members through our sister company Journeys by Design) we will make relevant ‘campfire’ introductions to key ecosystem management teams, possibly as part of a classic safari journey. Beyond the initial travel opportunity we will help you build your conservation legacy through sustainable conservation business models for any project of ongoing interest. Ultimately our core intellectual capital is locked deep within the hands of these complex partnerships and landscape experts that cannot be measured, compared or commoditised.

In addition the trust will be used to fund costly marketing exercises on behalf of the respective ecosystem projects. This is an area where local conservation and tourism teams have traditionally struggled and fallen short. However with the shared databases of Journeys by Design we are able to give projects and investments significant traction in the market place towards achieving sustainable economics.

I’d like to take you by the hand on a completely new type of adventure to Africa. Your engagement in this unique project will be, quite literally, the journey of a lifetime.

 

Will Jones

CEO/ Wild Philanthropy

 

THE CRISIS

The conservation of Africa’s wildlife sits very low on the national agenda for most of the continent’s governments. Understandably, priorities lie with education, health and economic development. This, combined with a booming population, effectively means the future of Africa’s wildlife is bleak, including those animals surviving within government-run national parks and reserves.

The problem is further compounded by woefully inadequate funding of environmental charities. With the exception of a handful of foundations in the US and UK, the new philanthropy of the last decade has been overwhelmingly focused on human and social welfare issues.

The wildernesses are disappearing. For the first time, Wild Philanthropy is about providing a clear and formal channel through which wealthy individuals can strategically invest in this better future for Africa’s people and wildlife.

However, despite the critical situation, considerable opportunities exist to support significant tracks of land that would help secure the future of Africa’s wildlife. Because ultimately, wildlife may only survive on private land, or, more sustainably, on community-leased land, where efforts are supported and protected by enlightened philanthropists running projects on a professional, commercial footing. To achieve success, the value of wildlife must be highlighted and communities directly benefit in terms of finance and long-term ownership. And while tourism alone is rarely the answer to long-term sustainable revenue streams, it does play a part. Alternative, top-up funds are invariably required through micro-finance initiatives.

The travel industry has played its part in the demise and degradation of the African ecosystem. Poor tourism controls have left vulnerable landscapes and species at risk. The future of travel must be mindful of this.

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