Investing in the Future of Africa: Protecting Wildlife, Supporting Communities, Promoting Education
“Tusk and other conservation groups are now confronting the truly horrific situation affecting Africa’s elephant and rhinoceros. Both are being mercilessly and illegally poached at a rate not seen for decades. Unless this stops, these two majestic animals will be, in a few short years, but a memory in the wilds of Africa. Ladies and gentlemen, this cannot happen. We mustn’t let it.”
- HRH the Duke of Cambridge, Royal Patron of Tusk
Twenty years ago Africa was in the midst of a poaching crisis. Black rhino were on the brink of extinction (just 2,000 remained) and the African elephant population was being slaughtered at a rate of 100,000 each year for their ivory. Drastic times required urgent action.
Tusk was established in response to a critical need to halt the decline in Africa’s natural heritage, but it has since become much more than that because Tusk is also interested in people. There is no realistic way to end this poaching crisis without effecting change in the communities that live alongside the very species we strive to protect. Tusk recognizes that the resolution of conflict between a growing human population and endangered wildlife hinges on three main pillars: Protecting Wildlife, Supporting Communities, and Promoting Education. By launching initiatives with respect to these three areas, Tusk seeks to pursue an aggressive campaign for the future of Africa, its people, and its natural environment.
Through the support of Tusk and its partner organizations across Africa, greater protection has been afforded to some 36 endangered species over a combined land mass equivalent to 10 times the size of Belgium. Some of the threatened species that have benefited include the African elephant, black and white rhino, cheetah, chimpanzee, mountain and lowland gorilla, African wild dog, Grevy’s zebra, giant sable and hawksbill turtle.
In conjunction with its partners in the field, Tusk has been at the forefront of establishing and promoting community-led initiatives which link the implementation of greater security, infrastructure, healthcare and employment through responsible tourism and other nature-based enterprises with conservation. Projects supported by the charity directly employ 1,370 people and benefit over half a million others.
Tusk’s Pan African Conservation Education (PACE) Project has been designed to address a dearth in environmental education. The highly acclaimed set of teaching materials and films acts as both a tool for such education and a stimulus to adopt sound and sustainable policies. To date, over 150,000 children and students across the continent have been exposed to Tusk’s PACE program. Furthermore, Tusk provides much needed financial support to help build and improve facilities for rural schools, and other education centers across Africa. Over 72,000 students attend schools and education centers supported by Tusk.