September 2015 – Wilderness Safaris recently held a conservation workshop at its Johannesburg office for a delegation from the Scout Association of Hong Kong, in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute and Captured in Africa Exclusive Safaris.
The event included presentations on key conservation issues affecting Africa and the rest of the world by various speakers, including Wilderness Safaris co-founder, Russel Friedman. Discussing the important role tourism plays in conservation, Friedman highlighted the company’s commitment to its 4Cs sustainability model of Conservation, Commerce, Community and Culture; stressing how these vital concepts underpin all Wilderness Safaris operations in order to protect the wildlife areas it operates in.
“We were delighted to have this opportunity to engage with this enlightened group of students on important environmental issues affecting the continent and the planet. Sharing our knowledge about building sustainable conservation economies in Africa and the various challenges we face will hopefully help to inspire future wildlife ambassadors in Asia”, said Friedman.
Rosana Ng, Senior Manager at the Jane Goodall Institute in Hong Kong explained that the purpose of the trip to South Africa was for the seven Scouts, all winners of the ‘Messengers of Nature’ campaign, to personally experience the wildlife of Africa and fully understand the issues of species extinction and poaching.
The ‘Messengers of Nature’ competition focused on raising awareness around the Asian demand for wildlife products. The winning presentation addressed topics such as habitat loss, deforestation, over population and the human impact on the environment.
“The prize of six days in the Kruger National Park was an important driver for the students to change the perspective of Asian demand. They will now return to Hong Kong and complete a follow-up to the first short movie they produced as part of the campaign, spreading the important message of conservation through various social media platforms”, Ng added.
The students collectively shared that this experience had encouraged them to strongly echo the message of environmentalism back home and were enthusiastic about creating better awareness through various educational programmes in Hong Kong.
Wilderness Safaris, as a leading eco-tourism company with over three decades of conservation expertise, was able to share some of its experience in this field at the workshop. The Botswana Rhino Conservation Project, as well as other initiatives driven by Wilderness Wildlife Trust and Children in the Wilderness, highlighted the positive impact tourism can have on conservation. Wilderness Safaris is proud to have supported this knowledge-sharing event in the hope of encouraging the group of Scouts to achieve their goals in Asia.