The Wyss Foundation recently announced a commitment of $108M to African Parks, a conservation NGO that manages protected areas on behalf of governments across the continent.
This transformational commitment is part of Wyss Foundation’s Wyss Campaign for Nature, a $1B investment in helping nations, NGO’s and indigenous communities conserve 30% of the planet by 2030. It is one of the largest single gifts ever made to the conservation of Protected Areas in Africa.
“We are in a race against time to save Africa’s wildlife and wild places,” said Hansjörg Wyss, Founder and Chairman of The Wyss Foundation. “Multiple and compounding threats, including deforestation, illegal mining, poaching, and wildlife trafficking among others have imperilled Africa’s lands, waters, and wildlife – some of the most awe-inspiring on Earth. Only by working with governments and local people can we protect natural areas for the benefit of people and wildlife across the African continent. By supporting African Parks, I know that funding is being used effectively to help nations and communities protect nature and their economy now, not tomorrow.”
The Foundation’s commitment will be made over an initial five-year period to support up to half of the annual budgets of nine existing parks currently under African Parks’ management in Zimbabwe, Angola, Benin, Malawi, Mozambique and Rwanda; as well as support the addition of five new parks (which are yet to be identified) and up to two-thirds of their annual budgets. The grant overall serves a critical need in long-term and sustainable, multi-year financing, providing critical support for a park’s operating budget, which can vary between $1.5M to $4M per year.
Speaking on the support Mr Peter Fearnhead the CEO of African Parks said, “It’s hopeful and inspiring to see the impact one individual can have, with intent and clarity of purpose in wanting to help protect the planet.”
Fearnhead said the partnership forged with the Wyss Foundation is helping secure some of the most threatened but globally significant landscapes on Earth.
“What is not being managed will be lost, and once lost, these areas and their ecological functions are essentially impossible to restore. What Mr. Wyss’s commitment does is help secure these threatened areas now, it inspires other actors to get involved, and paves the way for a green and sustainable future for humans and wildlife alike,” he said.
African Parks, a conservation organization founded in 2000, takes on the direct, long-term management responsibility of national parks and protected areas in partnership with governments to protect wildlife, restore landscapes and ensure sustainable livelihoods for local communities. With 19 parks in 11 countries under African Parks management, their conservation footprint spans over 14.7 million hectares which is the largest amount of area under conservation for any one NGO on the continent. Their goal is to directly manage 30 parks by 2030, measuring 30 million hectares, safeguarding globally significant biodiversity and ensuring that vast ecosystems function in order to sequester carbon, deliver clean air, water and food security, provide stability, and economic, socio-political and ecological benefits for millions of people.
The Wyss Foundation is a private, charitable organization dedicated to supporting innovative, lasting solutions that improve lives, empower communities, and strengthen connections to the land. In 2018, the foundation launched the Wyss Campaign for Nature, a 10-year, $1 billion commitment by Mr Hansjörg Wyss – the Wyss Foundation’s founder and chairman – to help protect at least 30 percent of the planet by 2030.