South Africans unite in a quest to save their wildlife: Ecotourism in focus

South Africans unite in a quest to save their wildlife: Ecotourism in focus

Written by Staff Writer

22/09/2021

By Pieter Twine, General Manager at MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet

 

South Africans have always shown resilience, it’s in our DNA, and despite these challenging times, we have shown that we are a country that unites to help those who cannot help themselves. You don’t always need large amounts of money to give back where you can, this is evident by the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet give back programme.

 

MyPlanet Rhino Fund

MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet recently reported that since its launch of the MyPlanet Rhino Fund in 2011, a specific fund started by MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, to support rhino conservation through best practice initiatives and good governance, over R19-million has been given back to help the fight against rhino poaching. Highlights of investments include establishing K9 anti-poaching units, LPR camera networks, air surveillance capability, investments in mobile radar capability, night vision equipment, all-terrain vehicles, training of rangers, security technology, orphaned rhino care, dehorning of high-risk animals in key locations and much more.

Now celebrating its tenth year of existence, the MyPlanet Rhino Fund has come a long way since raising just R37 in its first month. 

 

Actively Combating Poaching 

Over R19-million donated in 10 years, and over 48 000 supporters, is proof that South Africans want to play an active role in protecting rhinos from poaching. Through establishing the MyPlanet Rhino Fund, South Africans have been given the opportunity to make a tangible contribution to the worthy cause. More often than not, people want to play active roles in conservation, and giving back in general, but aren’t sure where to start. This is where the power of one card can make such a difference. A convenient and free way to effect change.

While the recent statistics around poaching are more positive than other years, the long-term effects of increased poaching cannot be ignored and now is the time to fight harder than ever to keep the momentum going.

 

Keeping Our Rangers Employed 

A new challenge that was seen last year, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, resulted in a greater focus to ensure rangers were kept employed and families supported to retain the skills in conservation. Many reserves in South Africa faced financial pressure to provide food for populations in their care and without tourism income reserves could not make ends meet. The financial support provided by the MyPlanet Rhino Fund during these times was a lifeline for many rhino populations, rangers and their families depended on wildlife tourism.   

Another example of work being done is by the WWF, one of the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet beneficiaries, which recently gave 17 black rhinos new homes in Malawi. As it stands, there are only 5 500 black rhinos left in the world, so moving them from potentially dangerous situations to a more secure, less threatening environment is critical. Another initiative is the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. The centre looks after rescued rhinos, who are in need of food, veterinary care and protection to survive. Every single rhino counts, and due to this the centre is under pressure to expand their facilities to accommodate any animal that needs rehabilitation. 

 

Protecting Our Ecotourism Sector 

Rhinos are critical to the survival of our ecotourism sector. Rhino conservation is about so much more than only the wildlife. More broadly, it is about safeguarding South Africa’s global tourism footprint – a footprint that contributes significantly to the national economy and which has a powerful impact on the sustainability of thousands of jobs in the sector. 

Everyone should be part of a focused intervention for conservation and it’s so simple – join MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, for free and choose the MyPlanet Rhino fund as the cause you would like to support. Every time you swipe your MySchool card at one of their retail partners, in store or online, the retail partner will give a percentage of your spend back to helping our rhinos

Simply download the MySchool app, go click here or SMS ‘JOIN Rhino’ to 31231.

 

*Check out the latest edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication here.

For enquiries, regarding being profiled or showcased in the next edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication, please contact National Project Manager, Emlyn Dunn: 

Telephone: 086 000 9590 |  Mobile: 072 126 3962 |  e-Mail: [email protected]

 

 

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