Activities of our organization are vast and include engaging in conservation, rehabilitation or protection of the natural environment, including flora, fauna or the biosphere, spreading into some of the following:
1. Funding of research projects, including the Cheetah Wildlife Research Project; Cape Mountain Zebra research project;
2. Annual grants to Conservation Force, an international organization with main objectives being wildlife conservation, education and research;
3. Donations in respect of anti-poaching projects towards EWT; Wildlands Conservation Trust and SANPARKS;
4. Donations to SA Wildlife College for training in conservation management courses of students from previously disadvantaged communities. More than 700 students have been trained over the past 5 years.
5. Conservation related material for educational purposes to Magqubu Ntombela Foundation;
6. Professional hunter training courses for students from previously disadvantaged communities.
PHASA JOINS CRUSADE TO SECURE SA’S THREATENED RHINOS
In joining the crusade to try and help secure South Africa’s rhino populations against poachers, the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA), this month donated R160 000 to the Wildlands Conservation Trust to support current efforts towards alleviating the tremendous pressure that poaching is placing on this iconic species.
This donation was made in direct response to the call made at the recent Lead SA Rhino Summit for environmental groups to work together to conserve rhino. “With close on 200 rhinos having been poached in national parks and game reserves this year alone - the highest level seen in the country in 15 years – PHASA’s donation to Wildlands will go directly towards the conservation of black and white rhino in the Somkhanda Game Reserve and in expanding rhino habitat throughout northern KwaZulu Natal,” said Adri Kitshoff, Chief Executive Officer of PHASA.
Created by the Gumbi community after a successful land claim in 2005, the reserve comprises 16,000ha of land which was consolidated into a new conservation area with assistance from the Wildlands Conservation Trust and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF-SA). This area represents one of the last remaining areas suitable for Black Rhino range expansion in KwaZulu-Natal. In acknowledgement of this, WWF-SA together with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, introduced a small black rhino population into the reserve. The population is doing extremely well, with proof of two new calves being picked up this month through motion detection cameras.
The area being supported has been incorporated under the biodiversity stewardship program and will be proclaimed as a Nature Reserve later this year. This will be the first reserve to be proclaimed on restituted land and represents a major achievement in ‘conservation by the people’. Wildlands currently employs a dedicated rhino conservation team who not only monitor the rhino population inside the reserve, but who also serve as ambassadors for the rhino population in the neighbouring communities.
As the largest professional hunting association in the world, PHASA actively participates in the formulation of conservation policy in South Africa in partnership with government and non-governmental organizations and in consultation with an international network of affiliated bodies. The latest donation to Wildlands builds on this partnership and illustrates a commitment to conserving biodiversity and bringing additional land under formal conservation.
“Over the past four years we have raised in excess of R5-million which has directly supported the training of protected areas managers at the Southern African Wildlife College and more recently we have contributed some R350 000 to anti-poaching efforts. This, we believe clearly demonstrates PHASA’s commitment to conservation and to the ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources through appropriate wildlife management,” said Kitshoff.
Issued by: PHASA, Adri Kitshoff
Contact: 012 667 2048 / 083 650 0442
Date: 17 September 2010
Photo 1 (from left/right)
Hans Vermaak: Director of the Fund & Executive Committee Member
Adri Kitshoff: CEO, PHASA
Roelie Kloppers, Programme Manager, Wildlands Conservation Trust