The combination of conservation and sustainable use of wildlife in South Africa, over the past five decades, unfolded as a monumental success story!
The increase in the country-wide population numbers of all species, in particular those considered huntable game, is a proud achievement that is now being studied and introduced in other parts of Africa.
To ensure the continuation of past successes and to build on these proud results in the 21st century, the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) recognizes the requirement for further pro-active involvement by encouraging and promoting broad acceptance of the two proven recipes that will safeguard and sustain our wildlife and its habitat for this and future generations!
- The first recipe is by giving wild animals a value and allowing private ownership and trade in them. This has enabled wildlife to successfully compete economically with other conventional land uses and farming. There is now far more land and wild animals in private ownership than on state owned reserves.
- The second means to ensure our continued success and to maintain our status as world leaders in this field, is to have well trained wildlife managers – both in the field and very importantly, also in government administrations. It is these people on whom the responsibility will rest to service the private sector and give sound advice, and it is also these people who will have to take the lead in future in the running of our prized national parks and wildlife areas. PHASA wants to ensure that our country has the expertise in wildlife management to carry on with the high standards set in the past.
If our conservation education system cannot deliver these managers and specialists, all conservation in South Africa will suffer. The wildlife and wild spaces are a valued asset and heritage of all citizens of the Rainbow Nation and we need to put the perception to rest, that our natural treasures are only for the rich or for foreign tourists.
To this end, PHASA, with the financial backing from it Conservation and Empowerment Fund and with the support of the Peace Parks Foundation and the SA Wildlife College held the forth gala fundraising evening to raise internationally recognized bursaries for select students from all ethnic groups, to study Wildlife Management at the Southern African Wildlife College at Hoedspruit.
- This college is administered and funded jointly by WWF-SA and the Peace Parks Foundation and trains wildlife managers from all Southern African countries. The inaugural gala dinner was held on the 11th May 2007, it was a huge success and raised just under R800 000-00, in 2008 the second gala dinner raised an amount just shy of R1000 000-00, the third annual dinner held in 2009 raised an amount of R1400 000-00 and the forth gala dinner in 2010 raised a record amount of R2 045 800-00. In 2011 it raised an amount of R1 500 000-00, 2012 an amount of R1 300 000-00 and 2013 we raised R1 100 000-00. The benefits from these evenings are currently being experienced. A detailed report is available from the SA Wildlife College in Hoedspruit.
We would like to invite you or your company, to support this initiative ensuring that our wildlife heritage continues to be wisely managed for all South Africans for generations to come. Your financial support - whether it's a direct contribution to the fund, donation of an auction item or the purchase of tickets - will benefit your BEE scorecard in the fields of training, and social upliftment.
The PHASA Conservation and Empowerment Fund will ensure that all funds raised are used for bursaries, valued at R50 000 each. All proceeds raised on the evening will be earmarked for the benefit of the SA Wildlife College. The cost of attending the “African Wildlife Heritage Gala Dinner” is R1000-00 per ticket per person. Tables of 10 seats are available. Your contribution is a high return investment into the future of conservation in our country.