On Earth Day 2020 the following Emergency Plan began:
Emergency African COVID Conservation Fund
Never before have African conservation interests and the safari way-of-life been threatened with such absolute failure. We must act fast to survive the crisis. Areas must remain occupied, poaching must be controlled and the stewardship of local communities must be maintained.
After consultation with leading African operator associations and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Conservation Force has establish an emergency fund to protect hunting concessions during the COVID-19 interruption. It is imperative that the concessions remain occupied and that poaching be controlled during the pandemic. Conservation Force, a 501(c)(3) public charity, will accept and distribute tax deductible contributions earmarked for particular operators and areas in Southern and Eastern African Countries which are the stronghold of most lion, leopard, elephant and other game.
Hunting operators are the custodians of the largest remaining wild areas in Africa. They hold more than half of all wild habitats in all of Africa and as much as six times more than national park protected areas. The operators not only hold the most habitat, they do the most anti-poaching on that habitat. Likewise, the habitat holds the largest remaining populations of key species like lion and lion prey.
This is how the Emergency Fund will work: Operators solicit their clientele to make earmarked, tax deductible contributions to Conservation Force (hereafter the Force). The Force acknowledges the contribution, notifies the intended operator and transfers the funds for immediate dedicated emergency use. The Operator continues to occupy the area, documents its recent anti-poaching/ community incentives practices, and provides full accounting of the use of all funds received. The Force will maintain the documentation for its proof of enhancement program and as a complement to its Operator Conservation Enhancement Questionnaire that has proven so essential to import permitting.
Conservation Force is accustomed to partnering with hunting operators to raise operator specific enhancement funding. For example, Robin Hurt Safaris in Tanzania built more than fifty (50) community schools and operated twelve (12) medical facilities, and four (4) full time anti-poaching patrols with contributions from its hunting clientele funneled through Conservation Force. Another is Charlton McCallum Safaris (CMS) of Dande Safaris Area in Zimbabwe which operates its Dande Anti-Poaching Unit (DAPU) in a CAMPFIRE area of Zimbabwe through clientele donations passed through Conservation Force. It is a shoe that fits the Force.
A specific donation form is being developed. Operators are already completing descriptions of their anti-poaching programs and concession occupancy on Conservation Force’s Operator Conservation Enhancement Questionnaire when their clients apply for trophy imports. A few, short forms are being reassembled to keep this simple for donor and operators alike and for Conservation Force administration. A file will be established and maintained for each operator as donations are received.
Do not delay: get a letter out to your clientele to donate today to you the designated operator and area.