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Wildlife Africa Conservation Team (Wildlife ACT) is a dedicated, hands-on conservation team that runs some of the most important endangered wildlife research monitoring projects in Southern Africa. We actively help endangered species by initiating, implementing and managing monitoring projects on game reserves in need of such interventions, or by taking over existing monitoring projects on reserves that can no longer fund or manage them. This makes Wildlife ACT unique! We fund these initiatives through our volunteer programme, and give our team members unsurpassed training and involvement in the day-to-day conservation monitoring efforts in one of the world’s most beautiful wildlands.
Member since: 15 Apr 2009
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
- 50% of all our staff employed hail from local communities surrounding the reserves we work in. Along with this we are presently a Satisfactory Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Contributor as stipulated by the South African Department of Environment and Tourism. We strive to support other BEE compliant companies in whatever procurement we may have. Structured within our workforce is a learnership programme, whereby we train aspirant local community members to break into the conservation field, and in so doing build up valuable experience and skills needed to further their careers.
- 10% of Wildlife ACT profits goes towards our Wildlife ACT FUND, which help fund local community upliftment initiatives and the purchase of VHF collars and the collaring of priority species to enhance monitoring efforts on reserves we work on.
- 100% of all a volunteers’ money, when booking directly with us, goes directly to Wildlife ACT. This goes towards payment our learnership programmes, salaries, equipment, fuel, food, accommodation and the procurement of new reserves to establish monitoring projects.
- We take every measure to make sure that we do as little harm to the planet while doing our monitoring work, which includes being energy and resource efficient (light bulbs, geyser covers, natural based cleaning products, rain water capturing, recycling initiatives and motorbike based monitoring when no volunteers are around). We also educate our team members on how to live a more sustainable life once they leave to go back home.
- We work in an incredibly fragile and complex ecosystem in Southern Africa. Our work is focused on saving biodiversity through the preservation of critically endangered species. These species act as umbrellas, meaning that the conservation of these high profile species has a spin-off effect of the preservation of large tracts of land and hence the conservation of biodiversity in these systems.
- We are painfully aware that our mere presence is a burden on this biodiversity, and therefore institute measures to limit our impact as much as we can. While doing so we are continually showing our volunteers that travel with us environmentally sustainable techniques for conserving our natural heritage – whether this is recycling or saving water.
- Responsible travel includes making sure your travel improves the lives of the communities you visit. We have a unique learnership programme, which helps talented local community members join our 6 month working internship with our highly qualified monitors. After the programme is completed we employ them ourselves, or help find them work within the conservation sector.
- A big stumbling block in conservation is the fact that conservation efforts often neglect to take the social impact of local communities into account. It is our belief that conservation is only sustainable if the local community benefits from conservation. Our learnership programme is an example of how we bring social and conservations needs together.
- Suggest ways to minimise negative impacts on local cultures and consider whether or not you are giving the best possible advice about bargaining.
- Suggest destination visits to appropriate local social projects with direct or indirect benefits to the host community