‘Designed to bridge the gap between an impossible now and a post-Covid world, the Fund aims to ensure that people’s jobs are protected so that the wildernesses they look after are also protected.’
– Paul Herbertson, CEO Journeys by Design and Wild Philanthropy
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, our sister charity Wild Philanthropy launched the African Tourism Crisis Fund. It is designed to support the very lifeblood of African travel: the local communities who make travelling to Africa such a special experience.
The effect of the crisis at its height has been a complete halt in all travel. As a result, as Wild Philanthropy’s Paul Herbertson reports, ‘wildlife reserves, parks, private concessions and community-run conservancies are having to adopt sweeping barebones programmes. Salaries cut, projects frozen, and thoughts of sustainable growth shelved, the aim, like everywhere, is to get through the crisis. For Africa’s wildernesses, this spells disaster, as the value of wildlife and its natural habitat falls as people become increasingly desperate, and so take – as in times of war or famine – to stripping them of their resources, whether that’s wood for fuel, indiscriminately grazing wild lands, hunting for personal consumption, or trading in animal parts.’
Like furlough schemes in operation in the likes of the UK, US and many other parts of the world, the African Tourism Crisis Fund is designed to mitigate the effect of the crisis by providing on-the-ground ecobusinesses with $5,000 donations to help pay the salaries of rangers and other camp and lodge staff. For details for how to help, please see here.