Global Theme: “March Against Extinction”
According to Rosemary Alles co-founder and president of The Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions in South Africa, “The heart of the overarching failure of conservation in Africa is the disengagement of indigenous communities from the conversation about conservation.”
Undoubtedly, Western and Asian markets and legal passage through countries of elephant ivory, rhino horn, lion bone, and pangolin scales escalate the demise of these important and iconic species as well as human encroachment on wild territories and unregulated hunting practices like the canned hunting that happens to large carnivores on our borders in South Africa.
Nevertheless, at the heart of the overarching failure of conservation in Africa is the disengagement of indigenous communities from the conversation about conservation.
If conservation in Africa is to succeed, parity must be established between emerging indigenous voices passionate about Africa’s wild heritage and western voices doing good work.
Our conversations about conservation must depart from being moralistic to experiential. To speak up with one voice for justice for all we will need to reach as many different communities as possible in record time.
The animals are fast disappearing at a rate of 27,000 species of plant and animal a year. Many eco-systems are collapsing and we need to take stock.
The animals we love demand it; the humans who are our brothers and sisters call for it.
This powerful and symbolic activation takes place across the globe annually, with people gathering together to celebrate and lobby for national and global efforts to conserve the natural heritage of our lands. Over 100 cities in the world come out in their MARCHING best to observe this day.
Botswana is an active participant in this global activation with about 1000 walkers recorded in Gaborone and 1000 in Kasane in 2016 and over BWP 300 000.00 raised towards the country’s conservation projects. This year, Batswana in Gaborone, Kasane and Maun will be MARCHING once again.
Funds generated from the Gaborone – leg of the MARCH have been entrusted to the Tlhokomela Botswana Endangered Wildlife Trust.
The funds have been most significant in rolling out the trust’s scope of work by Rhino Conservation Botswana and Elephants Without Borders who ensure the collaring, welfare and general studying of wildlife populations in Botswana.
It has also assisted with the training, equipping and welfare of personnel that serve the Department of Wildlife and National Parks and the Anti-Poaching Unit.
Botswana is recognized in the global community as an outstanding and exemplary success story in wildlife conservation and tourism diversification.
This accolade comes with the handsome responsibility of ensuring the sustainability of the wildlife and ecosystems that continue to draw thousands of domestic, regional and international tourists to our country.
This year, all proceeds will again be entrusted to Tlhokomela Botswana Endangered Wildlife Trust to redirect towards conservation and children.
We are directing a spotlight on conservation of elephants, rhinos and lions and this year, and most importantly, bringing the spotlight on one of the most hunted animal species on the African and Asian continents -the Pangolin.
These species and areas or interests are represented by three other beneficiary charities identified by our team>: Children in The Wilderness, Khama Rhino Sanctuary and the Tlhokomela Botswana Endangered Wildlife Trust itself.