MARA ELEPHANT PROJECT (MEP)
The area where I undoubtedly spent most of my time during the creation of this new Print Collection is the Masai Mara. It was therefore a no-brainer to choose for the Mara Elephant Project as the beneficiary of my work. The impact of the important work they are doing in the field stretches far and wide within the entire Greater Mara Ecosystem (GME).
The Mara Elephant Project (MEP), established in 2011, envisions the existence of a stable elephant population co-existing peacefully with people in the entire region. They have more than 10 years of experience with applied research and boots on the ground, all the while taking a collaborative approach that completely disrupted poaching in the region and directly combatted conflict and habitat loss.
Elephants are a keystone species to this ecosystem and when poaching emerged as the number one threat in 2012, MEP took action to successfully combat this global threat. Today, the drastic expansion of the human footprint in the region is causing devastating loss of habitat, which means MEP must expand its mission and goals to save the Mara’s wildlife and wild spaces.
Their approach of monitor, evaluate and protect, has proven to be very successful. In the last decade, MEP focused on teaching, training and employing Maasai men and women to be first responders to save wild life and wild space in the Mara region. By purchasing any print from my newest Collection that has been photographed in or around the Masai Mara, you are contributing to empowering this incredible organization to keep doing their important work.
CONSERVATION LOWER ZAMBEZI (CLZ)
During the creation of this Print Collection, I spend considerable time in Zambia, mostly in an area that is called Lower Zambezi National Park. During my time on ground, I worked together with several ranger units within the region and I learned first-hand about the crucial importance of community empowerment and environmental education in the protection and conservation of wild land. I was so impressed by the determination and passion of all the incredible Zambian people, that I chose Conservation Lower Zambezi as one of the beneficiaries of this new collection.
Conservation Lower Zambezi is a non-profit organization founded in 1994, that ever since the early days has grown and increased its activities and efforts in the region enormously. Not only has CLZ’s support to DNPW (Department of National Parks and Wildlife) increased substantially over the years, the organisation now also runs an Environmental Education Programme, Community Scout Units, a Community Engagement Programme, several specialised units like a Detection and Tracking Dog Unit, a Rapid Response Unit and, several Investigative and Intelligence Units.
By purchasing one of the prints photographed in Zambia, you are directly helping to ensure that CLZ’s Environmental Education Program keeps being funded, which means that school children and teachers from 65 conservation clubs from local rural communities can stay educated about the importance of wildlife conservation. But your support goes much further than that. Think of anti-snare campaigns, the construction of hippo fences, the continuation of human/wildlife conflict patrols, the education of farmers on the use of chili-fences as mitigation methods to deter elephants from their fields, safari guide training and many crucial reintroduction and research projects that benefit wildlife in the entire region.
But it’s even getting better. Because your support also directly benefits Zambia’s first all-female ranger unit, called Kufadza (‘inspired’ in Goba language) which tells a very important story in an industry which has historically been dominated by men. This industry now also recognizes the importance of equality and the value women bring to the protection of natural resources. Because climate change and environmental degradation have disproportionate impacts for women who play a considerable role in environmental management, yet they have often been left out of the decision-making process. Investing in women directly leads to development improvement, poverty reduction and children experiencing better nutrition, health, and school attendance.
LAIKIPIA CONSERVANCIES ASSOCIATION (LCA)
During the creation of this Print Collection, I spend significant time in the presence of rhinos. I mostly operated in Solio Ranch, a 17.500 acres reserve on the Laikipia plateau in Central Kenya, and a safe haven for rhino conservation. Because I deeply believe in the philosophy that people should always be put first in the conservation of wild places, I started to look around for an organization that does exactly that within the Laikipia region, one of the most important wildlife areas in all of Kenya. Also, I wanted to find a beneficiary that plays an important role in safeguarding rhinos as a species within the ‘entire’ region.
The Laikipia Conservancies Association is a member-led organization established in 2019, with the goal of bringing together several conservancies in Laikipia to address common challenges and by doing so, amplify individual impact. Their mission is to create a connected and well-managed landscape that conserves nature and improves people’s lives.
By purchasing one of the prints that supports the Laikipia Conservancies Association you are directly helping to ensure that local economies are supported, social partnerships can be maintained and important ecological restoration work can be done. All of which will eventually benefit wildlife, and in specific rhino conservation all across the region.