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The Ranger will be relied on by the project team to enhance the EWT’s environmental awareness and education initiatives across South Africa to address the myriad of human-induced challenges we face – including the impact of climate change, degradation of ecosystems, and the loss of plant and animal species.
“Our People in Conservation (PIC) Programme places people at the heart of conservation, both in terms of fostering partnerships and collaborations to address these challenges, but also to ensure that people across socio-economic strata benefit through conservation,” says Jenny Botha, EWT People in Conservation programme manager.
“We are grateful for the Ford Wildlife Foundation’s support of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s People in Conservation Programme through the provision of the Ford Ranger,” Botha says. “Having a reliable and robust vehicle is essential as we spend a lot of time on the road travelling to communities across South Africa.
“This vehicle will enable us to implement critically important projects across the country to address not only environmental challenges but also contribute to the well-being of people living in our areas of operation,” she adds. “The vision of our programme is a world in which resilient communities thrive alongside nature’, and this vehicle will go a long way towards helping us realise that vision.”
The wide-ranging projects within the PIC programme include improved water management, prevention and mitigation of wildlife crime, introducing climate-smart agriculture, promoting effective community management of natural resources, and creating livelihood opportunities through nature-based and conservation initiatives.
Additionally, the PIC team supports education at schools around South Africa, focusing on Natural Sciences and Life Sciences subjects. The EWT also supports partners in developing land and biodiversity initiatives in Gauteng, which is particularly important given the substantial land and resource pressures in the country’s smallest but most densely populated province.
“All of these initiatives are even more critical now that people in these areas are experiencing extensive job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Botha states. “This exacerbates the already high levels of poverty, which in turn may lead to increased impacts on the environment as people turn to natural resources to survive.”
In addition to the People in Conservation Programme, the Ford Wildlife Foundation supports several other EWT projects with loan Ford Rangers, including the Drylands Conservation Programme; Cheetah Metapopulation Project; Wildlife and Transport Programme; Threatened Amphibian Programme; Carnivore Conservation Programme; and the SA Cranes, Communities, and Wetlands Project.
“Engaging, educating and involving communities in protecting our threatened habitats and species is crucial to ensure we preserve our rich natural heritage and develop a culture of conservation and sustainability,” says Lynda du Plessis, manager of the FWF. “The work that the EWT People in Conservation team does is vital for our future, and we are proud to be able to support them with a Ford Ranger to help them reach more people across South Africa.”
For over 30 years, Ford South Africa has actively been involved in the conservation of wildlife and ecosystems in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. The Ford Wildlife Foundation (FWF), which was established in 2014, continues Ford’s long-standing support of conservation projects in Southern Africa by providing ‘Built Ford Tough’ 4x4 Ranger Double Cabs to partner organisations. During the two-year loan period, the vehicles are monitored and serviced by Ford's extensive dealer network to ensure optimum performance and efficiency.
For more information on the EWT People in Conservation Programme, visit: