It’s late Monday evening at the World Parks Congress and there is a party booming outside on the lawn. Despite the late hour, upstairs in Hall 2, Pod North is crammed with people. Organised by SOS – Save Our Species, this event featured a selection of grantees presenting on their work.
Delivered in 5 minute presentations to a packed house, those attending traveled around the world to a variety of protected areas, ushered by a panoply of frontline conservationists.
Starting in the Pacific with Hammerhead Sharks before visiting African chimpanzees, dugongs, cycads and freshwater fish, the 90 minute presentation dropped in on a selection of South East Asian mammals, a check-in with the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Programme in Papua New Guinea before ending on a high note on community oriented bird conservation in the Peruvian Andes.
Featuring speakers including Gregory Andrews, the Threatened Species High Commissioner for Australia, the presentation aimed to draw some key lessons learned from grantees as well as to highlight some of the more notable conservation successes supported by SOS funding.
Meanwhile, the floor was opened for questions and contributions from attendees.
Speakers at the event included Andy Bystrom PRETOMA: Working with small-scale fishers to create coastal multi-use marine protected areas located in critical Hammerhead Shark reproduction zones in Costa Rica. More information about this project is available by clicking here.
Dr. Harriet Davies Mostert, Endangered Wildlife Trust: Supporting park management through enhanced law enforcement to protect the Dugongs of Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, Mozambique. And mitigating threats to the Clanwilliam Sandfish in the Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve, South Africa. More information about these projects is available by here and here.
Lisa Dabek, Woodland Park Zoo: Delivering community benefits through land use planning focused on Tree Kangaroo conservation in YUS Conservation Area, Papua New Guinea. More information about this project is available by clicking here.
Annemarie Goedemakers CHIMBO: How Chimpanzee conservation is substantially contributing to the establishment and management of the future Boé National Park Guinea Bissau. More information about this project is available here.
Mike Parr ABC Birds: The White-bellied Cinclodes of Peru: the reason for the creation of a novel protected area in the Andes. More information about this project is available here.
Reflecting on the evening's presentations, Jean-Christophe Vié noted " most of us were impressed by the amazing reports from the grantees and the concrete conservation outcomes of their projects.
"There was news of improving trends in species population, reductions in threats, benefits for communities in terms of alternative livelihoods and most pertinently, better protected area management.
"Furthermore at least two of our grantees have now accessed larger grants acknowledging SOS funding as performing an instrumental role in that process."
Help SOS Protect More Species
Protecting threatened species is critical because we are protecting parts of our life support system. Wildlife and nature supply us with so many basic necessities from food to fuel and shelter, but also inspiration in art, language and design to name but a few examples. Right now we are protecting more than 200 species please contribute to SOS to help us continue to protect more of our natural heritage.