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THE GREAT PLAINS FOUNDATION BIG CATS INITIATIVE

After 13 years, the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative is celebrating its success, understanding its experiments, and making a change to a fully managed, marketed and run NGO under the Great Plains Foundation umbrella.

Conservationists and big cat specialists Dereck and Beverly Joubert, who founded the Big Cats Initiative (BCI) and have also founded the Great Plains Foundation, are now consolidating all their conservation and community efforts under one umbrella for even greater reach for solutions to halt the decline of big cats in the wild.

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STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN,
DERECK JOUBERT

Let there be no mistake, we are in the midst of the Battle for Africa right now. We have to understand that everything is connected, and as soon as we understand that we are a part of every system on Earth, the easier it will be for us to find that balance here instead of forever being in conflict with nature, its wild animals and wild places.

We don’t have much time.  The biggest threat isn’t hunters, poachers or poison makers – it is our own complacency, the lazy hope that someone else is taking care of the great beasts of Africa.

And the real problem, as we know from E.Q. Wilson and other scientists, is that the closer we get to that extinction period, the faster it happens. You create islands of biodiversity, and as they start shrinking and isolating themselves, the genetic quality of the animals within them gets weaker and weaker, more vulnerable, and you see curves in animal populations that drop off suddenly.

We are now at a pivotal time in history, where our actions will determine the fate of some of the most iconic African animals and landscapes. We can do this. We can change the course of history and choose to protect and preserve.

Join us, the Great Plains Foundation, in ensuring a bright future for Africa’s wild places.

– Dereck Joubert

Female Rangers

Conservation areas need boots on the ground. Without these frontline rangers, poachers have it all their own way. But we often do not need armed antipoaching forces, what we need are eyes and ears. We need teams who will show up and patrol, who will understand tracks and routes and know the landscape and surrounding communities intimately and then to call in the armed teams that governments provide. And there is no reason at all that women should not be given equal opportunities to protect wildlife.

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‘Homo nosce te Ipsum’

[Man know thyself.]

“A core belief of the Great Plains Foundation is that intact planetary systems have an inherent value and we should strive to maintain that integrity – to preserve that balance. Equally, when the systems we rely on are broken, we have a responsibility to rescue them, to maintain them, and to work towards steadily recovering the balance that has been unsettled. Stemming from this belief, we resolve that the role of Great Plains Conservation and the Great Plains Foundation is to Preserve, Rescue, and Recover landscapes, wildlife, and communities in Africa.”