Who we Are

 
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Our Story

The story of Great Plains Conservation and its Foundation has its roots in the earliest days of conservation; when the idea of protecting pristine wilderness was recognized as a public good. From those early models of conservation came the notion that to truly protect wilderness the entire ecosystem needed to be preserved.  It is this approach, maintaining and when necessary restoring, functioning ecosystems that guides Great Plains Conservation and its Foundation.

Founded as a hybrid organization, with both commercial and charitable arms, Great Plains Conservation and its Foundation are to securing African landscapes of a scale large enough to also protect its resident and seasonal wildlife populations. In that effort, we identify and select key areas that are under threat, often next to national parks, World Heritage Sites, and reserves, and acquire the rights to convert that land to protected areas with economic benefits. For example, we convert hunting land or agricultural land to wildlife conservation supported by photographic tourism. Our collection of world-class safari camps are also global leaders in sustainability, demonstrating that commercial operations can positively benefit landscapes when done correctly.

Great Plains and its Foundation currently manage approximately 1,000,000 acres with plans to expand to 5,000,000 acres across a variety of fragile landscapes.

Our Approach

The Great Plains Foundation is a US 501(c)3 organization with a mission is to conserve and expand natural habitats in Africa through innovative conservation initiatives with a long-term commitment to the environment, wildlife, and local communities. The Foundation works in parallel with the conservation-tourism parent company, Great Plains Conservation, to realize this mission through conservation education programs, community initiatives, and wildlife and environmental stewardship in Botswana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. All of the Great Plains Foundation activities are supported by charitable and in-kind donations.

Our Team

Dereck & Beverly Joubert

Founders & Chairman

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are award-winning filmmakers, photographers, conservationists, and National Geographic Explorers-at-Large, who have been exploring, observing, and championing wild places in Africa for over 30 years. As founders of the Great Plains Foundation, Dereck and Beverly are preserving and protecting the fragile ecosystems they care so deeply about.

Anna Rathmann

Director

Anna Rathmann uses her experience working in the philanthropy and conservation industries to ensure natural habitats in Southern Africa thrive while the communities who rely on them are supported. Anna began her career in conservation as a United States National Park Ranger in Yellowstone National Park and later spent more than a decade with the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC.

Jacqui Usher

Treasurer

Jacqui Usher serves as the Treasurer of the Great Plains Foundation and the CFO of Great Plains Conservation; applying her finance and accounting expertise to both enterprises. With a background in complex business structures and a passion for charitable work, Jacqui ensures the financial health of the Great Plains Foundation’s conservation programs.

Sarah Boeckmann

Secretary

Sarah Boeckmann fuses her extensive understanding of the travel and tourism industry with her background in international development, having worked previously with groups including the World Bank, UNICEF, and USAID to further the goals and objectives of the Great Plains Foundation demonstrating the critical role tourism plays in conservation efforts

Vanessa Stephen

Conservation Media Manager

Vanessa is an ecologist with an interest in conservation awareness and education. Vanessa leads efforts in telling the stories the Great Plains Foundation through a variety of media platforms using film, photography, and written narrative.

Tracey Taylor

Community Outreach & Environmental Manager (Botswana)

Tracey Taylor coordinates the Great Plains Foundation’s community outreach and sustainability initiatives in Botswana. Trained as a soil scientist & hydrologist, Tracey’s passion for working with rural communities and developing local-economies benefiting women and families make her a vital member of the Great Plains Foundation’s team.

Sven Bourquin, PhD

Wildlife Monitoring Coordinator

Sven Bourquin leads the wildlife monitoring efforts of the Great Plains Foundation and Rhinos Without Borders. As a conservation ecologist, Sven brings extensive knowledge of the unique flora and fauna found in the UNESCO World Heritage Site the Okavango Delta. Sven is an experienced pilot, and scuba diver, who daily applies his vast knowledge of the complexities of the Okavango Delta to the conservation efforts of the Great Plains Foundation and Rhinos Without Borders.

Gobo Mokgathong

Community Projects (Botswana)

Gobotswang Bonno Mokgathong is the Great Plains Foundation’s community liaison. Born in Francistown, Botswana “Gobo” is a graduate of Francistown College and uses his many years of experience working as an environmental educator, including a year-long fellowship with Disney, to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders in Botswana. Gobo’s extensive personal and professional network coupled with his extensive experience as a conservation ambassador make him a critical component to the Great Plains Foundation’s education and community conservation work.

Keagakwa “Mother” Supang

Community Projects (Botswana)

“Mother Kea” is instrumental in the Great Plains Foundation’s community projects; leading the women’s handicraft initiative for over a decade. Kea’s approach to community work, her encouragement of young people, and her warm demeanour make her vital to the success of each project.

Mpho "Poster" Malongwa

Head Rhino Monitor

Poster has been one of the leading guardians of rhinos in Botswana for more than a decade. Today Poster leads RWB's team of wildlife monitors. Under his leadership, RWB's monitoring teams are widely respected for their role in ensuring wild populations of rhinos and other animals thrive. Poster is also passionate about education and often speaks to communities and schools about the importance of conservation and the importance of rhinos living wild and free in Botswana.

James Kirisia

Conservation Education (Kenya)

Conservation education is at the heart of everything James does. As a guide at Ol Donyo Lodge for Great Plains Conservation, James educates guests daily about the remarkable Amboseli ecosystem. Along with Dan, James is leading efforts to inspire, educate, and engage local school children in the communities surrounding the Amboseli ecosystem.

Dan Tipape

Conservation Education (Kenya)

Dan was born in the Birikani community in the Chyulu Hills in Kenya. As a guide for Great Plains Conservation his passion for sharing the remarkable ecosystem he calls home is infectious. Now Dan and James are leading the Great Plains Foundation’s conservation education programs inspiring local young people to preserve and protect their incredible local landscapes.

Our Partners

Local Partners

Supporting Partners

Affiliated Partners