What a start to the year it has been! Filled with the trials and tribulations that come with managing one of the largest portfolios of parks across Africa. Late last year NORAD declined to sign the agreement providing $3.5M of funding for Nkhotakota in Malawi, unannounced and after two years of detailed negotiations and commitments by the Embassy in Malawi. This left us seriously concerned about our ability to fund the project. However, this was short-lived as the Dutch Postcode Lottery, on hearing our situation, awarded us an additional €2.6M at their annual Goed Geld Gala in late January. Truly remarkable! Additionally, Dioraphte also committed € 595,000 to Nkhotakota. These donations will allow us to get Nkhotakota ready for the largest elephant translocation in history that will commence later this year. On the other hand we have already had two elephant poaching incidents in Zakouma and Gambella – there is little time to ever celebrate the successes. Again on the positive front, we renewed our long term management agreement for Garamba National Park. The only way we’re able to continue to protect Africa’s wildlife, and secure these vast landscapes, is because of the support and partnerships we’ve built together.
To keep you more regularly informed, we’ll be moving from the lengthy and detailed quarterly reports to shorter but more impactful monthly report that covers only the key issues. This will include any updates at an organizational level, progress with new parks under development, funding successes, operational main updates from the park and media highlights. So much happens in the course of a month that I’d like to share developments, successes and challenges in a timelier way than just every quarter. All the parks also send out monthly technical reports that are very detailed – if you would like to be added to Park-specific lists, just let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.