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Southern Africa

  • Saturday, January 1, 2000

Southern Africa is richly endowed with wildlife. AWF increasingly is collaborating with parks and conservationists in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and other countries in the region to help protect their priceless resources.

To oversee its expanding activities, AWF appointed Simon Metcalfe as AWF's new senior program officer for southern Africa. Metcalfe, educated at Cornell University and the University of Zimbabwe, has extensive training and experience in conservation and economic development and broad links to communities, wildlife authorities and donor agencies throughout the region.

For the second year in a row, a conservation officer from South Africa worked for three months in the United States at Great Smoky Mountains National Park to learn new wildlife protection skills. The international exchange visitors program, an activity conducted under AWF's cooperative agreement with the U.S. Park Service, sponsored Caroline Sanford, a ranger in the Itala Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.

In another National Park Service project, AWF and colleagues from East Africa led South African conservationists on a two-week study tour of parks, villages and wildlife businesses in Tanzania and Kenya. The trip enabled visitors and hosts to discuss the experiences of rural communities in managing their natural resources and to explore the role of culture in conservation. The tour grew out of the 1998 Imbewu Workshop in South Africa's Kruger National Park, where retired rangers, or "wise men," use traditional storytelling to introduce youth to the natural world.

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