by R. Michael Wright, President, AWF
Fifteen-foot crocodiles slithered across the sandbanks and plunged into the river as the vibrations of the South African National Park Service helicopter reached them. We seemed perilously close to the red rock walls of the canyons of the Olifants River, but the dexterity of the pilot was remarkable. Pulling up at the last minute, we swung over the lip of the gorge. To our right lay the wildlife-rich expanse of Kruger National Park, and to the left was the vast empty wilderness of Coutada 16 in Mozambique.
Annette Lanjouw, Director of the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP), told the National Press Club Friday that mining for Coltan is presenting a new threat to conservation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This issue strikes close to home in the United States, because Coltan is a rare earth metal used in numerous consumer electronics products, computer components, and advanced aviation and aerospace industries.
The African Wildlife Foundation is pleased to announce that Eugene Rutagarama was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize on April 23, 2001,in San Francisco. Rutagarama, a Rwandan, is a conservationist working for the AWF-supported International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP). He has put his life on the line to protect the world's dwindling mountain gorilla (Gorilla gorilla beringei) population from the ravages of civil war and human encroachment.
After many months of work and effort, AWF has signed two new agreements on the '4 corners' and 'Insaka' activities which will support AWF's new program in southern Africa.
The 4 corners agreement was signed in a ceremony Monday afternoon in Gaborone, Botswana. This long-awaited cooperative agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Regional Center for South Africa (RCSA) will fund AWF's program in the Victoria Falls area where Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia meet.
Thanks to the generosity of advertising legends Leo Burnett, the African Wildlife Foundation is proud to announce the launch of our new visibility campaign. Using the art of photographer James Balog, who generously donated several captivating, still-life images for the campaign, the Leo Burnett creative team developed a distinctive look to capture the work and essence of AWF, including the tagline "Conserving Wildlife. Respecting All Life."