PSN welcome the Endangered Wildlife Trust into network for ground-breaking partnership.November 6, 2014
PSN are proud to announce that the South African based conservation NGO, The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), have joined the Network. This pioneering partnership sees one of Africa’s largest conservation NGOs making the important connection between population, health and the environment for the benefit of people and nature.
Founded in 1973, the EWT works in southern Africa and parts of East Africa, conserving threatened species and ecosystems.
The EWT is currently active in 13 African countries, across diverse ecosystems including grasslands, wetlands, river catchments and systems, savannah, indigenous forests and Kalahari semi-desert.
The EWT’s work not only conserves Africa’s most iconic species such as rhino, wild dog and cheetah but also many of the less well-known, equally important and often even rarer species, such as the Amathole toad and riverine rabbit.
This year, the EWT began working with David Johnson, a specialist communities and ecosystems programmes developer, who is working to incorporate greater emphasis on human health improvement and educational and livelihood opportunities to the EWT’s programmes.
“It’s been proven that integrating conservation actions with improvements in community health and education lead to greater conservation healthcare and gender outcomes than single sector actions,” explains David.
“It’s not just about voluntary family planning, but also generating socially viable and economically lucrative alternative livelihood opportunities. By integrating approaches we can assure healthier communities and healthier ecosystems”.
Dr. Harriet Davies-Mostert, EWT’s Head of Conservation, explains, “In the rural communities where we work, people often depend on their local environment to provide them with their food, water, medicines and wood for fuel. Livelihoods are often dependent on natural resources, forcing growing populations to use resources unsustainably.”
“Preservation of healthy ecosystems is essential from a conservation perspective, but also for the wellbeing of communities themselves”, explains Dr. Davies-Mostert.
PSN and the EWT are exploring a number of ways to collaborate more closely, including on an integrated Population, Health and Environment project, which would see South Africa’s first programme of its kind.
“We are particularly excited about such an influential environmental organisation lending its voice to the issues we work on, and the further opportunities that will hopefully bring to advance our shared agenda”, PSN’s Coordinator, Karen Newman explains. “We are extremely enthusiastic about the new programme under development and look forward to partnering more closely with the EWT in the near future”.