CCF's Marker Receives Top Conservation Award
18 June 2009
DR Laurie Marker, the Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), has been awarded the 2009 Life Achievement Award for Conservation.
The now legendary conservationist was presented with the award at the week-long International Wildlife Film Festival held in Missoula, Montana, USA.
She recently concluded a six-week tour to the United States and Europe, where she presented CCF's work to conserve the world's fastest land animal, the cheetah.
In her acceptance speech she said the cheetah are a keystone species that deserve to have a place on earth, but it could be extinct within 20 years if we don't do everything possible to stop this trend.
She added that in Namibia, which has the largest wild cheetah population in the world, the population has stabilised over the last 15 years, thanks to the willingness of local farmers, Government, NGOs, businesses, and the entire community to accept alternate ways to share the land with cheetahs and co-operate with CCF.
Marker then travelled to Europe, where she lectured at various zoos in the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom.
A two-day meeting in southern France with local government officials, scientists and conservationists concluded with the signature of a co-operation agreement between CCF and Parc ALPHA with the objective of addressing conflict between predators and humans.
This co-operation is the result of a recent visit to CCF by representatives of Parc ALPHA, an organisation dedicated to wolf conservation in France, to learn about the success of CCF's Integrated Livestock Predator Management programmes that provide farmers with tools and education to help them maximise productivity while minimising livestock losses to cheetahs and other predators.
Other meetings during this tour included promoting Namibia as an eco-travel destination and CCF's Cheetah Country Beef, a programme that would yield premium prices for Namibian beef farmed using predator-friendly methods.
When Marker returns to Namibia, the CCF will host 30 international conservationists from eight cheetah-range countries for a two-week course on integrated livestock, wildlife and predator management.
Article at: http://allafrica.com/stories/200906180339.html