Couple Donates $100M to Conservation

Rob and Melani Walton announce $100 million pledge to the South African conservation group, African Parks, in what is believed to be the single largest philanthropic gift for conservation in South African history. 

African Parks is a South African based nonprofit that manages over 19 protected areas across the continent of Africa in countries of Benin, Angola, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chan, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Zambia totaling more than 14 million hectares.

Founded in 2000 in response to the decline of protected areas across the continent due to lack of inadequate management and limited funding, African Parks focuses on addressing food insecurities and creating sustainable communities that alleviate poverty.

By protecting lands, African Parks hopes it can help these communities maintain traditional cultural values.

Currently, the organization employs more than 1,000 park rangers across 19 parks, and hopes to add an additional 11 parks and another 2,000 full-time staffers to its portfolio by 2030. Last year alone, more than 100,000 people received healthcare treatment from a mobile clinic or hospital sponsored by the park. 

As African Parks continues to expand, they hope to increase the educational support services they provide to children of employees in parks through scholarships with local schools, zero to low cost healthcare for children, and teacher coaching to help improve literacy.

The $100 million grant will be allocated over five years and $75 million will be used to create an endowment that ensures long-term funding.

Source: Science Times