African Parks, a not-for-profit conservation organisation, is proud to announce it was awarded €2.6 million by the Dutch Postcode Lottery as one of their 'Extra Awards' for the restoration of Liwonde National Park and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi, at the annual Goed Geld gala held in Amsterdam last week.
The funding will be used for the rehabilitation and long-term protection of Liwonde National Park and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, two protected areas in Malawi totalling 225 000 hectares in size. The award is also crucial to one of the most important conservation initiatives occurring on the continent in 2016 – the translocation of approximately 500 elephants from Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park into a sanctuary in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. Previously home to a thriving elephant population of over 1000 elephant, rampant poaching has taken its toll on Nkhotakota leaving it devoid of wildlife. Now under the protection and management of African Parks, it is possible to restock the Reserve from the two parks that have a surplus of elephants. The undertaking is believed to be the largest ever elephant translocation in Africa. In addition, funds from the €2.6 million grant will be allocated to advancing the economic development of communities living outside Liwonde and Nkhotakota through the creation of employment, educational and social services, and tourism opportunities.
"We thank the Dutch Postcode Lottery and their players for this extraordinary and generous contribution to our critical conservation efforts in restoring these two parks and enabling this elephant translocation to happen," said Peter Fearnhead, CEO of African Parks. "The funding will also greatly assist with the reduction in human-wildlife conflict which has proven to be at unprecedented levels compared to other parks in Africa, and will enable African Parks to make a real, positive and lasting difference to the region on many levels."
The Gala was also attended by George Clooney, American director, actor and activist as guest of honour. African Parks has been an annual beneficiary of the Dutch Postcode Lottery since 2010, and this additional funding brings to €8 million the total amount awarded by the Lottery to African Parks to date.