Prints for Wildlife aims to raise funds for African parks and animals
At the start of 2020, Africa’s tourism industry looked set for another successful year. The continent had the second fastest growing tourism industry in the world and is expected to bring in billions of dollars. But when COVID-19 hit, tourists stopped coming and the industry shut down. The dark side of the tourist shortage was the direct effect their absence had on wildlife and conservation across the continent. Money from safari bookings and national park fees suddenly dried up, and without tourist money, money to fund anti-poaching patrols and other conservation activities was insufficient.
Watching it all unfold, two photographers from Austria and the Netherlands decided to get involved. Marion Payr and Pie Aerts joined forces and launched Prints for Wildlife, a fundraiser to support people and wildlife in parks run by the non-profit organization African Parks, which works in partnership with various African governments.
African Parks was founded in 2000 in response to the mismanagement and lack of funding of wildlife protected areas across the continent. African Parks currently manages 19 national parks and protected areas in 11 countries. They protect and manage over 36 million acres in Angola, Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is the largest area protected by a single NGO in Africa, and African Parks’ goal is to manage 30 parks by 2030.
According to Aerts, photographer and co-founder of Prints for Wildlife, âThe key to conservation is putting people at the heart of the solution. This is done through community programs supporting health, education, job security and sustainable livelihoods. African Parks and its community-based approach to conservation ensure that the protected areas under their management are safe places where wildlife and people can thrive. And in safe places, magical things can happen. Therefore, choosing African Parks as a partner for this campaign was obvious. “
Last year, at the inaugural edition of Prints for Wildlife, 100 internationally renowned wildlife photographers from around the world gathered, offering their art for sale as part of an unprecedented fundraiser that supported the local communities and wildlife in some of Africa’s most special protected areas. The sale raised more than $ 660,200 USD; selling over 6,500 unique prints of wild animals in just 30 days. One hundred percent of the proceeds (after printing and processing) were donated to African Parks, and these vital funds were used to support a myriad of projects.
- 108,579 people gained access to healthcare initiatives
- 105 schools were built
- 752 scholarships were funded
- 3,219 full-time employees and 1,064 forest rangers were employed
And more specifically, in response to COVID-19, 135,800 people had access to health awareness campaigns, 65,000 masks were donated, 5,000 liters of soap were distributed and 630 hand washing stations were installed.
Prints for Wildlife co-founder and photographer Payr said: âThe incredible success of Prints for Wildlife over the past year has come as a much needed reminder that even in times of crisis humanity can stand. unite to spread hope and do good to our planet. Wildlife conservation has now found a place in the hearts of people and with the breathtaking art of all the generous photographers on the walls of thousands of homes around the world. That’s why we decided it was time to come back and create even more awareness and joy, as COVID-19 still puts a lot of pressure on Africa’s conservation efforts. “
While the world is opening up for some, the tourism industry in Africa is still struggling and the income it generates remains limited. Following the incredible success of last year’s efforts, this year over 170 wildlife photographers have partnered with Prints for Wildlife and donated a superb selection of outstanding prints for sale.
Andrea Heydlauff, African Parks Marketing and Communications Manager, said the organization was “more than delighted to close a second sale of Prints for Wildlife to benefit our work at African Parks”.
âPrints for Wildlife is a unique company, which sees some of the world’s greatest wildlife photographers come together in inspiring and energetic ways. They are able to mobilize their own networks and give people the chance to make a real difference by purchasing amazing prints while raising important funds for people and wildlife across Africa, âshe said. .
Prints for Wildlife is a one-time print sale. Only 100 prints of each image will be available for purchase. Each image costs just $ 100 (excluding postage) and 100 percent of the proceeds (after printing and processing) go directly to African Parks. Currently, 150 images are available and new works will be added every week until sales close on August 11.
You can check out the print gallery here. We hope you browse the prints for sale and find something you fall in love with, knowing that all purchases will help an amazing cause. For more information, visit the African Parks homepage and follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Inspired by these beautiful animals and their African homes? Consider all of our safari coverage here.