Imagine all the incredible things you can do for humankind and the planet if you had a cool $100 million laying around. Well, an American couple is putting this notion to the test after contributing $100 million, roughly R1.4 billion to the conservation non-profit organisation African Parks.
According to African Parks, the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation (RMWF) has provided the largest contribution ever made to the conservation of protected areas in Africa, says African Parks.
This incredible contribution will help expand African Parks’ impact over the next decade across their 30 parks It will also help to preserve a piece of Africa’s rich biodiversity, benefiting local communities and growing the organisation.
The non-profit organisation will certainly put this money to good use as they manage 19 national parks and protected areas in 11 countries covering over 14.7 million hectares. The countries include Angola, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique and Rwanda, to name but a few. Founded in 2000, the organisation is also steadfast in their efforts to protect these areas which have a lack of funding and poor management.
It appears that couple Rob and Melani Walton’s vision aligns with the goals of African Parks as they endeavour to “provide a source of stable long-term funding that will contribute enduring protection for some of the most biodiverse, threatened landscapes on the planet.”
“This could not come at a more important time, when investment in intact protected areas is urgently needed to address biodiversity loss, mitigate climate change, preserve invaluable ecosystem services, and create sustainable economic opportunities for people. This extraordinary gift will help to realise our vision of protecting vast ecosystems and their ecological functions for humanity in perpetuity,” stated African Parks’ CEO Peter Fearnhead.