Il Cheetah Conservation Fund si trova di fronte all’Altopiano del Waterberg.
Questa zona, impervia e selvaggia sulla cima, ma ricca di acqua come lo stesso nome dice, era stata scelta da alcune comunità di coloni tedeschi che avevano lasciato la Germania alla fine del 1800, per andare in cerca di fortuna, investendo in aziende agricole e commerci con gli Herero. In seguito, dopo una serena convivenza di alcuni anni, è stata teatro di tristi vicende, ormai piu’ di cento anni fa, quando proprio tra il Grande e il Piccolo Waterberg ebbero luogo scontri tra Herero e tedeschi. Nel 1915, la Germania abbandono’ la Namibia e cosi’ ebbe fine l’era dell’Africa Sudoccidentale, a cui subentrarono gli inglesi prima, e i sudafricani dopo. Tutta la zona oggi è disseminata di farm agricole e allevamenti di bestiame, e si è consorziata nella “Greater Waterberg Landscape”, di cui anche il Cheetah Conservation Fund fa parte.
Artisans Receive Training in Crafts Development
(Otjiwarongo, Namibia) 28 March 2014 – Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) hosted a group of 20 Namibian artisans from the Greater Waterberg Landscape at their education and research centre outside Otjiwarongo. The gathering targeted artisans from five different conservancies around the Waterberg Plateau Park, including Ozonahi, African Wild Dog, Otjituuo, Okamatapati (known as Hereroland) and the Waterberg Conservancy, which making up the Greater Waterberg Landscape. Training was conducted by, the Peace Jewellery Collection, specialising in producing semi-precious stone jewellery and leatherwork.
For three days, the artists from various conservancies learned how to make, package, label, and market their crafts. The group consisted of both men and women who are currently involved in producing artisan crafts. The founder of the Peace Collection, Ricky /Xhaxab, stated “I was impressed by how quickly the group learned and worked well together. It is hoped that they will form a cooperative within their artisan community and market their crafts collectively.” The group have agreed on their name to be the Greater Waterberg Landscape Artisans.
The training was to help teach them about product development which can supply their community with an alternate income stream. Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund said “trainings such as these are integral to the work of CCF as thriving communities are vital for thriving ecosystems and ultimately the survival of the cheetah.”
The Greater Waterberg Landscape was formed in 2007 with the objective of growing biodiversity conservation and eliminating poverty by uplifting socio-economic development. In 2011, the Greater Waterberg Landscape became one of five landscapes in Namibia working in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment (MET) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in a programme called NAMPLACE (Namibia Protected Landscape Conservation Areas Initiative). Four of the conservancies within the GWL are in the eastern communal area known as Hereroland consisting of nearly 22,500 people, with a high density of cattle verse a low density of wildlife. The GWL has a vision to restore a wildlife base and develop alternate sources of income through an integrated conservancy programme. CCF, a research centre within the GWC is actively working to help build capacity within the communities by building skills through workshops such as high quality crafts, tourism, integrated farmer training, wildlife management, and bush harvesting eventually leading to wildlife reintroductions in the area.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund is a Namibian non-profit trust dedicated to the long-term survival of the cheetah and its ecosystems. Since 1990, the organisation has developed education and conservation programmes based on its bio-medical cheetah research studies, published scientific research papers and has presented educational programmes to over 350 000 outreach school learners and over 1500 farmers. In addition, CCF has donated over 450 Anatolian Shepherd livestock guarding dogs to commercial and communal farmers as part of their innovative non-lethal livestock management programme. Research into cheetah biology and ecology has greatly increased our understanding of the fastest land animal, and education programmes for schools and the farming community help change public attitudes to allow predator and humans to co-exist. In 2012, together with NamPlace, CCF conducted a Needs Assessment Survey, covering the major areas of the Greater Waterberg Landscape. From the survey, the community identified bush encroachment as a problem and the need for livestock, wildlife and rangeland management training as well as asking for training in community tourism and craft production.
For more information on CCF’s research, conservation and education programmes, please contact CCF at: Cheetah Conservation Fund, PO Box 1755, Otjiwarongo, Namibia; Tel : (067) 306225; Fax: (067) 306247; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; Website: http://www.cheetah.org