At Care for Wild, we are dedicated to environmental sustainability, recognizing our crucial role in ensuring the long-term viability of black and white rhino breeding populations. With a strong focus on ecosystem health and biodiversity conservation, we understand the significance of partnerships with empowered rural communities to address socio-economic challenges sustainably. By empowering the people of South Africa as custodians of the environment, we strive to safeguard this precious heritage.
Conservation of a Keystone Species and Ecosystem Health
Rhinos, a keystone species, are known as "ecosystem engineers’’ and play a vital role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem and promoting biodiversity. Through their grazing habits, they create grazing lawns that benefit smaller species, attract insects, and aid in habitat restoration. To rehabilitate and enhance the overall health and resilience of the ecosystem, we remove alien invasive plant species and implement a meticulous fire management program, promoting the growth of grasslands, increasing palatable species, and improving grazing and browse availability.
Reclaiming and Preserving the Noordkaap River and Protecting Riparian Zones
Our commitment extends to reclaiming and ensuring the sustained flow, improved water quality, and increased storage capacity of the Noordkaap River. Through collaboration with stakeholders and re-vegetation projects, we preserve riparian zones, crucial for the overall health and functioning of the ecosystem. Our efforts involve actively removing invasive species to prevent riverbank erosion and monitoring extraction practices to maintain the health and integrity of river ecosystems. The re-vegetation of riparian zones provides essential food and shelter for organisms, ensuring the overall well-being of animal species. These initiatives have led to extensive habitat preservation within the Greater Barberton Nature Reserve, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Eco-Friendly Practices and Renewable Energy Adoption
Environmental sustainability is at the core of our practices. Guided by the latest scientific knowledge in ecology, hydrology, and water management, we incorporate rainwater harvesting throughout the sanctuary, reducing dependence on boreholes. To further strengthen our commitment, we have implemented an off-grid solar PV system, generously supported by organizations like Bright Light Solar and the STS Group. As a result, Care for Wild operates entirely on solar power, demonstrating our dedication to sustainable energy solutions.
We strive to demonstrate a comprehensive approach to environmental sustainability, aligning with the principles outlined in the COP24 framework and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These commitments reinforce our mission to safeguard the environment for the benefit of current and future generations.
Financial sustainability is of paramount importance as we continue to experience substantial organizational growth and establish ourselves as a globally recognized conservation brand. While we are fortunate to maintain dedicated support from loyal donors, our operations and future expansion efforts, including the rewilding program in the Barberton Nature Reserve, entail significant ongoing costs.
Diverse Revenue Streams
One of the pillars of our financial sustainability lies in our commitment to diversifying revenue streams. We aim to generate 80% of our income from diverse sources, including sustainable agricultural enterprises, tourism-related activities within the Barberton Nature Reserve, an online shop offering branded merchandise, and partnerships with organizations that contribute a portion of their sales. This diverse range of revenue streams ensures stability while fostering innovation and adaptability in the face of changing circumstances.
We leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to raise awareness, engage supporters, and secure funding. Our strategic use of digital platforms has expanded our reach, attracting a global community of passionate individuals and organizations who believe in our vision and mission.
Community Engagement and Job Creation
Our financial sustainability approach goes beyond revenue generation; it emphasizes community engagement and job creation. Situated among economically disadvantaged communities, we recognize the importance of addressing local needs while achieving our conservation goals. To contribute to the local economy and empower communities, we have established sustainable agricultural enterprises and developed income streams linked to tourism and the biodiversity economy. Through these efforts, we create employment opportunities and foster a sense of ownership and support for our conservation initiatives. It is a mutually beneficial relationship where financial sustainability aligns with community development, ensuring a positive and lasting impact.