At the occasion of the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Cancun, Mexico, the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) honored the Savé Valley Conservancy (SVC) with the prestigious CIC Markhor Award for its outstanding success in wildlife conservation.
The Savé Valley Conservancy, located in Zimbabwe, is a role model for the private sector in implementing a comprehensive community participation and conservation development program. While there is increasing evidence that global and African wildlife is declining, the opposite is true in the SVC where wildlife numbers have grown exponentially. The Savé Valley Conservancy holds more than 4,000 buffalo, 1,600 elephants, and over 160 black and white rhinos; has brought poaching under control; and has wildlife populations which show high growth rates, despite serious poaching threats (particularly for rhinos).
Weldon Schenck, the CEO of the greater Savé Valley Conservancy and Wilfired Pabst, Owner of Sango, which is part of it, was handed the award by the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Dr. Braulio Dias, together with the President of the Policy and Law Division of the CIC, Dr. Heli Siitari, and Director General of the CIC, Mr. Tamás Marghescu.
“By giving the Markhor Award to projects that have implemented sustainable use through hunting to further the goal of the conservation of biodiversity, it encourages others to follow in their noble footsteps on the path to achieving Aichi targets by 2020. I can certainly say with great confidence that our award winner today is not only in line with these targets but goes above and beyond by assisting other conservation projects through the translocation of its surplus wildlife—a commendable achievement for a private conservancy!”said Dr. Dias.
The CIC Markhor Award recognizes and celebrates outstanding conservation performance by personalities, private, and government institutions, enterprises, or conservation projects that link the conservation of biodiversity and human livelihoods through the application of the principles of sustainable use, in particular hunting, as part of wildlife and ecosystem management.