Global partnerships put Zim on the map

The International Anti Poaching Foundation has partnered with Environment Africa within the Green Zambezi Alliance to focus on the problem of poaching in Zimbabwe. The GZA seeks to promote and implement projects and programmes along the Zambezi River on both sides of the river, that bring together all stakeholders within the Zambezi Valley to work towards Priva

It aims to conserve our wildlife and environment for current and future generations while at the same time uplifting the livelihoods of the communities in a REAL Livelihood approach that focuses on PPCPs. The aim is to promote and implement sustainable biodiversity projects that feed into the SADC biodiversity Strategy.

Environment Africa was founded and is still headed by Charlene Hewat. Her early experiences of growing up on a farm in Zimbabwe instilled a deep love of nature and out of this was born her passion for the environment. Whilst out on a walk in the bush some 27 years ago, she came across the carcass of a poached rhino and it was this traumatic experience that started her on the path to where she is today.

She decided something needed to be done to raise awareness and to raise funds for rhino conservation in Zimbabwe. So in 1986, together with a friend, Julie Edwards, she undertook a 22,000km bicycle ride, a journey which took 18 months to complete riding from the UK across Europe and Africa back to Zimbabwe. Together the young ladies raised over 250 000 pounds for Rhino Conservation.

This journey was recorded and published in a book Extinction is Forever. Charlene is still affectionately known and recognised today, as one of the The Rhino Girls. She met many dignitaries during this time including the Pope, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Prince Phillip and had the rare privilege of spending a few days living in the bush with George Adamson (the Lion man).

In 1990 Charlene co-founded Environment 2000 which was later rebranded Environment Africa. She is currently the CEO of Environment Africa responsible for Policy, Planning and Executive Management. Today, Environment Africa is a highly successful NGO working with all sectors of society and within communities throughout Zimbabwe and neighbouring Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

Another highlight in her career was launching the Ro-Tree Plant a Million Trees Campaign with Nelson Mandela which was done in partnership with Rotary. This target was reached within a year.

The organisation facilitates projects and programmes which encompass raising environmental awareness, the protection, conservation and management of natural resources and promoting sustainable development through self empowerment. Environment Africa is a truly African rooted organisation with over 20 years of experience responding to the needs of all African people and the environment.

Through her work Charlene understands that sustainable development together with conservation and communities is key to addressing some of Africas challenges such as sustainable livelihoods, climate change, environmental governance and biodiversity.

Environment Africa is a highly successful, working role model for their motto Moving from Aid to Trade. The organisation has partnered with Tree Africa in the UK, www.treeafrica.org.uk and has recently partnered with Environment Africa USA which has received its official registration and charity status.

Hewat leaves Zimbabwe soon for a tour to New Zealand and Australia in July and August to build awareness in the international community of the amazing work being carried out by local organisations in Zimbabwe. She wants to share the vision, the successes and highlight the challenges of projects and programmes.

She hopes to tour the UK in November this year and is preparing another crazy awareness, fundraising tour in the USA for 2013. watch this space for exciting news on this.

Environment Africa needs your support today so please look us up on the website and see what we are up to. Please consider becoming a monthly donor, supporting projects and programmes in Southern Africa. If you are able to help in any way with our tours, whether it be hosting a venue for Charlene to talk at, sponsoring or in any other way, please contact us at [email protected] or visit our website. We need your Help Today to help save our Wildlife and our communities. – www.environmentafrica.org

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