There are good reasons for companies and wildlife conservation organizations to work together to accomplish shared goals. B2Gold, a medium-sized Canadian mining company, is supporting conservation projects led by CCF. The results of this partnership are helping both organizations gain better understanding of the state of biodiversity and prevalence of wildlife in their surrounding lands, and helping to build capacity for conservation in the rural communities.
In 2014, B2Gold asked the Ecology team at CCF to begin a biodiversity monitoring project to determine the number of species found in their wildlife reserve, a wide geographical area that has been set aside near the mine. Funding from B2Gold enabled the purchase of two dozen remote camera traps to record the numbers of cheetah, leopard and brown hyenas.
As it turned out, the huge inventory of photographs uncovered 10 carnivore species, 7 herbivore species, and 7 bird species. There were a few surprises as well, with sightings of jackal, honey badger, serval, pangolin, and caracal.
In October, the two organizations partnered again to relocate four pre-fab buildings (donated by B2Gold) to four conservancies in the Greater Waterberg. Each building will serve as the administrative anchor for that conservancy. This two-year project also received support from Namibia Protected Landscape Conservation Areas Initiative (NAMPLACE), a United Nations Development Programme initiative.
Conservancy office in the Greater Waterberg
These offices will soon be staffed by community conservancy officers and will, as Dr. Laurie Marker said recently, “provide offices that will have a positive, long-lasting impact on the local communities…and facilitate administration of the Waterberg programmes and make it easier for more people to participate”. The Namibia Economist, October 7, 2016
B2Gold and Cheetah Conservation Fund Canada
B2Gold, headquartered in Vancouver, sponsored our senior executive roundtable in the fall of 2014; the event was focused on mining and biodiversity, and the important of corporate social responsibility. Clive Johnson, CEO of B2Gold, and Dr. Laurie Marker both spoke of the importance of environmental sustainability and the need for the private sector to work with community organizations.
B2Gold continues to provide generous funding for the Livestock Guarding Dog program and the Future Farmers of Africa, as part of the company’s focus on education, health, livelihoods and environmental conservation.