16 July 2016 | Cheetah Conservation Fund News Release
OTJIWARONGO, Namibia (16 July 2016) – For the 18th consecutive year, Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) celebrated the speed and elegance of the cheetah with fellow Namibians at its annual Gala Dinner at the Windhoek Country Club on the 15th of July. Mike Hill, CCF’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, was the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. Because of the kind and generous people who support the species, this year’s Gala was the most successful in the long history of the organisation.
The evening’s featured speaker was Dr. Peggy Oti-Boateng, Senior Programme Specialist for Science and Technology and Coordinator for the African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ANSTI) in the UNESCO Multi-Sectoral Regional Office in Harare, Zimbabwe. Dr Oti-Boateng has over 32 years experience in teaching, research and development of technologies for sustainable development and in science and technology policy-making. Oti-Boateng’s talk highlighted the problems of lacking science in education in southern Africa and the need to encourage young women in science and technology.
CCF’s International Patron, the Honourable Prof. Peter Katjivivi, Parliament President of the Namibian National Assembly, spoke on the new Namibian Conservation Parliamentary Caucus (NACOPAC). NACOPAC is a multiparty collaboration of parliamentarians committed to strengthening conservation governance and sustainable economic development in Namibia and the southern Africa region.
“In order to guarantee a permanent place for cheetahs on Earth, and in Namibia’s ecosystems, we need to work together to conserve this species, our national treasure”, said CCF Founder and Executive Director, Dr Laurie Marker. “With our programmes to educate farmers and develop livelihoods for rural citizens, CCF aims to inspire and support an economic system where humans can thrive within the natural scope of a healthy, bio-diverse landscape, with cheetahs and other large predators. We achieve this with partners and colleagues such as those who were honoured at this year’s gala”.
Dr. Marker presented four 2016 Cheetah Conservation Awards, of behalf of the CCF Board of Directors, recognising those who have helped conserve the cheetah and the Namibian environment. Highlights of the awards programme included:
Dr. Chris Brown was presented with CCF’s 2016 Cheetah Conservationist of the Year for his dedication to the Namibian environment and community conservation. (see below for full bio).
The 2016 Cheetah Conservation Farmer of the Year was presented to Dr. Libertine Amathila (see below for full bio). for her care and dedication to her livestock guarding dog.
The 2016 Cheetah Conservation Educator of the Year Award was presented to Dr. Willem J. Jankowitz, retired Director of the School of Natural Resources of the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) (see below for full bio). CCF has worked closely with Dr. Jankowitz, and the school of Natural Resources training over 150 student interns in the past 17 years.
Cheetah Conservation Fund’s 2016 Special Loyalty Award was presented to Mr. Manfred Böttger for his years of support given to CCF. He has attended CCF’s gala dinner annually for the past 18 years. (see below for full bio).
The annual CCF Gala is a much-anticipated celebration in Namibian conservation circles, for its festive atmosphere and because it recognises those who have played important roles in helping ensure the survival of the species. The dinner brought together more than 280 guests from business, conservation, agriculture and government sectors in Namibia, and CCF supporters from other nations, both on the continent and beyond. The silent auction once again was a huge success, with more than 120 items donated by local and international businesses, including artwork, jewellery, Namibian craftwork and tourism ‘get-aways’ at exclusive Namibian and international tourist venues, including stays at the NamibRand Reserve, and the Swakopmund Hotel.
Dr. Laurie Marker
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