Protecting Wildlife & Wilderness Through Art
As a continent, Africa has faced more than its fair share of crises.
From famine to extinction, there is so much that we more privileged nations can do to help. With the growing threat of climate change, and the extended droughts, failed crops and withering landscapes it inflicts, there is more need than ever to reach for our credit cards and cash to do something about it.
There are so many causes to choose from that can be tricky deciding on one in particular. Fortunately, one of the organisations making the most profound contribution to conservation is once more offering exceptional incentive for your generosity.
In the grips of COVID lockdowns and limited travel, photographers Marion Payr and Pie Aerts realised that the west’s inconvenience of locked borders was having as much devastating impact to African wildlife as the pandemic was upon the planet’s human population. With no tourists there was no income, and with no income conservation efforts all but ground to a halt.
The pair launched Prints for Wildlife in 2020, and since then have raised a staggering $1.75 million for African conservation.
Now in its third year, Prints for Wildlife is continuing to grow and gather donations for Africa’s wilderness protection, bolstering the ethical tourism industry to further assist in wildlife and ecosystem aid. The concept is wonderfully simple and delightfully appealing.
Gathering a collective of fellow photographers to the cause, Payr and Aerts ask each artist to donate an image. Each limited edition print can then be purchased online by the general public with all proceeds then going towards the fundraising project.
An exquisite portfolio of photographs, each limited to just 100 prints, has been collected and curated for the 2022 Prints for Wildlife fundraiser, with single prints available for $100 US, or – for the first time this year – framed for $250.
More than simply gathering money and sending it to a charity, Payr and Aerts have a far greater plan in place. With 50 percent of Africa’s landmass suffering degradation at some level that can be directly attributed to climate change, the need is far greater than a bit of animal feed or financing a vet for a week. Their ambitious goal is to secure and safeguard 30 million hectares of Africa’s protected areas, a significant step towards the global goal of protecting 30% of nature on Earth by 2030.
Private reserves and national parks can do their part, but only African Parks has the scale and renown to take on direct responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of protected areas in partnership with governments and local communities throughout Africa. and it is to here that all money raised will be contributed.
African Parks’ pervasive presence across the entire continent of Africa has seen the growth of protected regions, land work to preserve ecosystems and the translocation of wildlife to support and strengthen the populations of endangered species.
With the incredible generosity of the more than 200 photographers who have contributed work over the last three years, and the kindness of all patrons who have purchased images, African Parks has already received an unprecedented injection of much-needed funds. In 2022, Payr and Aerts are hoping to significnatly increase on past years, with a potential total raised of $2.5 million this year alone.
For purchasers, it’s as simple as selecting an image and buying it online… and yet, it is so much more. They aren’t simply buying a photo, they are purchasing a piece of Africa, an expertly-captured moment that evokes reminiscence in all who have been lucky enough to go on safari, and a constant reminder that they have directly contributed to the protection of the photo’s subjects and landscapes.
The limited edition images are mementos of personal experiences or personifications of daydreams, but also a significant donation to the preservation of the Africa that visitors fall in love with time and time again.
At just $100, the images are easily affordable to a wide demographic, to adorn their own walls or be given as gifts, making Prints for Wildlife a mutually-beneficial project that reaches far beyond a direct donation.
The 2022 Prints for Wildlife campaign concludes 27 September.
The exceptional gallery of images can be viewed and purchased at www.printsforwildlife.org.
To learn more of the exceptional work performed by African Parks, visit www.africanparks.org