Introducing Foundation Five
What’s in the name?
Foundation Five is named after Africa’s ‘Big Five’ game animals; these are the Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Elephant and Cape Buffalo.
Purpose The primary purpose of Foundation Five is the protection of all creatures 'great and small', especially but not exclusively, ‘the Big Five’ in Africa. To this end Foundation Five's principle objectives are to:
Create a 'Not for Profit' Company delivering a sustainable a philanthropic income stream to protect African wildlife and associated eco systems in collaboration with local communities;
Develop and implement strategies to change community behaviour to value wildlife; and,
Fund delivery of bespoke targeted projects through a network of global and local collaborative partnerships to develop resilient communities that value wildlife.
Wildlife Crime. The unprecedented and well-documented wildlife crime wave sweeping the continent has hit Africa hard and the region continues to lose valuable animals at an alarming rate. Wildlife is under attack on a daily basis and without swift support Africa is in danger of losing wildlife havens. Nations are losing the opportunity to develop wildlife-tourism for the benefit of sustainable future conservation. The effects of wildlife crime extend beyond wildlife conservation or animal welfare; the perpetrators are causing the death of innocent civilians and financing terrorism. There are indicators that the global Covid -19 pandemic could be a consequence of our abuse of the planets species with its origins in a ‘wet food’ market in Wuhan, China specialising in exotic meats and body parts including species poached in Africa.
Climate change. The impacts of climate change are already evident across the continent with extremes of weather threatening communities, agriculture and wildlife. Flooding, loss of livelihoods, arable land and increasing competition with wildlife due to desertification threaten food security and wildlife in the region.
Pollution. Man has polluted the rivers and oceans with plastics that are now finding their way into the human food chain with unknown consequences and causing premature death of wildlife on land and at sea. Key species, vital links in our planet’s chain of life are at risk and could be lost forever. Caring for our wildlife and associated eco systems is vital to the balance and eco system stability on earth, to the water we drink and food that sustains life.
Governments. Demands on national budgets have typically not allowed governments to make the required investment in conservation areas such as National Parks and some have become neglected. Poaching continues to be a widespread problem and wildlife numbers have tumbled. Wildlife is still being killed at an alarming rate and, unless this trend can be reversed, some of the ‘Big Five’ could be extinct by 2030. A consequence of this disrepair and loss of wildlife is the loss of tourism and access to associated foreign exchange.
Communities bare the real costs of living with wildlife and every community’s needs are different. Those within or adjacent to National Parks, wildlife corridors and protected areas have become ambivalent (and in some cases hostile) to wildlife and those protecting it. For wildlife protection to be sustainable, communities must value the wildlife. It is very difficult to influence changes in attitudes when impoverished communities are struggling daily for the essentials of life. Limited access to fresh water, poor health of the community, insecurity of food supply and competition with wildlife for their livelihoods have driven communities to view wildlife as just another part of their problem.
It’s now urgent. Time is fast running out. We need to change our relationship with nature and take better care of our planet home and all its inhabitants. Wildlife and associated ecosystems represent the beating heart of our planet. For Wildlife and ecosystem conservation efforts in Africa to be truly sustainable, initiatives must be driven from the ground up by local communities and not simply delivered by the well meaning. Africa needs to wean itself off the ‘donar dollar’ and be helped to stand on its own feet.
The words charity and philanthropy are often used interchangeably, but there’s a difference between the two. They both seek to address needs and make the world a better place – but the methods used are different.
Charity is typically an empathetic response to an immediate crisis or other news worthy event such as rescue or relief. Charity requires significant effort and cost to reach thousands or even millions of people, each giving a few dollars or cents.
Philanthropy is a more strategic process of giving that seeks to identify the root causes of systemic issues and make the world a better place by tackling problems at their roots. To make a difference these projects are typically not ‘photogenic’ or news worthy but require ‘hard graft’ and longer term finance to influence change in values and behaviours. The entire purpose of Foundation Five is to generate sustainable finance to support its objectives.
Area of Operations The initial Area of Operation is driven by Africa’s ‘Big Five’ that can currently be found together in the following countries:
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
The region boasts some of the world’s richest natural resources. DRC produces much of the world’s mined cobalt, and Angola leads the region in the production of crude oil. For many Eastern countries, agricultural products are the main commodity; Ethiopia and Uganda lead the region in coffee exports, while Kenya is the largest tea exporter. For Southern countries, precious metals and minerals are the biggest exports, including gold and diamonds from South Africa and platinum from Zimbabwe.
With nearly half the population under 18, people are the region’s greatest resource with economic growth dependent on health, education and the empowerment of women. Protracted conflicts in some countries prevent people reaching their full potential. This presents huge development challenges, impacts heavily on the lives and livelihoods of people, and hinders regional integration and trade.
Power. The lack of access to electrical power is delaying regional industrialisation and denying communities access to the benefits provided by access to electricity. A number of dams and associated hydro schemes have and are being built in a ‘dash for energy’. Experience in other countries, not least the USA, shows that dams are not the best solution. The broader environmental impacts on ecology, agriculture, communities, livelihoods, and wildlife are significant and need to be managed very carefully. Unfortunately promises made regarding compensation and benefits to communities are rarely kept and dams ultimately cost more to remove and remediate at the end of their life than the revenue they generate during their entire operational life.
Food security. Locust swarms are ravaging crops and jeopardizing food security across East Africa, especially in Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. The Horn of Africa is facing a critical food security emergency.
Covid-19. The pandemic is still on the rise in many countries and has already taken a toll on human life and strained health systems. Covid-19 presents formidable challenges including reduced agricultural productivity, weakening supply chains, increasing trade tensions, limited job prospects, and exacerbated political and regulatory uncertainty. Strategies to detect and reduce the spread of the disease, such as frequent hand washing and social distancing present significant challenges in the region.
Charitable NGO’s. A number of wildlife NGO’s are capturing western donor dollars and investing in the physical protection of wildlife within designated National Parks. Some good work is being done but this makes Governments increasingly dependent on NGO’s and is not sustainable. The areas that need to be policed are huge and it requires a fully integrated approach to fight wildlife crime and to protect some of the planet’s greatest wildlife and associated ecosystems.
Participants working with Foundation Five can help us make a real and sustainable difference in Africa, protecting the wildlife, associated ecosystems and developing communities by delivering bespoke measureable community initiatives designed and linked to wildlife conservation. Delivering what Communities say they need, not what we think they should have. The benefits of this philanthropic approach include:
A sustainable revenue stream generated from Africa’s own national resources and / or required commodity imports
Realisation of further value in national assets without seeding ownership or control
A positive environmental impact
The development of community livelihoods. Creation of new local businesses and employment.
Delivery of bespoke community led projects with local control and coordination.
No national tax burden.
Protection of wildlife and associated ecosystems.
Generation of foreign exchange through an increase in high end tourism.
Improved local and regional stability and security.
Independent and transparent.
Potential for associated Carbon Credit schemes.
How can you help?
Follow and support @foundation_five on Twitter and other associated social media platforms as they become live.
Use social media and share relevant stories.
Write to your Member of Parliament (or other elected local politician) and ensure they know that conservation is important to you.
Facilitate an introduction to Governments or Companies to secure allocations of commodities.
Governments and / or Companies can agree to an allocation of a commodity to sell or that they want to buy.
Contact us at www.foundationfive.org and pledge a donation.