The United Nations Millenium Goals lists ‘Ensuring Environmental Sustainability’ as one of its eight key initiatives for 2015. Two of these targets are directly related to The Bateleurs’ mission: integrating the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes to reverse the loss of environmental resources; and achieving a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010.
The UN Millenium Goals are a driving force for government policy in most countries. These initiatives have become part of most government policy in Southern Africa, and their targets are incorporated into each country’s own goals.
Yet, preserving the environment is more than just government policy. In the words of writer David Quammen of National Geographic, Africa Issue, September 2005:
‘But remember one thing: The survival of Africa’s wildlife hasn’t depended
on an absence of people. It has happened, to the contrary, amid constant
human presence. We ourselves are an African species, at least by origin . . .
The animals adjusted to our presence – to our slowly but radically increasing capabilities – even as we adapted to life among them . . .
Killing wildlife, extinguishing species, and destroying habitat are easy with
our current weapons and tools. Preserving the last of the great beasts in their landscapes, despite human needs and pressures roundabout, is more difficult.
But wait, here’s a thought, unabashedly hopeful and wild as an aardvark: Maybe modern Africa is where we can rediscover how its done.’
It is in the modern African context that The Bateleurs operates, measuring man’s impact on the earth, showing and educating those who can make a difference to preserving our habitat, and the diversity within it.