• Our Ambassadors

    The Amazing People Helping To Save The Lion

    Chris Mercer

    Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH)

    Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH) began fifteen years ago while Bev and I were establishing our wildlife rehabilitation Centre in the Kalahari. The exposure of canned lion hunting by the Cook Report, a sting operation that was broadcast by the media, including Carte Blanche, alerted the public to the horror of a growing industry where predators were being bred for the bullet or arrow.
    However, once the shock waves had died down, and the media moved on to the next story, we saw that no conservation NGO’s in S.A. were prepared to keep the issue alive. It was business as usual for the hunting industry.
    So Bev and I stepped into the conservation vacuum and set out to raise awareness of the horrors of the farming of captive predators.
    First, we gathered as much information as we could find on the issue and liased with the relevant NGO’s such as the British League Against Cruel Sports. Then we published it all in a book titled “Canned Lion Hunting - A National Disgrace”. We printed several hundred copies and then posted them to every animal welfare organisation and conservation NGO we could find on the Internet.
    Our first book “For the Love of Wildlife” relates the story of the Harnas Lion Sanctuary in Namibia, and it was appropriate to append an Epilogue about canned hunting to that book. We published that in 2001, and five thousand copies were sold.
    All this was done at our own expense. It was not until 2007 that CACH became a registered non-profit and began to solicit funding.
    In 2006 I toured UK (England and Scotland) giving presentations on canned hunting to thirty two different NGO’s and civic groups, such as WSPA and League Against Cruel Sports.
    In the same year I was awarded the Marchig Trust International Award (granted annually by the Swiss-based animal charity) for contribution to animal welfare, and we used the US$20,000 award to set up a system in S.A. where I could travel around S.A. giving presentations at pre-arranged venues to a wide variety of civic groups, schools and media.
    Since that time, the work of CACH has settled into an Internet routine. Apart from attending wildlife workshops and forum meetings (I sit on the Wildlife Forum appointed by the Premier of the Western Cape to advise government on wildlife matters) most of our work now is Internet-based using the internet to raise awareness around the world.
    Chris Mercer and Bev Pervan
    Campaign Against Canned Hunting, Sec 21 NGO
    www.cannedlion.org
    Co-authors of:
    Kalahari Dream www.kalahari-dream.com

     

    Dex Kotze

    CEO of Jenna Clifford Jewellers and Founder of Youth 4 African Wildlife


    Qualifications: Obtained Law and Political Science degree at University of Johannesburg, followed by Financial Management.

    Co- founder and owner of Jenna Clifford Designs (Pty) Ltd, a luxury goods company specializing in high end fine jewellery since 1992. www.jennaclifford.com

    Family: Dex is married to Jenna Clifford, his business partner since 1992. They have 3 daughters.

     

    Conservation
    1. Baronmere Estate
    Established an eco-sustainable residential property development company in 2004, 30km from Kruger National Park, replacing 200 000 alien eucalyptus trees with the rehabilitation of more than four thousand indigenous trees and several grasses. This project is saving up to 36 million litres of water per day and has successfully re-introduced over 70 bird species to the area as well as a variety of antelope.
    2. Founder: Youth 4 African Wildlife
    Y4AW, a non-profit initiative dedicated to increase global awareness surrounding the poaching crisis affecting endangered African elephants, rhinos, lions and pangolins amongst others. Y4AW is a global movement aiming to educate the youth from different nationalities to become actively involved in conserving these endangered animals in their natural environment and concentrates on demand reduction of endangered wildlife. Endangered African wildlife conservation internships are offered to local and international students, using film and camera equipment in combination with social media marketing to advocate against wildlife crimes. Funds raised are used to sponsor previously disadvantaged Africans to participate in the programs. Team building and leadership skills are developed during the internship. Over the last 18 months, 10 YPO young adults have participated in this conservation program. www.youth4africanwildlife.com
    3. Jenna Clifford Rhino Project
    Dex started the Jenna Clifford Rhino Project in 2012. This conservation project was in association with Stop Rhino Poaching NPC. We raised funds for the support of security, surveillance, aviation training /equipment and tracker dogs that are deployed at rhino game reserves in combatting rhino poaching. A total of R500 000 was raised in 2013.
    www.stoprhinopoaching.com
    4. The Rhino Orphanage
    Dex serves as a non-executive director at The Rhino Orphanage, the first orphanage established in South Africa dedicated to rehabilitate rhino orphans who survive the current poaching crisis. The orphans are raised in such a way to facilitate re-introduction into the wild.
    therhinoorphanage.co.za
    5. Conservation awareness
    International model Christie Brinkley and actress Bai Ling attended a rhino conservation week in 2013, when they were exposed to the rhino poaching crisis and members of international news agencies were invited to accompany and document the event, which helped raise the rhino poaching crisis to millions of readers in Asia when articles of their involvement was printed in over 60 news publications in Asia.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_Q1RNUTZMg
    6. Wildlife conservation photojournalism
    As a helicopter pilot, Dex is periodically in the African bush and writes pro bono for various print and online publications on endangered African wildlife conservation issues. With 30 years’ experience in business development and management, strategic planning, marketing and entrepreneurship, Dex decided to use his business expertise to help prevent the extinction of endangered species and also uses social media platforms to raise global awareness around the issue.
    7. Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions
    Dex is a co-strategist and member of the international committee that hosted the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos in 137 cities on 6 continents on World Animal Day 4th October 2014. GMFER continuous to use various platforms to raise global awareness against illegal wildlife trafficking, estimated to be in excess of $20 billion per annum. www.march4elephantsandrhinos.org
    8. Rhino Horn Risk Assessment
    Dex is a member of the International Rhino Coalition, a group of influential wildlife and conservation NGO’s, economists and individuals that are opposing the South African government’s plans to apply to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to legalise trade in rhino horn in 2016.
    9. Rhino Translocations
    Through Youth 4 African Wildlife and the Jenna Clifford Rhino Project, Dex helped sponsor and support the successful translocation of 10 endangered white rhinos out of crime hotspot areas to more secure reserves in Botswana. He is continuing with other programs to translocate more rhinos to secure reserves.
     

     

    Hobbies: Aviator, wildlife photojournalism, equestrian sport, bonsai enthusiast, landscape rehabilitation, water skiing, keeping fit, animals and most importantly fatherhood to 3 daughters.
    YPO: Since joining YPO Pretoria as a founding member in 2007, Dex has been education chair, membership chair, and Chapter chair of the Pretoria chapter. In 2014 he was the Education chair for the 13th consecutive Africa Family Safari Experience and regularly talks on conservation issues, wildlife demand reduction and impact conservation finance.

    Views: Dex firmly believes in gender equality, a passion he shares with his wife, Jenna, who is also a UN appointed gender equality ambassador for the UN Millennium Development Goals 2015. Dex firmly believes in giving back and ensuring that as a human race, we ensure that wildlife and habitat are preserved for future generations.

    The Honourable Jason Wood MP

    Federal Member for La Trobe

    Jason, aged 43, has lived in the La Trobe for over 40 years and shares a strong affinity with the local community. Jason grew up with his family in Ferny Creek, where he attended the local primary school, Ferntree Gully Technical School. In year 12, he attended Boronia Secondary College, where he completed an Environmental Outdoor Leadership Course. Jason then went on to working as a school camp coordinator.

    In 1998, Jason graduated from the Victorian Police Academy and soon after commenced work as a Constable at the Boronia Police Station. He progressed to become a Detective Senior Constable at the Organised Crime Squad. Jason then transferred to the Boronia Criminal Investigation Unit. In his position he completed a Masters in Innovation Service Management and a thesis on Counter Terrorism, he was promoted to Senior Sergeant at the Counter Terrorism Unit.

    From 2004-2010, Jason served as the federal member for La Trobe, where he actively used his knowledge of counter terrorism to contribute to national debate, which assisted the Howard Government in implementing tougher terrorism laws. In 2008, Jason was appointed by the then-Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Justice and Public Security.

    Throughout his life, Jason has been involved in several local community groups; whether it be playing football or cricket, working with local environmental groups, cleaning up after bushfires, or fighting for palliative care hospice in Emerald.

    Jason, his wife Judy, and daughter Jasmine live locally.

    The Honourable Greg Hunt MP

    Federal Member for Flinders and Federal Minister for Health

    Greg was born in Frankston in 1965, the son of Alan Hunt, who served West Gippsland and the Mornington Peninsula for over 30 years as the State Upper House member for South-Eastern Province.

    Raised in Mornington, Greg attended school at Mornington Primary and The Peninsula School. In 1984, prior to entering university, he spent a year based on a kibbutz in Israel. This included a three-month period spent riding a bicycle around Europe.

    In 1990, he graduated from Melbourne University with First Class Honours in Law, winning an award for the best final year law thesis. He subsequently won a Fulbright Scholarship to complete a Masters in International Relations at Yale University in the United States.

    While at university, Greg captained the Australian Universities Debating Team, was runner-up at the World Universities Debating Championships and won the Edinburgh International Debating Tournament. He also worked casually as a steelworker, fruit picker, waiter and storeman and packer.

    After university and a year spent as an articled clerk with Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Greg became an Associate to the Chief Justice of the Federal Court as well as spending time as an intern with the United Nations Centre for Human Rights in Geneva.

    Between 1994 and 1998, Greg worked as a senior adviser to the then Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer. Greg had responsibility for South East Asia, defence, human rights, trade and international law and counts his contribution to the development of an international initiative for the removal of land mines as his most important work.

    After spending time as Chief Australian Electoral Observer in Cambodia, Greg spent almost three years with McKinsey and Co - from early 1999 to late 2001 - rising to the position of Engagement Manager. His time with McKinsey included a secondment as Director of Strategy at the World Economic Forum in Geneva.

    Greg was elected as the Federal Member for Flinders in 2001. In 2004 he became Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage and in January 2007 was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

    After the November 2007 Federal election, Greg was appointed Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water, a role that brought together the great interests of his time in parliament. In September 2008 his role was expanded to include all water responsibilities. In December 2009 Greg’s role was expanded once more when he was appointed Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage.

    After the 2013 Federal election Greg became Minister for the Environment, with responsibility for climate, environment, heritage and water.

    As the Member for Flinders, Greg has completed three 500km walks around his electorate - in 2004, 2007 and 2011 – to raise funds for Juvenile Diabetes and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Greg is married to Paula, a surgical nurse. They have two young children and reside on the Mornington Peninsula.

    He is a keen sportsman and has competed in seven marathons as well as numerous local events such as the Arthurs Seat Challenge fun run, the San Remo Channel Challenge run and swim and the Dromana Life Saving Club swim.

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