False Bay in Maputaland, South Africa (PRWEB) December 12, 2007
Janet and Rob Cuthbertson of Suni-Ridge Sand Forest Park Environmental Rehabilitation Center (013-525 NPO) purchased a non-functioning pineapple farm in 1991 in the environs of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park World Natural Heritage Site on the North East Coast of South Africa and have caringly rehabilitated this property, which now forms part of the buffer zone of the world heritage site, into a flourishing wildlife reserve. Suni-Ridge is a sanctuary to many wild animals and birds, such as the rare Suni antelope after which their organization is named, as well as other red data species.
"Our years of effort have at times been exciting, rewarding and often the challenge has been daunting, but the knowledge that we are giving something back to nature is our most worthwhile reward" - Janet Cuthbertson
Protecting natural resources and reducing CO2 emissions has become top priority for many businesses and people around the world, where schemes like planting trees to compensate for air travel are quite popular. In some cases, perhaps where the rural communities are not directly involved, the desired results are not being achieved e.g. the very trees that are meant to offset the emissions are being chopped down by locals for fuel and burned. It is essential that rural communities understand the importance of protecting the environment.
Dedicated by their passion for nature and wildlife, the Cuthbertsons have reached out to the local Zulu communities, sharing their knowledge of biodiversity protection. They strive to consolidate and increase the awareness of protecting the natural and cultural heritage, and encourage local communities to become actively involved.
"It is imperative that tomorrow's leaders will continue protecting the biodiversity" - Cuthbertson
Suni-Ridge is actively involved with Zulu children, whereby young leaders are invited to attend a 5-day course held at Suni-Ridge, to become environmental ambassadors. The course program includes learning about the protection of biodiversity, like the trees and indigenous vegetation that is still found in the rural areas, the humane management of domestic animals and wildlife, as well as doing fieldwork (e.g. identifying wild animals and their tracks).
The environmental ambassadors also learn about the importance of a healthy land supporting a healthy life in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and how to grow organic home gardens. They learn how to manage sanitation and to protect wetlands and manage water resources, and much more. Armed with supporting documentation, which is written in Zulu, each leader utilizes the learned skills and shares this knowledge within their communities.
To fund their work, Suni-Ridge has launched the "KHOLA" ad sponsorship campaign, which says "We believe we can make a difference". Khola is the Zulu word for believe.
Suni-Ridge's first territorial Zebra called "Old Boy" was snared and killed. At the time, his mare of 8 years was pregnant. Without the protection offered by their stallion, zebras are able to delay the birth of a foal until the time is right. When his mother believed that it was safe enough, Little "Khola" was born (later than expected). This is a story about having hope against the odds, and about wanting to carry on in spite of something devestating.
Khola is the inspiration behind the KHOLA ad sponsoring campaign, which consists of a half-colour photo (800x640 pixels) of him that was taken on the day he was born. There are 80 full-colour ad blocks. As each ad is sold and gets added to the picture, Khola starts to appear in full colour. The name or logo of the Ad Sponsor is added as a rollover image with a link to their website, and the names are listed underneath the photo too.
Suni-Ridge hereby invites 80 eco-friendly businesses, corporations and organisations to sponsor an ad.
The funds raised will cover the basic running costs of the environmental ambassador's course, and for protecting the wildlife and preserving the environment in and around Suni-Ridge.
Suni-Ridge wishes to welcome valued Ad Sponsors whose business or organisation supports the following:
- Preservation of nature and wildlife
- Preservation of cultural heritage
- Protection of biodiversity and the environment
- Eco-tourism that benefits local communities
- Alleviation of poverty
- Teaching sustainable methods of farming to rural communities
- Teaching sustainable methods of water and sanitation management to local communities
- Increasing the awareness of the environment and natural heritage
"Please sponsor an ad for the KHOLA Campaign to help us continue our work?"
"Often those who would like to make a difference in the environment are not located in an area where they can be physically involved with a conservation project. By supporting Suni-Ridge, you become part of a successful conservation outreach program. You will enjoy your participation, in the knowledge that your sponsorship has been truly worthwhile." - Janet Cuthbertson
About Suni-Ridge Org. ZA:
More details about Suni-Ridge's goals, achievements, campaigns and projects can be found on their website at http://www.suni-ridge.org.za/ All donations are made directly to Suni-Ridge (013-525 NPO) in South Africa.
Links of interest:
News release by Tours and Tales - http://www.toursandtales.com/