This year’s theme, Run with the Wind, was in memory of CCF’s ambassador cheetah, Chewbaaka, who died in April at age 15, and highlighted CCF’s long-term efforts to ensure the survival of the wild cheetah. The lively evening included a musical performance by classical guitarist Ashley Zolkov and violinist Jesus Lasso, as well as a silent auction, candlelight dinner, conservation awards ceremony, and conservation speeches. Approximately 270 people attended the event, including individuals from the business, conservation, agriculture and government sectors in Namibia and internationally.
Israel “Kazembire” Zemburuka, host of NBC’s Good Morning Namibia, was the evening’s Master of Ceremonies and helped to move the programme along while entertaining the guests. Dr. Netty Purchase, from Zimbabwe, Coordinator of the Regional Cheetah Conservation Strategy for the Zoological Society of London and the Wildlife Conservation Society, was the special guest speaker and gave an enlightening speech on the cheetah as Southern Africa’s true icon. Dr. Purchase is involved in conservation management, attempting to link research with management to ensure that informed decisions are made regarding conservation policy in the region. In 2008, she was awarded the Kaplan Prize for Wild Cat Conservation.
CCF Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Laurie Marker, gave a short speech on Chewbaaka: Running with the Wind, and emphasised the need to continue our efforts long into the future to ensure the wild cheetah can continue to run with the wind. Dr. Marker also presented four Conservation Awards (see attached biographies of all award recipients), recognising conservationists, farmers, smart business practitioners and educators who help conserve the cheetah and the Namibian environment.
Maxi Louis was honoured as the 2011 Cheetah Conservationist of the Year. Maxi is one of the women leading conservation in Namibia and has received various awards for her efforts including, in 2010, third prize in the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in China. In January, she was recognised in the United States for helping to develop Namibia as a conservation tourism destination, and in March at the Indaba 2011 in South Africa for promoting the most appealing natural attractions. Solvay Okorusu Flourspar Mine was honoured as the 2011 Cheetah Conservation Business of the Year. Solvay Okorusu Flourspar Mine is an active Otjiwarongo business that supports conservation and education in the local community. The mine has supported CCF’s BushBlok project by providing technical advice. Isak ≠Ôuseb received the 2011 Cheetah Conservation Farmer of the Year Award. Isak ≠Ôuseb is the chairman for the Omkhaibasen Farmers Co-operative near Usakos. He has strengthened this co-operative enormously through his tireless work with the farmers in that area. His hard work was recognised recently as this co-operative received an award for the progress it has shown since Isak took the helm. The concern that Isak has shown for his fellow farmers, his focus on developing good farming practices and the care he provided for the CCF guarding dogs make him an excellent example for other farmers to follow. Dennis Muesee was named the 2011 Cheetah Conservation Teacher of the Year and is one of our inspirational success stories in helping to educate students and communities.
The evening’s keynote speaker, The Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Minister of Environment and Tourism, representing HE President Hifikepunye Pohamba, talked about the importance of the balance between the cheetah and conservation for the entire country’s ecosystem.
The silent auction once again was a huge success, with over 100 items donated by local businesses, including recreational ‘get-aways’ at exclusive tourist venues, artwork, jewellery and Namibian craftwork.
The wide range of auction items brought in contributions for CCF’s research, conservation and education programmes, all of which are supported through donations (more information on CCF’s conservation, education and research programmes is available at www.cheetah.org).
The Cheetah Conservation Fund is a Namibian non-profit trust dedicated to the long-term survival of the cheetah and its ecosystems. Since 1990, the organisation has developed education and conservation programmes based on its bio-medical cheetah research studies, published scientific research papers and has presented educational programmes to over 250,000 outreach school learners and over 2,500 farmers. In addition, CCF has donated over 370 Anatolian livestock guarding dogs to commercial and communal farmers as part of their innovative non-lethal livestock management programme. Research into cheetah biology and ecology has greatly increased our understanding of the fastest land animal and education programmes for schools and the farming community help change public attitudes to allow predator and humans to co-exist. However, despite the many successes of CCF programmes, the cheetah is still Africa’s most endangered big cat. If you would like more information on the Gala Dinner or CCF’s research, conservation and education programmes, please contact CCF at: Cheetah Conservation Fund PO Box 1755, Otjiwarongo Tel : (067) 306225 Fax: (067) 306247 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.cheetah.org
2011 Cheetah Conservation Farmer of the Year: Isak ≠Ôuseb
Isak ≠Ôuseb, the chairman for the Omkhaibasen Farmers Co-operative near Usakos, has strengthened this co-operative enormously through his tireless work with the farmers in that area. His hard work was recognised recently as this co-operative received an award for the progress it has shown since Isak took the helm. Ever eager to help farmers become more productive, he organises regular farmers’ days, where agricultural experts are invited to share their knowledge with emerging and resettled farmers. CCF staff first encountered Isak at the Windhoek Agricultural Show in 2009. At that time he was experiencing livestock losses due to cheetahs at the farmers’ co-operative. He knew about the CCF livestock guarding dog programme and applied for a dog. On 14 August 2010, Isak was invited to the CCF puppy day for training and to receive his new livestock guarding dog. Isak made sure that this dog was given the correct care and diet recommended by CCF and showed personal concern for the well-being of “Witvoet,” his new puppy. When another dog, “Fabiana”, had to be confiscated due to a lack of care by her owners, Isak’s co-operative was a natural choice as a new home for this working dog. As they run several herds of small stock, Witvoet and Fabiana were put with separate flocks and both are working well under Isak’s care. The concern that Isak has shown for his fellow farmers, his focus on developing good farming practices and the care he provided for the CCF guarding dogs make him an excellent example for other farmers to follow.
2011 Cheetah Conservation Teacher of the Year: Dennis Muesee
>Over the last two decades, we have seen children that came through CCF go on to become leaders in their communities and in their country. One success story is Dennis Muesee, who graduated in 2000 from Okakarara High School where he was an active member of the school’s nature club. Dennis often visited CCF during high school and became a volunteer after graduation. He finished Teaching College in Windhoek in 2004 and took a job teaching at the Gumm Combined School, where he helped the San people in the area develop a Conservancy and a nature club. Dennis brought both groups to visit CCF on field trips. He continued to work at CCF’s Education Centre during his holidays and remains a close cheetah friend. In 2008, Dennis moved to Swakopmund to teach at Hanganeni Primary School, where he has again started a nature club with 20 students!
2011 Cheetah Conservation Business of the Year: Solvay Okorusu Flourspar Mine
Solvay Okorusu Flourspar Mine is an active Otjiwarongo business that supports conservation and education in the local community. Their Community Trust has supported CCF’s Future Farmer of Namibia Programme which conducts training programmes for community farmers as well as assists farmers through the placement of livestock guarding dogs. The mine also has supported CCF’s BushBlok project by providing technical advice.
2011 Cheetah Conservationist of the Year: Maxi Louis
Maxi Louis is one of the women leading conservation in Namibia. Maxi completed her undergraduate at the Polytechnic of Namibia in natural resource management and continued with a master’s degree in tourism in Australia. She was the Director of Namibia Community-Based Tourism Association (NACOBTA) from 1995 to 2004, where she helped implement activities in the field working with the communities and helping them grow their community-based natural resource management programmesthem. In 2005, Maxi became the Director of the Namibian Association of CBNRM (Community Based Natural Resources Management) Support Organisations (NACSO) Secretariat working with the CBNRM organizations that support the 64 communal conservancies. Maxi has received various awards for her efforts including in 2010 third prize in the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in China. In January, she was recognised in the United States for helping to develop Namibia as a conservation tourism destination and at the Indaba 2011 in South Africa in March for promoting the most appealing natural attractions. In addition, Maxi has spoken at CCF’s international conservation training courses on the success of Namibia’s conservancies.
2011 Gala Guest Speaker: Dr. Netty Purchase
Dr. Netty Purchase, from Zimbabwe, is the coordinator of the regional cheetah conservation strategy for the Zoological Society of London and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Dr. Purchase pursued her PhD at Aberdeen University in the United Kingdom, focusing on predator competition in Matusadona National Park and Liuwa Plains National Park in Zambia. Upon completing her degree, Dr. Purchase helped to establish a cheetah conservation project with the Marwell Zimbabwe Trust aimed at mitigating conflict between farmers and cheetahs. More recently she has become involved in conservation management, attempting to link research with management to ensure that informed decisions are made regarding conservation policy in the region. In 2008, she was awarded the Kaplan Prize for Wild Cat Conservation.