The Paradise Foundation launches first overseas conservation program in Africa
The Paradise Foundation, a not-for-profit environmental conservation organization in China, has announced its first overseas conservation program in Africa. The announcement was made during the Foundation delegates’ visit to the continent, led by Jack Ma, Co-Chairman of The Paradise Foundation and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group.
The Foundation, established in April 2015 by a group of prominent Chinese business leaders, aims to preserve the nature of our planet through charitable action, adopting a scientific approach and highly-efficient business management.
At the meeting with African country leaders in Kigali, Mr. Ma, who is also a special advisor to the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), revealed that the 10-year program will focus on conservation and management of natural habitats in Africa. The key initiatives of the program will foster collaboration between Chinese charitable organizations and nature reserves in Africa such as the Virunga National Park in Congo and the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, as well as urging regulations against the trading of ivory, rhino horn and other wildlife products.
The Paradise Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation, a charitable organization established by Alibaba Group, will sponsor in full both the cash rewards for outstanding frontline patrolling staff at the reserves and the program’s management expenses for the next 10 years, expected to be US$1.65 million in total.
“Conserving nature and protecting the resources of the human race is a calling that transcends geographic borders. The Paradise Foundation is an organization originating in China, but we care about the well-being of our planet. Africa is the natural habitat for a range of wildlife that is threatened by illegal hunting and trading. We are very pleased to be able to contribute our resources to countries that need them,” said Mr. Ma.
Statistics show that Africa is home to the richest diversity of wildlife in the world, including more than 1,000 species of mammals, 500 kinds of birds and 2,000 types of freshwater fish. Unfortunately, poverty, illegal hunting and black-market trading have posed a serious threat to the continent’s bio-sustainability. For example, the number of African elephants has fallen below 600,000 and continues to decline at a rate of 38,000 per year. Black rhinos and gorillas have also become endangered species.
The Foundation hopes that the visit to Africa will continue to raise public awareness of sustainable development and open the door for more collaborative initiatives between China and the continent.