Monday, 25 July 2011

SA conservation event is for the birds

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Contact Details Name : Nikki McCartney Company : Sappi Phone :+27 (0)13 764 3 Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. URL : Losing one or more plant and animal species every 20 minutes is certainly no laughing matter. In fact, while that one entire species may become extinct in 20 minutes, 3,500 new humans are born.• So what does laughing have to do with conservation then? It’s a way for Sappi and BirdLife South Africa to make a difference in the protection of bird species in SA.
Having a good laugh and a sumptuous meal is certainly an innovative way of conserving our environment, or at least it is for one particular comedy event. Together with Sappi, Birdlife South Africa has created a series of Comedy for Conservation evenings. The host of the evening will be home-grown comedian Barry Hilton who will certainly have guests entertained. To leave their guests with a feeling of being conservationists themselves, the creators, in organising and managing the event also aim to reduce its impact on the environment.

The event is aimed at drawing attention to tourism around birds as well as to the need for conservation in South Africa. Called ‘avi-tourism’, bird tourism is a way for conservationists to add economic value to the birds and their habitats.

Says Acting CEO of Birdlife SA, Duncan Pritchard, “The comedy events are to raise awareness of the value of avi-tourism and to raise funds for our birding routes and the allied conservation around them. With humour we are sure we will achieve these aims. Since 80% of the decline of biological diversity is caused by the destruction of habitat we believe that eco-tourism in general and especially avi-tourism is a successful way of encouraging communities to conserve the natural assets in their area,” adds Pritchard.”•

Sappi’s involvement as a primary funding partner of BirdLife SA and sponsor of the Comedy for Conservation series is motivated by its longstanding involvement in conservation in this country.

André Oberholzer, Group Head Corporate Affairs of Sappi, says: “Sappi is proud of its history of supporting birds and birding. Being a large landowner in South Africa it was logical for Sappi to invest in the conservation and research of birds on our lands and to sponsor the ongoing production of the definitive bird guides such as ‘Sappi Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa’. I am sure that the communities in which birding routes are being established will benefit greatly from Sappi’s contribution to the project.”

The first event will take place at the Bundu Lodge in Mpumalanga on Friday the 20th of June. For more information or to reserve a table, please contact:

Nikki McCartney of the Birdlife South Africa Avitourism Unit
Project Manager Mpumalanga Birding Route
Tel: +27 (0)13 764 3370
cell +27 (0)83 636 1060
fax +27 (0)13 764 3370
email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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