What is the Silent Heroes Foundation?

Founded in 2010, the Silent Heroes Foundation is an organization that promotes nonprofit work across Africa through projects that support wildlife conservation and One Health. Silent Heroes Foundation supports ideas of the One Health Philosophy, where humans and wildlife are intricately connected to their surroundings. With the One Health philosophy in mind, the Silent Heroes Foundation enhances both human and animal well-being in Africa and helps protect and conserve its wildlife and endangered species. One of the ways this is achieved is through the distribution of equipment and medical supplies to African clinics servicing conservationists, park rangers, veterinarians, and families. The foundation also helps implement innovative conservation, mitigates human-wildlife conflict, and supports research and educational initiatives that focus on the interface between humans, wildlife, and domestic animals.

Poaching of wildlife is an issue of great concern in Africa, especially that involving vulnerable and endangered species such as rhinos and elephants. Well-organized crime syndicates have been carrying out the illegal trade in wildlife products such as rhino horn and ivory and transporting them to China and Vietnam for use as a status symbol among the middle class, a hangover cure, and for medicinal treatment. Most of Africa’s wildlife reserve security and park rangers are neither well trained nor equipped to tackle the problem of poaching. To deal with these challenges, the Silent Heroes Foundation has formed an elite Specialized Interdiction Unit to be deployed on a need and quick-reaction basis across South Africa. The Specialized Interdiction Unit helps boost overall security and has deterred the rate of poaching and poaching-related deaths.

In response to the growing human-elephant conflict in Kenya, the Silent Heroes Foundation is putting in place an initiative to create a pilot bee fence outside Amboseli. This initiative aims to deter elephants from crossing over to farmer lands and raiding crops, thus reducing the number of deaths resulting from such conflict. This will allow park rangers to focus on more critical issues such as anti-poaching activities and will ensure that the agricultural supply of farmers in the region is sustainable. The foundation has also set up the Tumaini Environmental Academy to promote quality learning through evidence-based learning, holistic student development, mentorship, and community engagement. The Tumaini Environmental Academy provides educational opportunities to orphans and a training ground for future conservationists in the region.

In Tanzania, the Silent Heroes Foundation has partnered with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute and African Wildlife Trust to boost black rhino and elephant conservation efforts. In the last three generations, the population of black rhinos has decreased by 90% to 5000 in Africa, with less than fifty remaining in the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania. The Savannah elephant population has witnessed a 90% decline in the last four generations. The partnership will facilitate the monitoring of these endangered species and develop measures to increase the population and deter poaching and other wildlife-endangering activities.

In 2020, Dr. Hayley Adams transformed the work of the Silent Heroes Foundation from a charity model to one of philanthropy by making it a private foundation.…

Taking Care of Locals – Key to a Successful Wildlife Conservation

The poaching crisis in Africa has led to an increase in funding for Africa wildlife conservation. According to the World Bank, approximately $ 1.3 billion was invested across the globe to combat illegal wildlife trade between 2010 and 2016. Most of the funds have been used for protected area management and law enforcement. However, the use of fines, guns, and fences, in many regions has restricted people’s livelihoods, given rise to human rights abuses and hardship to people in the local communities. One of the fundamental problems in animal conservation in Africa is that the local communities lack the incentive to preserve wildlife. To turn things around, we must give them the motivation to do so. For animal conservation in Africa to thrive, it needs to be beneficial to both wildlife and local people. More often than not, international and national policy limit local people’s rights to manage and use wildlife. As a result, the locals derive little to no economic benefit from animal conservation.

We need to create laws that establish clear and enforceable rights that enable locals to use, manage, and sustainably benefit from wildlife conservation. Locals need to have a voice in shaping conservation policies. Politicians need to be held accountable, and the African civil society should mobilize relevant constituencies. Tourism, which is often heralded as the elixir for conservation and generating local jobs and income, can only be practiced in specific regions during certain times. There is a consensus among lion conservationists, that when trophy hunting is well managed, it can effectively complement conservation. However, trophy hunting is often under attack from animal welfare organizations. Investment in and exploration of alternatives that can create conservation incentives for locals is necessary.

The advantages of animal conservation in Africa need to be shared more equitably. Private tour operators, Financial governments, large corporations (like Lowes) the global public, and lodges are presently the largest beneficiaries–not local communities. Locals often incur the highest cost from debt and agencies that go after them for it, especially in the form of physical eviction or limited access to conservation areas and wildlife conflict, which may lead to the destruction of crops, property, and even the loss of livestock and people’s lives. Although innovative measures are continually being developed to mitigate human-wildlife conflict, we need to create more effective strategies to compensate people for the cost they incur.

What is essential for long term animal conservation in Africa is developing partnerships and policies that recognize and foster communities’ rights and needs and rights. The garden of Eden of Africa is a myth where people do not live in isolation, and neither should they. Animal conservation in Africa can thrive if we start supporting locals and stop criminalizing them. Locals can play a significant role in Animal conservation in Africa, and creating incentives for them to coexist with wildlife will go a long way in conserving wildlife in Africa.…

Animal Conservation in Africa

Africa is home to some of the world’s most endangered species, including the Ethiopian wolf, Grevy’s zebra, black rhino, white rhino, mountain gorilla, and Rothschild giraffe. To protect these species from further decline, it’s essential to establish on the ground safeguards. To ensure that wildlife survive in their natural habitats, it’s necessary to empower local communities in Africa through conservation-friendly development and to establish partnerships among international organizations to safeguard Africa’s natural resources. Although anti-poaching measures are critical in animal conservation, involving local communities can help achieve better results.

Human beings play a critical role in protecting these ecosystems. Local communities and wildlife often share land and live alongside each other across the African continent. This has often led to conflicts over water and space. For the future of humans and wildlife to thrive, both must learn to coexist inside and outside the protected areas.

Having people harmoniously coexist with breathtakingly beautiful animals in Picturesque African habitats is a dream that has yet to be realized. Despite over a hundred years of international investment in conservation in the continent, wildlife still faces a critical threat. Over the last 50 years, there has been a significant decline in species across Africa. For instance, the population of lions has decreased by 40% over the previous two decades, between 1970 and 2005, the population of 69 essential African mammal species dropped by 59%. To turn things around, it is vital to develop a better approach to conservation.
Anti-poaching initiatives have been at the forefront of animal conservation in Africa. However, although poaching is a significant threat to Africa’s wildlife, an even more significant problem exists–land. Over the years, wildlife has lost space for infrastructure, urbanization, and agriculture. This makes the need for animal conservation in Africa more critical than ever.
There are many benefits to wildlife conservation in Africa. Wildlife is valuable both economically and in maintaining ecosystems. Predators such as lions keep herbivore populations from overgrazing on fragile grasslands. In many cases, seeds need wildlife to come to life. For example, some forest seeds need to pass through an elephant’s gut to germinate and be dispersed.
Wildlife helps maintain forests and other ecosystems, which are vital in regulating the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, improving soil fertility, protecting watersheds, and more. Kenya’s Mau forest benefits Kenya’s economy by $1.3 billion and the tea industry by $163 million annually, mainly due to its ability to catch, store, and distribute water. In Southern Africa, the legal, sustainable trade in wildlife is worth over $300 million a year.
Viewing wildlife is one of the leading tourism activities in Africa. Since 2005, tourism in the continent has grown by more than 6%, and the industry was estimated to be worth $34.2 billion. Although controversial, trophy hunting plays an essential role in local economies, especially in regions that are not suitable for tourism. It encourages more extensive tracts of land to be made available for wildlife and is also a source of income-generating activities. The iconic African wildlife is highly valued, and sometimes even revered for its mere existence. It is often intertwined with local culture, and the loss of wildlife could easily lead to the loss of cultural ties.…