Posted on 22nd November 2018 by Media Relations
"TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY WILDLIFE conservation is really about people, and the way we interact with our planet and its resources,” says Cameron Kerr, CEO of Taronga Conservation Society Australia.
With this in mind, Taronga created the CEO Challenge, an opportunity to join Cameron for a challenging journey designed to shed light on the complexities of wildlife conservation and vital recovery projects around the world. By educating participants on the serious issues threatening species, habitats and local communities, as well as the role each of us can play in conservation, Taronga aims to inspire individuals to act – and to share what they learn with their networks.
Through animal conservation, scientific research, breeding and education programs, Taronga works closely with and supports organisations worldwide. In the last 12 months alone Taronga partnered with 38 organisations working on the frontline of conservation across 33 countries. The Taronga CEO Challenge is a chance to connect Australians to this important work, and to the communities and wildlife that call these areas home.
Now in its third year, the CEO Challenge is headed to India this month, where participants will be visiting national parks, including Ranthambore and Kazirangah – which are home to tigers, elephants, buffalos and of course, the Greater One-Horned Rhino – as well as volunteering at a Sloth Bear Sanctuary.
During the 11-day trip, Cameron and the group will visit the Taj Mahal and also undertake a three-hour trek to their guide’s home village. Here they will have the chance to learn more about local customs, farming practices, human-wildife conflict and what life is like for the Rajahstani people. They will also embark on safaris for wildlife spotting, while learning about the rhino population as well as its habitat, local communities and conservation efforts to help this important species thrive.
Taronga supports various conservation efforts for species that inhabit India and the region, including the Chinese Pangolin and Przewalski's Horse (Tahki). Taronga is also a founding member of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF). Greater One-Horned Rhinos living in Assam, India, face a constant threat from poaching. Through the IRF, Taronga has helped establish a network of people in Assam to assist in preventing rhino poaching, and to aid in identifying poachers and traders operating in Assam and across the region.
An important component to the CEO Challenge is fundraising. Participants are required to each raise a minimum of $10K. These funds help Taronga support priority conservation projects for threatened and endangered wildlife in Australia and around the world – and contribute to the future of Taronga’s 10 legacy species.
The previous CEO Challenges took place in Sumatra, Indonesia, where guests visited Way Kambas National Park’s Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary and Elephant Conservation Centre. More than $1.2 million in funds has been raised by Taronga’s CEO Challenge program to date.
By fundraising through their individual networks, our CEO Challenge participants also help to build communities of advocates who understand Taronga’s mission and vision for a shared future for wildlife and people. This increased awareness helps us to educate more people about the plight of wildlife and engage them in our future conservation efforts.
To find out more about the program or donate to the Challenge, head to the website.
And follow this year’s CEO Challenge team at @tarongazoo.