Category Archives: partners

Olivier’s Sports for Gorillas News from Rwanda

Art of Conservation spent many years of rehabilitating, managing, and providing security for children to engage in healthy activities and learning at the Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club in the Northern Province of Rwanda. Today, Olivier Habimana – president of the club – updates us with news we can all cheer about.

From Olivier-
Recently, the Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club was honored to receive an important supporter named Amelia Banner and her friends: Tonya Huston, Dennis Evans, Scott Zesch, and Kay Evans. They brought a lot of donations including tennis shoes, rackets and string, high altitude balls, women’s tops and more. It was really exciting to receive her at our club!

Amelia supports Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club ©Conservation Heritage-Turambe 2014Amelia at the Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club

Tonya, our friend, partner in human health education, and director of the Imidido Project introduced Amelia to us.

Amelia at Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club  with Tonya Huston©Conservation Heritage-Turambe2014From left: Amelia (reading a thank you note card from Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club) and Scott behind her, Tonya (in a white T-shirt with Imidido Project logo) and Kay Evans behind her, Dennis Evans with a camera, and our good friend Kavos.

Amelia is a tennis player from Mason, Texas in the United States of America. She loves the game a lot. She immediately picked her racket and played doubles with children and coach Rashid Nsanzimana. It was so amazing!

Amelia plays a doubles match with Coach Rashid©CHT 2014Amelia plays a doubles match with Coach Rashid, Evariste, and Jean Bosco.

Amelia & Olivier©CHT2014After the match, I got to spend some time with her talking and laughing.

Clement Twizerimana, Musanze District’s officer in charge of Youth, Sports and Culture, arrived to thank Amelia and her colleagues for supporting the Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club and the Musanze District in general. He welcomed the guests to come again and again.

Giving donations©CHT2014While Amelia was pulling out her donation items many tennis players and fans including district officials watched her with happiness!

Then, Amelia presented her donations to the Ibirunga tennis players who were there and her speech was received with a lot of excitement and applause.

Happy club thanks to Amelia©CHT2014Coach Rashid and his team of children happily waving their shoes and rackets. So amazing!

Thank you Amelia. You are warmly welcome back at the Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club! Warm gratitude to friends who contributed to making this happen including Tonya Huston.

Please keep up-to-date on more Art of Conservation & Conservation Heritage – Turambe news with our e-newsletter. Simply send us your name and contact information to [email protected] Thank you!

An Evening Not To Be Forgotten, continued

Once people arrived at Holistika and began enjoying the watermelon margaritas, fruit-infused water, lionfish ceviche, and more it was time to begin our brief presentations. I began with a history of Art of Conservation. Lucy followed with her One-health conservation highlighting her work with pandas in China, mountain gorillas in Africa, and giant river otters in Guyana and why we should all be alarmed at the rate of species extinction. Ilze presented a very real picture of the condition of our water world with her One-health conservation aquatic examples.

I appreciated everyones attention and interest. Plus during conversations before and after the talks we got to learn more about what people are doing and their ideas for the future. Follow-up meetings are certainly in order.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I wish I had photos of everyone who came out to our Meet-&-Greet, but I came up short. Next time! Please have a look at the few I did capture.

AoC's One-Health Meet&Greet at Holistika ©Art of Conservation 2014

#2 AoC's One-Health Meet&Greet at Holistika ©Art of Conservation 2014

#3 AoC's One-Health Meet&Greet at Holistika ©Art of Conservation 2014

#4 AoC's One-Health Meet&Greet at Holistika ©Art of Conservation 2014

#5 AoC's One-Health Meet&Greet at Holistika ©Art of Conservation 2014

#6 AoC's One-Health Meet&Greet at Holistika ©Art of Conservation 2014

#7 AoC's One-Health Meet&Greet at Holistika ©Art of Conservation 2014

#8 AoC's One-Health Meet&Greet at Holistika ©Art of Conservation 2014

More photos coming up!

Please stay up-to-date on more Art of Conservation & Conservation Heritage – Turambe news with our e-newsletter. Simply send us your name and contact information to [email protected] Thank you!

An Evening Not To Be Forgotten

A recent night in Tulum was an evening not soon to be forgotten. Friends, colleagues, partners, and new acquaintances arrived at Holistika in the late afternoon, sauntered through jungle paths, and were greeted with tasty drink and food – the only fish served being the invasive scrooge of the Caribbean Basin… Lionfish, Pterois volitans, in the form of ceviche prepared by the talented team at Ginger Tulum.

It has been a little less than two months since Art of Conservation moved our base of operations to Tulum and I have been busy reconnecting with the people we’ve met over the past year during our scouting trips to the Caribbean Basin who have in turn generously introduced me to many more people. So what better time to have a gathering to cement these new relationships and say thanks to the warm welcome? Right now and right here!

Lucy Spelman, Art of Conservation’s VP and One-Health Program Coordinator and Ize Berzins, our Consulting Scientist, arrived a few days prior to soak up our new settings – more on our field trips later – which filled our days from dawn to dusk with exploration and learning.

But before I go much further, I’d like to say thanks again to Holistika’s Denisse and Monica for making this event so easy and so much fun!

Denisse at Holistika July 2014 ©Art of ConservationThanks Denisse!

Monica at Holistika July 2014 ©Art of Conservation
Thanks Monica and Holistika’s head grounds staff member who looks handsome in his AoC t-shirt!

My next post will be full of photos from the evening… although I did not get as many pictures as I would have liked. I’m finding it more and more difficult to talk, walk, shoot photos, and really engage all at once.

More soon and thanks,
Julie

Please keep up-to-date on more Art of Conservation & Conservation Heritage – Turambe news with our e-newsletter. Simply send us your name and contact information to [email protected] Thank you!

A Positive Start To Tulum

It entailed a full year of concentrated effort from the Art of Conservation Board, our executive director Allison Hanes, and myself to arrive at the decision of setting up our new base of operations in the Caribbean Basin and more specifically in the town of Tulum which is in the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. But we did it and we are off to a very positive start. Before I go any further I’d like to take a quick look back at the people we met along the way who inspired and welcomed us. Enjoy the pictures and thanks everyone for your encouragement.

Art of Conservation in Guyana ©Art of Conservation 2014

Art of Conservation in Panama ©Art of Conservation 2014

Art of Conservation in Honduras©Art of Conservation 2014

Art of Conservation in Mexico and Belize©Art of Conservation 2014

Please keep up-to-date on more Art of Conservation & Conservation Heritage – Turambe news with our e-newsletter. Simply send us your name and contact information to [email protected] Thank you!

Learn more about our partner the World Rainforest Fund!

The World Rainforest Fund (WRF) saves biodiversity. Biodiversity can be defined as the number of species of animals and plants in an ecosystem. The Earth is undergoing a great crisis of mass extinction of species and loss of biodiversity. It is caused by humans, and the leading cause is habitat destruction. The Fund works to stop habitat destruction. We lose huge numbers of species each year. Species are going extinct at a rate that is 100 to 1,000 times greater than the normal background extinction rate. The renowned evolutionary biologist, Dr. Edward O. Wilson, said in 2002 that if current extinction rates continue, one half of all species on Earth will be extinct in 100 years. Biodiversity is crucial to human welfare. Many of our medicines and industrial chemicals come from living organisms. Life stabilizes local and global climate. It holds the soil in place, preventing erosion. It is the source of our food supply. It is a source of beauty, spiritual rejuvenation, tourism, and scientific knowledge. And life has a right to exist for its own sake—we have a moral obligation not to destroy species.

Hyancinth_Macaw__very_endangered_bird__Pantanal__BrazilEndangered Hyancinth Macaw of the Pantanal, Brazil. ©World Rainforest Fund

The World Rainforest Fund saves biodiversity in ecosystems that have the vast majority of it. Rainforests are home to half the land species on Earth, a major source of biodiversity. They have more species of animals and plants than any other terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. Tropical rainforests are being destroyed at the rate of 300 acres per minute worldwide. This is equivalent to the loss of an area half the size of the state of California annually.

The World Rainforest Fund focuses on rainforest conservation where they are most abundant in a continuous area, and where the preservation of them will last with the highest probability, such as the Amazon Basin. The largest area of intact rainforest is the Amazon Basin. World Rainforest Fund projects conserve rainforests in other countries, but focus on Brazil that has the largest amount of rainforest area. Saving the area on Earth with the most continuous rainforest will have the longest lasting effect. It is especially effective because this strategy saves the most corridors connecting areas where species live. Animals need corridors to keep their genetic diversity high enough to allow their survival. Without corridors, animal populations get isolated and undergo inbreeding, which can drive the species extinct due to lack of genetic variability.

Amazon_rainforest_from_plane__BrazilBrazilian Amazon rainforest. ©World Rainforest Fund

The World Rainforest Fund empowers indigenous people to help them save their rainforest homes. Scientific studies have shown that the most effective way to save rainforests is by empowering indigenous people who live in them to save their rainforest homes. It saves the most rainforest land per dollar spent, and saves rainforest in the way that has the highest chance of lasting permanently. This is because tropical countries tend not to have the money to hire a sufficient number of guards to protect rainforests in national parks. Amazonia National Park in Brazil has only six rangers to protect its 3,300 square miles (8,600 square kilometers). Thus, poachers come in and shoot wildlife, cut trees, and mine minerals illegally in these national parks. On the other hand, indigenous people are natural guardians who live in the rainforests, passionately want to protect them, and do not even require a salary.

The World Rainforest Fund is exceptionally effective and efficient at putting your donation to work at its stated mission. All members of our board of directors and board of advisors, and many of our staff, are volunteers, drawing no salary. The organization is a non-membership organization, so no money is spent on newsletters or other expenses incurred by membership organizations; money that would otherwise be spent in these areas is instead put directly to work on saving rainforests. A greater percentage of money we receive from our donors goes to actually carrying out our stated mission. In fact, over ninety percent of the proceeds we receive go directly to work saving the Earth’s rainforests. Our track record of helping indigenous people, giving grants to organizations that save rainforest, educating the public on the need to save rainforests, and saving rainforests through partnering with other organization dedicated to saving rainforests is exceptionally impressive. We are a 501c3, tax-exempt, public non-profit organization and all donations you give are tax-deductible. Our advisory board has many well-known, distinguished people. Our staff and workers are highly knowledgeable and exceptionally dedicated.

The World Rainforest Fund recently granted Fundacion OSA $3,500.00 to attempt to stop an illegal road to a 10,000 acre rainforest in Ecuador that scientists at the Missouri Botanical Garden showed was the ecosystem with the highest biodiversity in the world, meaning it has more species per area than any other ecosystem on Earth. This is because the rainforest and Andes ecosystems overlap in this area, which therefore has species from both of these ecosystems. The road would have allowed loggers, miners, and other exploiters into the rainforest, and it would have been cut down. Fundacion OSA received no grant other than WRF, and would not have been able to stop the road without the grant. They used the money to send in an observer, who found the road was wider than approved by the government of Ecuador. They also used the grant to print up brochures to distribute to officials of Ecuador’s government that showed the beauty and value of the forest to people, the illegality of the road, and the destruction that would result if it were built. As a result, the government of Ecuador stopped the road. Given the high diversity and low cost of this victory, this is just one example of maximizing saving species of animal and plant per donor dollar.

Art of Conservation and Conservation Heritage-Turambe are very pleased to be working with such a small yet impactful organization like our ourselves! Learn more about our partners on our new website!