The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations
 

The Peace Parks Foundation

The Peace Parks Foundation protects transborder zones in Southern Africa by uniting economic development, the conservation of biodiversity, education, and regional peace and stability. The Peace Parks Foundation was established with a bold aim: to restore harmony between the environment and socio-economic development in Southern Africa after years of civil war.

The Peace Parks Foundation: restoring regions for peace and sustainable development

The Peace Parks project originated in 1997 through the commitment of three visionaries: President Nelson Mandela, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and Dr. Anton Rupert, a South African philanthropist. Baron Edmond de Rothschild served as an international ambassador for the project.

This unprecedented initiative enables transborder populations to turn the page on civil war and cultivate the natural resources and diversity offered by their territory. Ten parks have already been created in Southern Africa. Transcending the boundaries laid during the colonial era, Peace Parks bring extraordinary territories together, encouraging interregional cooperation, particularly through the development of ecotourism.

The parks represent a unique opportunity for these regions to commit to responsible economic development and achieve local stability. The areas are selected for their rich biodiversity, cultural heritage and economic potential.

Education, a key to sustainable development

As an indispensable pillar of economic development, education plays an integral role in this project. The Peace Parks Foundation manages two training establishments for park rangers and professionals: the Southern African Wildlife College and the South African College for Tourism.

Each year, 90 women from disadvantaged backgrounds take classes in ecotourism. With a degree in hand from a well-known college, they find jobs in the growing tourism sector, especially in Southern Africa. The colleges thus build firm foundations for economic opportunities based on educational and participatory tools.

The Foundations’ commitment to education and peace

The Peace Parks project combines several of the Foundations’ important objectives: education, encouraging the involvement of local communities, and sustainable development. With this partnership, the Foundations demonstrate their desire to be active participants in the development of these protected areas and the implementation of training programs, notably in South Africa and Mozambique.

>  Peace Parks Foundation: www.peaceparks.org