Mark Gerrard

Director: Community Conservation

I grew up in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, and after schooling went on to study at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg Рmajoring in Agribusiness and Wildlife Science. Having grown up in South Africa and having visited numerous wildlife areas on the continent, I developed a passion for wilderness areas. This was further strengthened after university whilst working at some of Southern Africa’s prime wildlife tourism destinations.

In Africa, many of the people living near wilderness areas are reliant on natural resources. There is also a strong connection between the health of the environment and these communities. By exposing the people to the work being done to protect these areas, I believe that we can generate support for their conservation. In addition, people living adjacent to wilderness areas need to be exposed to development opportunities and their capacity strengthened.

Through my work with Wildlife ACT I am able to work at this interface – ensuring the protection of wilderness areas and the species living there, while at the same time ensuring that the adjacent communities are engaged with fully and feel part of conservation initiatives.