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Media Release: Premiere on South African conservation success story launched

Date: 18th March 2011

Johannesburg: The country’s authority charged with the management of all national parks, South African National Parks (SANParks) launched a natural history documentary titled ‘South African Conservation Success Story’ last night (Thursday, 17 March 2011) at Monte Casino, IL Grande Theatre and Lounge in collaboration with Peter Flack Productions and important entities in the wildlife management and hunting industry in South Africa.

The objective of the documentary is to provide the viewer with the factual foundation that is needed to make wise and informed decisions regarding our natural heritage and its conservation.

According to SANParks Chief Executive Officer, Dr David Mabunda this documentary takes the viewer back to 1652, to the arrival of the first European settlers in South Africa, that led to the greatest destruction of game that this continent has ever known, reducing wildlife to barley half a million animals. The story builds on the wanton destruction to a miraculous recovery of wildlife in South Africa due to sound policies and decisions taken in the latter part of the 20th century. “This production is meant to drive home how politicians and private citizens laboured side by side to ensure we all can enjoy the natural riches of our country, and over the past years, matters related to the conservation of nature and natural resources have gained global prominence.”

Dr Mabunda said conservation is a movement that has over the years swept the world over, a movement that has played itself out in virtually every continent and in virtually every country. After almost five years of work and intensive research, a documentary on the conservation of wildlife which has characterised South Africa in the last 360 years, has been completed. It is now offered as a flagship of how the conservation movement produced astounding successes in South Africa and would hopefully set the scene for sound conservation management of wildlife in the future.

The premiere was hosted by SANParks in conjunction with the Confederation of Hunters Associations of South Africa (CHASA), the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA), the Wildlife Ranching Association of South Africa (WRSA), South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association of South Africa (SAHGCA) and Peter Flack Film Productions.

Speaking at the launch, Peter Flack – the producer of the documentary - said in recognising that humankind is at a crossroad, we have united in a common resolve to make a determined effort to respond positively to conservation. This effort seeks the support of politicians at all levels to invest time in lobbying and educating with continuous attention to planning.

According to Mr Flack the history of this success story is well documented and recognises the fact that we did not arrive at this position by accident, but through the blood and sweat in rallying to craft a conservation ethic in South Africa.

Dr Mabunda further stated that caring for our national parks and celebrating their achievements brings to mind all the metaphors of growth, change and reconciliation and by assuming a collective responsibility in advancing and strengthening the interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable utilisation of our wildlife we can increase the number of game animals in the world.

This documentary which will be made available to politicians and school principals for free was produced by Peter flack and is narrated by Shane Mahoney, a Canadian wildlife biologist, writer and researcher, and Dr. David Mabunda, SANParks Chief Executive.

Issued by:
SANParks Corporate Communications

Media Enquiries:

  • Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli GM: Media, Events & Stakeholder Relations, Tel: (012) 426 5203, Cell: 073 373 4999, e-mail: reyt@sanparks.org
  • Dr Gerhard Verdoorn SAHGCA: Deputy President, Cell: 082 446 8946, e-mail: nesher@tiscali.co.za
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