A large group of acclaimed international wildlife photographers and emerging talents have joined forces to raise funds for the people and wildlife in Africa who have all been affected by international tourism closure due to COVID-19 through “Prints for Wildlife.”
The tourism sector in Africa generates significant income to help maintain wildlife parks — which feature many vulnerable species such as elephants, rhinos, lions, and giraffes — with an estimated 24 million Africans dependant on tourism for their livelihood. The disruption in the industry caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions has had a devastating impact on the local people and the conservation across the continent.
To combat the situation photographers Marion Payr and Pie Aerts set up a print fundraiser “Prints for Wildlife” to support people and wildlife in parks managed by partnerships between governments and conservation non-profit African Parks. The initiative held an open call for photographers to enter their work and donate it to the cause, with all money from print sales directly given to African Parks to keep up their work in 19 parks in 11 African countries.
The foundation protects wildlife, provides law enforcement, supports and invests in communications, and also enacts long-term financing solutions. Since 2020, it has enabled 108,579 people to receive healthcare in and around the parks, built 105 schools, supported 752 scholarships, supported 1,064 park rangers who ensure safe spaces for people and wildlife, employed 3,219 full-time staff, and provided other opportunities and support for the local people and animals.
Each print sold by “Prints for Wildlife” is strictly limited to an edition of 100 copies and costs $100, excluding shipping. The mindful choice of paper — Hahnemühle Natural Line Hemp — also helps to further conserve resources and protect the environment.
This charitable photography-based initiative was first founded in 2020 and had over 120 photographers donating their work to the cause in the first year. The first edition successfully raised $660,200 and encouraged Aerts and Payr to return with a second edition this year. This time, over 170 photographers took part with their unique and scenic photographs of landscape and wildlife, which already helped raise $100,000 on the first day.
The line-up of the participating photographers also includes both founders Payr and Aerts, as well as an award-winning photographer and filmmaker Beverly Joubert, Canon Ambassador Clement Wild, National Geographic photographer Steve Winter, Brent Stirton, recognized by the United Nations for his work on the Environment, and many more who have contributed their work.
The fundraiser runs from 11 July to 11 August 2021 and all the available prints can be found on the “Prints for Wildlife” website.
Image credits: All images provided by “Prints for Wildlife” and used with permission. Header image by Marion Payr.