About Great Plains and Conservation Tourism

The story of Great Plains Conservation… What brought this all about? Over the past decades we have agonisingly witnessed how much of the world’s majestic and symbolic wildlife, parks and wildernesses have come under increasing threat despite all the conservation efforts to protect them. These species and their habitats are being poached, hunted, developed, mined, polluted, used and abused at an alarming rate. Today, often as a result of expanding population pressure, these rare places are valued less, not more; protected less, not more. In order to secure a future for the planet’s last remaining wildernesses, these threats must stop; and alternative, bold, sustainable conservation models must be created – those that integrate communities, Government and the private sector.

Five individuals in their 50s pooled their wide ranging skills and experience to create innovative, world-class conservation projects in a number of diverse and threatened habitats throughout Africa, the Indian Ocean and eventually in India. The world’s citizens must make a choice – “where to from here?” We believe there can only be one goal – saving some of the last great, iconic, and wild places of the world.

This is the mission: to find the right formula between conservation, communities and commerce. Great Plains Conservation’s model takes stressed and threatened environments, surrounds them with compassionate protection and intelligent management.

Great Plains Conservation is an initiative to help curb this downward spiral of our threatened natural world by being proactive today, and by applying what we know best. This is the development of a sound conservation model, which is sustainably funded by a blend of sensitive, low volume, low impact tourism, frequently coupled with the sale of carbon credits and in some cases with the sale of a small number of villas or bush-homes. Together, these private sector initiatives create the capital needed to help fund the overall conservation initiatives. Our primary ambition is to create of a number of flagship, or “gold standard” conservation programs in areas that previously have been deemed unsalvageable. Our hope is that these conservation initiatives will become successful, sustainable and inspire others around the world to replicate the model.

You may ask then, “What is the difference between Great Plains Conservation and other companies which promulgate ecotourism?” Most ecotourism companies are primarily travel companies that sometimes carry out conservation initiatives to help sustain their ecotourism operations. In contrast, Great Plains Conservation is foremost a conservation organisation, which operates ecotourism to maintain conservation as a sustainable land use alternative. In short, in order for conservation to be that preferred land use, there must be an economic driver, which provides reliable benefits for surrounding rural communities and government.

We introduce you to Conservation Tourism.