Namibia: 20 Years of Cheetah Conservation

by Jun 25, 2010Big Cats

Windhoek — Saving the cheetah means changing the hearts and minds of the people that call Africa home. For the 12th year, CCF will again celebrate with Namibia the speed and elegance of the cheetah at their gala dinner at the Windhoek Country Club on 17 July. This year’s theme, “Racing to the Future”, will highlight CCF’s long-term efforts to ensure the survival of the wild cheetah while reflecting upon the journey which began in a small farm house twenty years ago.

The lively evening will include music performed by “Danella and Jesus” from Otjiwarongo, followed by a silent auction, candlelight dinner, conservation awards ceremony, and conservation speeches. The dinner guests include individuals from the business, conservation, agriculture and government sectors in Namibia and internationally.

Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, the minister of environment and tourism, who will be representing H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba, will once again be the keynote speaker.

The evening’s special guest speaker will be Dr Steven O’Brien, the chief of the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institutes of Health in Washington DC.

Dr. O’Brien is chairman of CCF USA’s Foundation Board and is internationally recognised for his research contributions in human and comparative genetics, evolutionary biology, and HIV/AIDS and other retrovirus. He has researched areas as diverse as mapping the genome of the cat, to the discovery of CCR5- Delta32, the first human gene shown to block infection by HIV among its carriers. Dr. O’Brien is the author or coauthor of more than 500 scientific articles.

While Namibia has the largest population of cheetahs, it is only one small segment of the cheetah’s range. CCF hosts wildlife biologists, conservationists and extension agents throughout the cheetah’s range so that they can learn about CCF’s programmes to prevent or resolve human/wildlife conflict in their own countries. CCF’s motto, “We Can Live Together” is an important part of their philosophy which they teach to several thousand school learners each year from throughout the country.

Tickets for the gala evening can be obtained from Heike Stackmann or Jane La Bonte at the CCF in Otjiwarongo.