Former CEO of Coca-Cola Neville Isdell and his wife Pamela have donated $3 million to the World Wildlife Fund and The Nature Conservancy to support wildlife conservation and community livelihoods in Zambia and Namibia.
The Isdells, who have supported conservation work in Africa for over 30 years, announced their gift during an event hosted by Zambia Vice President Guy Scott. The event also marked the launch of the Zambian Parliamentary Conservation Caucus in Lusaka.
Delivering a speech on behalf of the family, Neville Isdell revealed the family’s emotional attachment to Zambia: “For us, though, this is not just about the money. It is a very emotional statement of what Zambia means to us. This gift reflects our determination to help the people and wildlife together to live in harmony for the benefit of all of Zambia.”
Pamela Isdell added, “We are pleased that our involvement can be part of this transformational time in Zambia. I hope our giving will inspire others to support a country that has meant so much to us.”
Previous support for Zambia from the Isdell family has advanced the government’s anti-malaria efforts through the Isdell Flowers Initiative, and conservation of the Wattled Cranes through the International Crane Foundation.
The Isdell family has also supported the Chimfunishi Reserve Project, Luangwa Game Reserve activities through Bird Life International, and more recently through Peace Parks Foundation, the provision of a microlite and hanger for anti-poaching activities in Sioma Ngwezi National Park.
Neville Isdell also co-chairs the Investment Climate Facility for Africa together with former President Ben Mkapa of Tanzania that is currently implementing 57 government reform projects with 17 partner governments.
The Isdell family has been associated with WWF and The Nature Conservancy’s conservation work worldwide for 30 years. Currently, Neville Isdell chairs the board for WWF-US, while his wife Pamela is a board member for The Nature Conservancy in Georgia, USA.
Vice President Scott paid tribute to the Isdell family for their generosity and continued support to Zambia and emphasized the government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for conservation in the country.
Speaking on behalf of the grantees, WWF Zambia Country Director Professor Patrick Matakala thanked the Isdell family for the donation. Prof. Matakala observed that the respective grants will strengthen the work of TNC and WWF in support of conservation by contributing to policy reform, on-the-ground management interventions including wildlife aerial surveys and building resilient local institutions and natural-resource-based economies.
Part of the current gift will go toward strengthening rural communities’ capacities in natural resources management, promotion of conservation enterprise development through community- public- private partnerships and joint ventures.
“This gift will have a profound, far-reaching impact in Zambia. It helps catalyze collaboration and renew focus on the benefits that preserving nature brings to local communities,” said Matt Brown, The Nature Conservancy’s director of conservation in Africa.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
Mr. Cephas Moonga
Sr. Communications & Marketing Officer
WWF Zambia Country Office
Plot 4978 Los Angeles Boulevard
P.O. Box 50551 RW
+260 211 250404
+260 211 253749
Marketing Manager – Africa Programme
The Nature Conservancy
Zambia Programme Office
Plot # 8664 Kudu Road, Kabulonga
P.O Box 51540 RW
+260 211 260 044