The Ian Player Foundation - Climate Change

How Ian Player made a difference for climate change.

Dr Player counted as one of his greatest friends and mentors wilderness guide Magquba Ntombela, saying “During my 40 years’ involvement with conservation I have met many remarkable people ranging from princes to scientists and political leaders. But my beloved friend, mentor and wilderness guide Magqubu Ntombela was unique. He taught me the real meaning of hlonipha (respect) and ubuntu (compassion).”

Player, the elder brother of international golfing great Gary Player, was known as “Madolo” by Zulu game guards in the Imfolozi Game Reserve, a nickname derived from an old wartime knee injury.

They likened him to a wounded buffalo when he was in a bad mood: a dangerous, short-tempered and formidable beast when cornered. Although he was a skilled orator, diplomat and shrewd politician, there were times when Player would burst from the thickets in a cloud of dust, snorting with fury to drive off anyone who dared threaten the wild lands he guarded so assiduously.

When one of the world’s biggest mining companies set its sights on strip-mining the coastal sand dunes at Lake St Lucia in the late 1980s, Player threatened to lie down in front of the bulldozers to stop them.

Marco Schiess, owner of Umlani Bushcamp says “Ian Player has been an inspiration to me all my life, my association with the Wilderness Leadership School has formed the principles by which we run Umlani. It is a great honour for me to be certified by the Wilderness Foundation as the Green Leaf standard is everything that Umlani stands for”.

“With global warming and climate change a reality. The tourism industry has the responsibility in protecting the integrity of our environment and has the opportunity to educate their guests. The Wilderness Foundations Awards encourages tourism role players to reduce the effects of consumption on our environment and improve upon environmental management and awareness in an eco friendly manner”, adds Schiess.

The Wilderness Foundation, founded in 1972 by Dr. Ian Player and Magqubu Ntombela, is a conservation organisation that encourages, plans and manages wild lands and wilderness areas, uplifts the knowledge and lives of historically disadvantaged citizens, and stimulates an environmental ethos among current and future leaders.

How the Ian Player Foundation plans to make a difference for climate change.

The Ian Player Bee Conserve is an active project, the principle being that if the bee is treated as the integral component that it is, everything including human communities thrives around a bee sanctuary. For every 150 dollars we raise, we can place one beehive in rural areas and empower communities to take care of their needs, thereby cultivating food forests with the added benefit of re-wilding the targeted area.

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