Friday, December 08, 2006

Wilderness Foundation Founder on ITV: 7.30 pm Sat 9th Dec

ITV are screening a new series called Extinct airing at 7.30pm this Saturday 9th December.

The first programme will feature the tremendous work that Ian Player - founder of The Wilderness Foundation UK and Wilderness Leadership School - instigated to save the White Rhino from extinction. Operation Rhino, based in the Imfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, translocated the Imfolozi White Rhino across the world to save the species.

This was what Rhodes University said about Ian Player when they conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa:

"If one were to single out one person who is single-handedly responsible for whatever wilderness not only South Africa but many other countries in the world have left, it would have to be Ian Player. A generation or more before it became fashionable, Ian Player had the vision and commitment to see that environmental and conservation issues affected all South Africans and to lobby for these concerns to be amongst our national priorities. Where there was no responsible body to take up the cause of the environment, Ian Player created one! He has been actively involved for fifty years in programmes as varied as – literally – saving the white rhino from extinction and the establishment of the world-renowned Wilderness Leadership School.

Ian Player has probably done more for environmental conservation in Southern Africa than any other individual. He is an elder statesman of conservation, both nationally and internationally and has over many years brought much credit to our country. Amongst the first of South Africans with his background to see how much we all have to gain by sitting at the feet of those who have living indigenous knowledge of the land and all its denizens – and not too proud or too imprisoned by his socialisation to seek it, Ian Player has, in his turn, been instrumental in educating and influencing generations of conservationists on three continents. He has provided an outstanding example and role model of service and dedication to a cause on which the future of the human race and indeed, the planet as a whole may depend."

To read the full citation: (Word Doc on the Rhodes University website).

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