OTJIWARONGO, Namibia (30 June 2017) – For the 19th consecutive year, Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) will celebrate the speed and elegance of the cheetah with fellow Namibians at its annual Gala Dinner at the Windhoek Country Club on the 7th of July. Jackie Asheeke, a leading Namibian tourism industry expert and highly regarded social commentator known for her lively personality, will take on hosting duties as the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies. The honoured guest speaker will be Dr Rogério Cunha de Paula a biologist from São Paulo, Brazil, a long-time associate and good friend of CCF’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr Laurie Marker.
Dr Cunha de Paula is an environmental analyst for the National Research Center for Carnivores Conservation (CENAP) within the Instituto Chico Mendes for the Conservation of Biodiversity, an agency of the Brazilian Environmental Ministry (ICMBio/MMA). He is responsible for designing strategies to improve the status of endangered species and reduce conflicts between carnivores and humans in his country. Dr Cunha de Paula is also part of both national and international committees for carnivore conservation and like Dr Marker, a member of the Cat and Canid Specialist Groups within the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). His expertise lies in techniques for surveys and population sampling and the creation of species management plans. As wildlife manager, he dedicates time to learning and executing actions related to human-predator conflict mediation. Over the past 20 years in Brazil, Dr Cunha de Paula has changed people’s perception towards carnivore species, including the jaguar, puma and maned wolf, so they are not removed from ecosystems due to human intolerance.
“I am very excited to have Dr Cunha de Paula speak at this year’s gala”, said Dr Laurie Marker. “What humans living with carnivores face in Brazil is similar to what people and cheetahs experience in Namibia. It will be very inspiring to hear how these challenges are addressed in another part of the world. We certainly can learn from each other”.
Guests at the gala will enjoy a three-course dinner followed by an awards ceremony recognising those who have helped conserve the cheetah and the Namibian environment. Dr Marker will present four Cheetah Conservation Awards on behalf of the CCF Board of Directors: 2017 Cheetah Conservationist of the Year; 2017 Cheetah Conservation Farmer of the Year;
2017 Cheetah Conservation Educator of the Year Award; and Cheetah Conservation Fund’s 2017 Special Loyalty Award. Guests can also bid on a number of wonderful items during the silent auction, ranging from works of fine art to travel experiences.
Tickets for the gala are still available. Individual tickets are N$650 and a table of 10 is N$6,500. Tickets include a pre-dinner drink, three-course meal, speaker’s presentation, awards ceremony, silent auction and one complimentary admission for a guided tour of the CCF Centre. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Heike Stackman at 067-304806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.