NEWS – Changes at the African Pangolin Working Group
We value your contribution to our mission to save the most trafficked mammal!
With your help, we have had our best year so far and we have new and exciting plans for the future of our organisation.
You will find our Chairman’s report here. We pride ourselves on transparency, ethics, good governance, kindness to animals and harmony between us humans.
Our mentor and friend, Prof Ray Jansen has resigned as the Chairman of the APWG after 12 years at the helm of what has become a remarkable organisation – it started off as a conversation between likeminded individuals in 2009, the organisation was established as an NPO in 2011 and today we have an international reputation and successes that we would not have imagined would be possible.
Ray has been granted Honorary Life Membership with the APWG, so while he steps down from his immediate role as the chairman of our group, he will not be going away anytime soon.
In Rays words:
After 12 years of working with pangolins and 10 years following the establishment of the African Pangolin Working Group (APWG), I have decided to resign as Chairman and Board member and revert back to my focus on academia – my teaching, but more importantly scientific research in the natural world. I have been truly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful, vibrant and active pangolin conservation organisation that is the APWG and, to have support from such an amazing collective of individuals that make up its Board and field staff. More than that, how can one describe the privilege it has been to work with pangolins. They are spiritual, bewitching, mystical and peaceful beings that have taught me much about life and about the joys and horror that is human nature. I have been honoured by the APWG Board with a Life Membership, for which I am truly humbled. As such, I remain part of this incredible organisation and will continue to assist and support where I can. Nicci Wright and Alexis Kriel have been voted collective co-chairpersons of the organisation – I cannot think of two better people to take the APWG through to greater heights as the organisation currently experiences a growth phase. I remain active and committed to my pangolin research with my postgraduate students and hope to continue for many years to come.
Our work spans the fields of intelligence operations, confiscations of pangolins from the illegal trade and we are mandated by the South African Government to oversee the high care, rehabilitation of pangolins and their release back into an appropriate wildlife area. We do training for law enforcement, prosecutors, vets and rehabilitation specialists in South Africa and beyond, we work closely with SAPS and the Environmental Inspectorate and our publication of research is extensive.
The African Pangolin Working Group is currently in a growth phase where we are formalising our structure and moving towards an increase in staff. In the last 10 days, we entered into a grant agreement with USAID for combatting pangolin-related wildlife crime in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation area which spans the borders of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. We are in the process of purchasing a vehicle with sponsorship provided by Pangolin Crisis Fund and invitations for projects with artists, photographers and the media come in on a daily basis. Our second International Pangolin Conference will be held in Kruger Park in September and virtually at the same time, with pangolin conservation specialists presenting from across the globe.
We feel excited about the next phase in the life of our organisation. We will continue to grow, to meet the challenges of saving a creature that belongs on this planet and we welcome you to continue to partner with us going forwards.
CO-CHAIRS – AFRICAN PANGOLIN WORKING GROUP
Nicci Wright and Alexis Kriel