Conservation Global was founded in 2011 by Nico Fricke to provide students within the faculty of conservation science and sustainable resource management with experiential education courses to bridge the gap between theory and practice, bringing students into contact with real life examples of conservation.
Soon after launching the Into the Wild program, it became clear that students exposed to these tangible conservation science courses became long-term environmentalists, entering post-graduate studies in related fields or returning to volunteer in Southern Africa. The response from Conservation Global alumni was overwhelming.
We therefore decided to expand CG’s programs to offer diverse courses, all rooted in environmentalism and all focused on the grassroots level of development. Today, CG is a global initiative with alumni spanning over 15 countries, all interested in protecting the natural environment and promoting environmentalism.
Our core belief is that there is one system in our world today with three distinct parts: ecological, social, and economic. For a healthy and functioning system, these parts must co-exist in an interdependent and symbiotic manner.
Conservation Global’s (CG’s) participants make a conscious decision to participate in a program that promotes the interdependent and symbiotic relationship between science, economics, and social structures and to foster enthusiasm and respect for the needs of the natural world. CG’s courses provide a platform for engaged citizens to participate in taught and ongoing research programs.
We aim to create a community of like-minded conservationists that share our vision. There are therefore many ways to get involved and CG welcomes your involvement in any of our activities:
My week spent on Gondwana Game Reserve with Conservation Global was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I was fortunate enough to travel to South Africa with Franklin University Switzerland on academic travel in the spring of 2015. Bonding with the staff and learning about the animals in their natural environment made for one incredible week. Each day was filled with activities and lectures that were as entertaining as they were educational. As a group we had a lecture in the morning either from a member of the knowledge staff or from a local expert. We learned about native bee populations and were treated to honey samples from the region and were given a demonstration on the practice of tagging and tracking animals on the reserve. Perhaps the most memorable was when we were taught how to properly handle a tranquilizer gun and had a competition to see who could get a bullseye! After the morning lecture, the group would split up for the safari in which the staff took great care to make sure we saw as many animals as possible. Later in the afternoon we would regroup for a drink and to admire the scenery. I have the utmost respect for Conservation Global and the work they are doing—hoping to return to South Africa soon!
Conservation Global provided a comprehensive and engaging travel experience for a group of seasoned travelers. My expectations were exceeded due to the organization’s ability to strike a balance between learning and fun, academics were firmly grounded as the motivation for all activities. We had access to sustainability focused thought leaders who were great privileges to learn from; many of whom were only accessible through this fantastic organization and their vast network of environmentalists. From a beautiful sunrise hike of Lion’s Head in Cape Town to spending time with the students at Tsiba college in Knysna, I would happily relive this trip in a heartbeat. I am grateful for Conservation Global and the time and energy they put in to ensure a memorable, inspiring and educational South African adventure for all involved.