First and foremost we hope that you have all had a fantastic Christmas period and may we take this opportunity to wish you all the best for the New Year. We wanted to end 2010 with a quick blog about what Ibex Earth has accomplished to date with The Lost World Project, and what 2011 holds for what we believe is one of the most exciting conservation initiatives that people can get involved in.
2010 saw the first year of the Lost World Project, and Ibex Earth raising and donating US $11,000 to directly support the conservation of the Guiana Highlands and the conservation of Mount Roraima. We aimed funding through three avenues:
1. Through the Lost World Project, we were able to donate US $3,000 to support the Venezuelan National Parks institute (Inparques, La Luepa branch). This money was used to repair the park authority’s patrol vehicles, which had been lying idle due to disrepair. Through this grant, the local authorities will be better prepared to protect the fragile ecosystem of the Guiana Highlands and continue their work safeguarding the Lost Worlds.
2. The Lost World Project also offered the opportunity to build successful relationships with communities in need across the Guiana Highlands. Local communities hold the key to protecting the fragile landscape of the lost worlds, and so are an intrinsic part in securing a sustainable future for Lost Worlds. As such, Ibex Earth donated US $2,000 to support sustainable development projects in the impoverished Amerindian village of Paratepui, located close to the base of the majestic Mount Roraima where the Lost World Project took place.
3. To further our goal of raising awareness of need for the conservation of the Lost Worlds and their wildlife, Ibex Earth engaged thirty Amerindians from the Gran Sabana to be involved in the Lost World Project and participate in developing an understanding of the need for the conservation of Mount Roraima. Through engaging with Lost World Project participants, and through discussion, training and interviews, we aimed to contribute to developing local conservation awareness, and in the process, contributed US $6,000 in wages to support the developing sustainable tourism industry that holds the key to a secure future.
(Furthermore Ibex Earth also used local 'fixers' throughout the first phase of The Lost World Project, which saw an additional US $4,500 added to the local economy.)
Additionally, in order raise awareness of the need to conserve the region, the Lost World Project set out to produce a non-profit conservation documentary to highlight the importance of Mount Roraima and the need for regional protection. In August and September 2010, we sent ten students from across the UK to the Guiana Highlands along with a critically acclaimed film crew.
The group filmed the unique wildlife, landscapes and threats of the Lost World for two weeks, and the resultant footage is currently being edited into a fifty minute, broadcast quality documentary that will then be premiered at two high profile and prestigious events at two of London’s most famous venues - the Royal Geographical Society and the Zoological Society of London in June 2011. The film will then be broadcast to a global television audiences, raising awareness of this unique region to millions of viewers.
You might have already seen some of our footage during BBC 2's documentary 'Decade of Discovery', which aired on Tuesday 14th December 2010.
Happy New Year from all at Ibex Earth