7 June 2021
There are many limitations to the thinking that humans, animals and the environment exist separately. “Many of our shortcomings,” says Dr Fabiola Quesada, Founder of the Wild Spirit Fund, “stem from this short-sightedness. The chaos in the world caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is giving rise to the realisation that the three are all connected,” said Quesada at an official presentation of Wild Spirit Fund hosted by Mr Carlos Fernández-Arias, Ambassador of Spain to South Africa in conjunction with the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.
Ambassador Fernández-Arias noted that in South Africa everyone is so close to nature and that the urban is close to the rural. South Africa’s attraction to tourists is its nature; its oceans, deserts, national parks and game reserves.
The official presentation was aimed at raising funds for the projects earmarked by Wild Spirit Fund. These projects are clearly outlined in their Corporate Social Responsibility framework and a detailed account is given for the disbursement of the funds. Bids were welcomed for an artwork by world-renowned local artist Reggie Khumalo. Photographs “Preserving Wildlife in Art & Life” by Gurcharan Roopra were on exhibition and for sale where one lucky winner walked away with one of his iconic framed works. The giveaways also included a luxurious stay at Mongena Game Reserve in Dinokeng.
Dr Brendan Tindall, co-founder of the Wild Spirit Fund is a veterinarian who has experience with both wild and domestic animals. He works extensively with wild animals including a three year stint in Etosha National Park in Namibia and in various parks across South Africa. “Science does not lie,” said Tindall about our eco systems being under threat. “But we can make a difference and reverse this.” As a veterinarian in conservation in Africa, Tindall spoke about focussing on areas on the periphery of conservation areas and instilling passion in people there to take an interest in wildlife.
As a little girl Dr Fabiola Quesada knew she wanted to work with animals and as a qualified veterinarian she is now based in South Africa and has projects in many other parts of Africa. She founded Wild Spirit Fund, a non-profit organisation whose mission it is to ensure the health and protection of wildlife in the natural ecosystem in which they live.
In her presentation Quesada revealed shocking realities and statistics about the dwindling numbers of wildlife species and the dangers this poses to human existence. The Covid-19 pandemic and Ebola are just two diseases that can be directly attributed to cross-species infection which stem directly from the spread of pathogens directly linked to illegal wildlife trafficking, biodiversity loss and destruction of natural habitats. And nobody can deny that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected lives and livelihoods globally.
Wild Spirit Fund has projects in many parts of Africa and South America and Quesada explained in detail how their activities are contributing to 16 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“For the extinction of the species to continue occurring along with the disruption of Nature’s balance, all we need to keep doing is NOTHING”
by Anisha Pemjee