Dereck and Beverly Joubert are rightly regarded as being amongst the leading conservationists in the world. Having started out as photographers nearly thirty years ago, the Jouberts have become leading proponents of sustainable tourism and conservation in their beloved Africa. Renowned filmmakers, their films have touched the hearts of millions of people around the world as they advocate the merits of wildlife conservation. Recently awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of their continued devotion to the African continent at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, the Jouberts join the illustrious ranks of past winners Dr Jane Goodall, Dr Richard Leakey and Sir David Attenborough.
“Stop the Killing, Stop the Trade and Stop the Market,” was the core message of the Joubert’s keynote speech at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival on the 26th September. “Poaching today has reached epidemic proportions and the same individuals who deal in drugs, slavery and arms are also dealing in ivory and rhino horn. And they are not playing by any rules. There is a $27 billion a year trade in illegal animals and animal parts out of Africa so unless we are in a position to fight that with real money, we will lose. When we lose, elephants, lions and rhinos lose. When they lose, communities in Africa lose, Everyone loses. This is a declaration of war against poaching and a call to action to everyone. We are about to record the 700th rhino poached this year alone. Unless we are making conservation films at this time we are wasting our voice. This is when we are most needed to drive home messages of conservation to the world. The area that natural history filmmakers can play a role is in stopping the market. Our films collectively reach billions of people, that opportunity is completely wasted by producing television fluff and broadcasting meaningless TV fodder.”
“Wildlife filmmaking has changed over the three decades we have been involved. It’s time for filmmakers to develop into conservationists and not be afraid of advocacy. We are starting a new conversation movement and a film company, both based in China, because this is where our voices need to be heard, this is where the largest consumption of lion bone, rhino horn and elephant ivory is, and without those three species, African wildlife will collapse” they say.
Dereck and Beverly Joubert are co-founders of ASC preferred partner Great Plains Conservation, a groundbreaking project whereby land in Kenya and Botswana that is earmarked for hunting, or is under threat in some way, is acquired by Great Plains and turned into sustainable safari properties. This sustainable model sees an increase in land and animal conservation, plus the development of the local community.
Congratulations Dereck and Beverly! Keep up the good work!
Read our recent post on the Jouberts here: Safari Icons: Dereck and Beverly Joubert