#Conservation seeks new ways to attract attention


(Posted 01st August 2018)

Sketch for Survival was the idea of UK based conservation charity, the Real World Conservation Trust. On average one African elephant is poached for its tusks in the wild every 26 minutes. That’s more than 55 a day. The trust asked leading professional wildlife artists and celebrity supporters to spend at least 26 minutes on a sketch or other artwork to help them raise awareness about species extinction. They now have over 350 artworks from artists in more than 22 different countries. Celebrity supporters include international best-selling author Frederick Forsyth, Oscar winning actresses Dame Judi Dench and Dame Helen Mirren, the world’s most famous living explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and British comedian, writer and actor, Stephen Fry. Sketch for Survival will also showcase a small collection of artwork by students from art charity initiative Arts for Africa run by US artist A.E London.

Trustee of RWCT Sara White says, “We are very excited about this year’s collection and the ability it has to raise awareness about the threats faced by many iconic species worldwide, from habitat loss to illegal wildlife crime. The quality and variety of artwork is fantastic. For wildlife lovers the exhibition is an absolute must-visit and a fantastic opportunity to help safeguard a future for elephants and other species.”

All the artworks will be exhibited during a public tour which includes prestigious venues in London and New York this autumn before being auctioned online with profits going to nominated wildlife conservation projects. The headline project this year is to assist non-profit African Parks establish a new anti-poaching canine unit in Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Garamba, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been hard hit by poaching. The most iconic residents of this ancient park, the elephants, have suffered and a canine unit will better equip Garamba’s teams to effectively address threats. The park’s elephants are currently being poached at an alarming rate and the park is experiencing negative population growth. In the 1970s there were as many as 22,000 elephants in Garamba but today only around 1200 remain. The new anti-poaching unit will also help to protect the rare Kordofan Giraffe. There are just 47 left in DRC.

Specialist dog units have proved hugely effective in the prevention of wildlife crime in Africa and RWCT also hope to raise awareness about their growing role in wildlife protection through their fun Selfie for Survival initiative. They are asking dog owners to share a selfie or photo of them with their dog(s). All the submitted photos will be combined to make a giant elephant wall mosaic and will be exhibited during the Sketch for Survival tour as well as going to the Houses of Parliament in London, UK in October. It is free to take part. You have until 31st August to share your selfie by email to photo@selfieforsurvival.co.uk or on social media with hashtag #selfieforsurvival.

RWCT have a fund-raising target of $80,000.

To register for the Sketch for Survival online art auction or find out more about the venues and dates of the exhibition tour please visit explorersagainstextinction.co.uk