Launched in 1991, the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival is a biennial conference attended by more than 600 international professionals in order to engage lively discussions, seminars, and forums devoted to the nature preservation.
Its aim is also to raise awareness and multiply the innovative actions allowing to attract the attention of the international community. The Festival has just attributed Outstanding Achievement Award to the Great Plains Conservation project of the Jouberts.
Dereck and Beverly Joubert have celebrated nature and wildlife through 22 documentaries, 10 books, 6 scientific papers, photographs and National Geographic magazine articles for 30 years.
Their mission is the conservation of the large predators and increase public awareness on the issues related to the protection of the large predators and key African wildlife species.
They lately decided to expand their mission to the conservation tourism areas via their ”Great Plains” initiative (1.8 million acres in Africa) and which includes the Zarafa camp in Botswana for instance. Great Plains is a venture set up with different conservation partnerships in Africa. Great Plains has also received awards for responsible tourism in London and South Africa and has won many rewards for Best Safari Accommodation.
The Joubert`s film, “The Last Lions,” was filmed in 2011 in Botswana and since has become a powerful ambassador for the defense of the wild lions. The movie was seen by over 350 million people. The film was granted by the Best Theatrical Film award at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival the same year and since then has received many other international awards. National Geographic has agreed to donate all profits from the film to the conservation of lions.
The film documentary focuses on a lioness named Ma di Tau (“Mother of Lions”). She battles to protect her cubs against the daunting onslaught of her enemies to ensure their survival. The film deals with the low population of the large cats in the world and if the cubs of Ma di Tau are among the last lions or no.
The Jouberts have recently started to focus on the protection of another threatened animal : the rhinoceros. In 1970, 70 000 of them were counted worldwide whereas in 2011, only 4 200 were numerated. Since January 2013 in South Africa, more than 600 rhinos have been poached because of human appetite for their distinctive horns.
According to the Jouberts, there is $27 billion per year involved in illegal animals trade which means that animals are sold out of Africa. Moreover, they say that the real battle should be engaged now. Otherwise, we might be witnessed of an event with no winner.
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