On August 7, Nissan North America (NNA) and the WWF jointly presented R700 000 ($100,000) to the South African Wildife College (SAWC). The donation is to be used for scholarships in conservation and wildlife management. The NNA and WWF work together in the name of conservation.
This follows funding of R7 million ($1 million) by NNA, in March of this year, to establish a new environmental leadership programme for U.S. college students and to support WWF's conservation efforts in the United States and Southern Africa. Under this partnership, a portion of the donation is the scholarship earmarked for the Hoedspruit-based SAWC.
The scholarship will be known as the Nissan-Russell E. Train Scholarship and will be apportioned as follows:R350 000 ($50,000) will be dedicated for seven scholarship awards. Two scholarships will be awarded to students from South Africa and the remaining to other African countries where there is a demonstrated need. Both Nissan and WWF will work with the college to select the most deserving students.
An endowment fund of R350 000 ($50,000) will be contributed to the Southern African Conservation Education Trust (SACET), an independent capital trust established to ensure a permanent income stream for scholarships to allow eligible students, with insufficient funds, to attend the College.
The scholarship aims to equip the Southern African region with experienced personnel who are knowledgeable in managing protected areas and in conserving biodiversity for current and future generations.
"Training plays a pivotal role in terms of rehabilitating and sustaining wildlife areas. Closely linked with the training of protected area managers is the role that nature-based tourism is set to play in the socioeconomic development of Southern Africa, in turn bringing larger areas under protected area management.
The scholarship received today will assist in our efforts, both in the development of skilled personnel and of eco-tourism in the region,"says Theresa Sowry: SAWC general manager Nissan South Africa jointly with WWF will sustain relations with the College. Pat Senne, Nissan SA's General Manager Corporate Affairs and Communications says that the partnership is crucial in developing South African conservation expertise.