“I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in.” 
Aldo Leopold, The Green Lagoons (1948)

Growing up in northwest Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and then working as a young man in formal conservation and the safari industry around Southern Africa, I have been fortunate in that I had wild country in which to be young, and through which to freely roam. It was a youth full of experiences that instilled in me a lifelong desire to help conserve this Planet’s natural environment and, in particular, it’s wildlife and wild places.

Since then, I have been privileged to live and work in some of the most magnificent wild places of Southern Africa, and to know the wonder of sharing those places with the awe-inspiring wild creatures that inhabit them; large and small. I have also been privileged to share that life with some extraordinary people; friends, colleagues and “others” - many of whom should probably also fall into the “awe-inspiring wild creatures” category!

To my dismay, the aim of conserving wilderness and wildlife, and integrating that aim with rural economic development, which I, and many of my fellow African conservationists, strive for, has, obviously, and with some equally obvious exceptions, been somewhat less successful than we hoped for.

Given the increasing rate of extinctions and ecosystem destruction caused, directly and indirectly, by the burgeoning human population and its even faster growing materialism, along with endemic greed, corruption and criminality; the question is whether we will be able to ensure that the children of today will, as I did, have wild country, filled with wildlife, in which to be young and through which to wander, in awe of Nature - the Nature that gives them life and sustains them? If they do not, what paupers they will be; their very survival threatened by the assault on Nature that our species’ brief visitation upon Her realm has initiated.

During the past few years I have voiced my thoughts on a variety of conservation, rural development and safari tourism issues, and documented some of my observations made during travels through the Southern African countries. I have even had the temerity to put forward a few suggestions on the resolution of some of the challenges. Those essays and narratives were a reflection my ever growing concern for the natural environment of Africa and for Her people, who both need the other to survive and prosper. Conservation Philosophy

I am aware that, in the field, I can now contribute more by sharing my experience than by “getting my hands dirty”. However, positive contributions to the environmental and wildlife conservation debates; to fostering communication, collaboration and cooperation between conservation practitioners; to promoting the coordination of their efforts, and to helping expedite the application of financial, material and intellectual resources to those efforts, are desperately needed from all quarters - formal conservationists, laymen and, especially, politicians. I hope that anyone who believes in the future of this Planet, and happens to read this, will make their contribution, large or small.

David Peddie
(Itinerant Conservationist and Rainbow Chaser)
July 2018 

“The Poaching Stops When the Rural People of Africa Have Reason to Stop It

This is a personal website and the opinions expressed  and stories told, on this website are either mine or those of colleagues whose opinions I respect, and whose stories I believe deserve to be heard. Should a reader consider any statement contained herein to be inaccurate or any opinion to be open to challenge, they are at liberty to offer counter information, which if found to be factual will elicit a change in what is published on the website, and a public acknowledgement. However, where opinions expressed are at odds with those of a reader, then I, and on behalf of any other author whose opinions I have the authority to publish on this website, claim the right of free speech and the right to express a personal opinion, on the understanding that that opinion may not promote any illegal sentiment or act, such as, but not limited to, racism, sexism, the inciting of violence or any form of abuse of persons, animals or the environment. However, I have, as shall be obvious, taken some tongue-in-cheek literary licence in a few descriptions of historical incidents.

Curriculum Vitae                                                   Conservation    Community    Commerce    Culture                                      © David Peddie 2017