Extinct in at least seven African countries and with less than 100,000 individuals across eight sub-species, giraffe numbers have declined by 40% across much of their range in the last three decades. However, Dr Fennessey argues that all is not lost, as the combined efforts of governments, conservationists, zoos and other stakeholders are slowly being heard. Off the back of the recent IUCN Red Listing of giraffe as “Vulnerable”, numerous giraffe publications, increased field conservation management actions and a range of media awareness, he believes that mankind can save the giraffe before it is too late.
The future of giraffe conservation and management is a team effort premised on first understanding the situation, then getting the correct messages publicised, followed by targeted management actions. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) is at the forefront of giraffe conservation and management, together with key conservation partners in the field, including governments, NGOs and research institutions.
Dr Julian Fennessey hails from Australia and read for his PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney on the ecology of giraffe. He is the Co-Founder and Director of GCF – a Namibian NGO that is the only international organisation dedicated to securing the conservation of giraffe in the wild throughout Africa. He has 20 years of experience in conservation and sustainable development throughout Africa and Australia from wildlife management, environmental consulting, community conservation and land management.
As one of the foremost experts on giraffe, Dr Fennessey is the Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Group, which brings together the world’s experts on these two species. He has initiated research and conservation projects across Africa, working closely with communities, academics, NGOs and governments. He is widely published in both popular and scientific journals, and shares his knowledge and experience to audiences across the world annually.
Members of the RGS, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$150 for RGS Members and HK$200 for guests and others.
The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to Executive Centre for its generous assistance with this lecture.