GCC Stands with the BLM Movement and Disenfranchised Peoples Globally
If we want to conserve the environment, we must first ensure the basic human rights of all people.
GCC stands in solidarity with communities that have been silenced, oppressed, and have had their rights violated.
We recognize and respect the intersections of environmentalism and social justice. We will continue our work to generate more opportunities for youth in these communities to participate in, benefit from and lead conservation initiatives.
As an organization, we are committed to standing with disenfranchised communities and making an impact in every way that we can to tear down the walls of racism and discrimination around the world.
This year, we have set the following goals for ourselves and our team to instigate further change through our work:
- Continue and accelerate our efforts to diversify our leadership and board members, setting deadlines for improvement in order to hold ourselves accountable
- Identify barriers for women and BIPOC in conservation and actively work to overcome these obstacles in the communities in which we operate
- Facilitate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training for the GCC Team
We will continue to provide updates throughout this year regarding our progress on these important initiatives. Together, we can make change happen!
A Message from GCC Founder Matt Lindenberg
“This month, we celebrate our 5 year anniversary as a conservation organization! We have been shaped, empowered and guided by hundreds of incredible people, volunteers, friends and fellow conservationists who have believed in our mission.
GCC has truly become an international movement comprised of caring citizens who collectively stand for a brighter future for both people and wildlife. No one ever achieved anything great on their own, and GCC is a living testament of this belief.
As we look forward to the next 5 years, we envision a world where even greater harmony and symbiosis is achieved between the natural world and human development. Our Future Rangers Program is preparing to scale throughout the planet, so that our youth becomes the most passionate and informed generation of conservationists, leaders and decision-makers this world has yet to see.
Thank you for your commitment to our mission, our wildlife and our planet. The support of generous, conservation-focused donors like you helps us to make an impact around the world and take steps towards a healthier future.
Share the movement, inspire people, save wildlife, and change our world.”
Your Generosity is Helping us to Feed Wildlife Rangers During the Pandemic
The current COVID-19 crisis is significantly impacting the tourism industry with an estimated decline in revenue of 20% to 30%. In Africa, it is estimated that the pandemic will cost the sector almost $4 billion. Additionally, during these difficult times, African wildlife has come under increased threats and pressure. Due to the outbreak, the tourism industry has crashed and there is little to no steady income to fund reserve management, leaving wildlife rangers, who are the only line of defense between African wildlife and the increasing threat of poachers, in a precarious position.
Thanks to GCC’s close relationship with the rangers, our team members on the ground quickly became aware of the rangers’ struggles to feed their families and reached out to supermarket chain Hoedspruit Spar to find solutions. GCC and Hoedspruit Spar have joined forces to provide more than 90,000 (more than 17,000 kg of food) to wildlife rangers and their families during the COVID-19 crisis.
On April 30th, GCC set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise the necessary funds to feed 50 families for six months. The incredible response was beyond anything GCC could have imagined with the target sum of $15,900 being met in under 24 hours. Donations have continued to flood in, with $21,200 raised as of June 2020. These additional funds have enabled GCC to extend assistance to the staff of the Timbavati Foundation, the general staff of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, and the rangers working in the neighboring Thornybush Private Nature Reserve.
You can read more about the Food Ranger Appeal Campaign here. As always, thank you for your support for GCC and our missions around the globe! Your generous support makes our work possible.
Meet the GCC Family:
Founder – Matt Lindenberg
Expertise: Conservationist, public speaker and documentarian
GCC Position: Founder
Currently working on: Bringing on four high schools into the Future Rangers Program and completing RHINO MAN.
Favorite animal: Rhinos (of course!)
Matt grew up next to the Kruger Park, South Africa, experiencing the wonders of African wildlife with his parents, who loved the great outdoors. At the age of 11, life abruptly took him to the United States and down a completely different path. He excelled in sports, especially snowboarding and tennis. Right after receiving a collegiate scholarship offer, an injury dashed his pro tennis hopes. He moved on to pursue a career as a combat fighter pilot, only to discover that he was color blind – that career didn’t quite take off. Dejected, Matt returned to South Africa for a holiday to see his mum and got reacquainted with his passion for wildlife.
After reuniting with the African bush, Matt enrolled at the Southern African Wildlife College, where he studied and subsequently worked for six years. During this time, Matt was mentored by an extraordinary man; Martin Mthembu, one of the finest ranger trainers the continent of Africa has ever known. Martin preached that the future of conservation relied on ownership and inclusion of the people living next to wildlife. After Martin passed away in a tragic car accident, Matt knew that he had to continue Martin’s legacy and founded GCC to continue his important work.
Read more about Matt’s story here.
Here are some photos from our most recent food delivery (June 5th, 2020) to rangers and their families, funded by your generous gifts to our Field Ranger Food Appeal: