Samir Randera-Rees Wildlife conservation

A young South African has created an App to help you appreciate and understand wildlife, while saving our precious water sources too!

 

Young entrepreneur Samir Randera- Rees is an exceptionally talented conservationist and TV personality as well as Water Source Areas programme manager at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Samir Randera-Rees is the founder and CEO of Whispers of the Wild. He is a proud South African, who grew up in Johannesburg in a family that was active in the antiapartheid movement. He is a passionate nature lover, and that love drove him to educate himself on nature’s wonders through a BSc in environmental Science, a Masters in Conservation Ecology, and several game ranger qualifications.

He has spent as much time as he could living in the wild places of Southern Africa, getting to know them intimately.

Based on these experiences, he turned his skills to his passion of conveying his love of nature to a wider audience. His name means “the teller of stories”, and in Whispers of the Wild he lives up to this billing, weaving fascinating information into an entertaining narrative.

He is also a presenter on the world’s longest running nature TV show, 50/50, and he is a keen wildlife photographer. His passion for nature is evident in the app, and he hopes that some of it will rub off onto you.

The programme aims to improve the protection and management of South Africa’s strategic water sources — the 8% of this country’s land surface that provides 50% of its water — and in this water-scarce country the importance of this work cannot be overstated.

“People often accuse environmentalists of caring more for animals than for people, but from my experience, you cannot look after the environment without combatting poverty and ensuring that all people live with dignity,” explains Randera-Rees.

“I do love animals and nature, but I also love people and have a deep-seated desire to improve lives; I love what I do because I am helping both the environment and people. Water is this incredible connector that links every facet of nature and society. While my goal is to better protect and manage our water source areas, the solutions we come up with are incredibly varied and include everything from integrating cutting-edge science to lobbying government, improving rural livelihoods and legal protection and management of these areas.”

“His app, called Whispers of the Wild, is an audio and visual guide to African wildlife. It is a game ranger on your phone, which helps you appreciate and understand wildlife.”

He is now developing an app for an elite safari company. Randera-Rees has also developed a conservation curriculum for the Youth Conservation Programme, which targets unemployed youth living adjacent to protected areas, designed to give them an appreciation of the role nature plays in their lives and opportunities in the Green Economy.

The programme has been successfully rolled out in six provinces so far, and is set to be integrated into the People and Parks programme. He has a double master’s in applied ecology and conservation through the EU Erasmus Mundus scholarship programme.

“I used to think that my interest in the environment was just a hobby, but when I started taking courses in environmental science at UCT, it opened my eyes to what a terrible state our environment is in. I realised that if people like me with passion and ambition do not dedicate their lives to the environment, then it doesn’t stand a chance.”

“That was when I decided that my career lay in conservation. My longterm goal is to be a leader in the conservation sector and use my skills and influence to achieve sustainable, positive change.”


Sources: Whispers of the Wild | 200ysa
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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