11 February 2021

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People’s Postcode Lottery has made a significant £2 million commitment to conservation non-profit African Parks as part of its £24 million Postcode Climate Challenge.

The funds will help to conserve four major protected areas which are under the management of African Parks in partnership with Governments in Africa, contributing to climate change mitigation and building climate resilience in their landscapes.

Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda is one of the beneficiary parks, following a partnership recently announced to ensure its long-term protection.

African Parks is responsible for the rehabilitation and long-term management of an area in excess of 14 million hectares across 19 national parks in 11 countries, and its work is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Nyungwe National Park provides 70 percent of Rwanda’s freshwater and represents some of the oldest, largest, and most intact high-altitude rainforest in Central Africa. It is home to twenty-five percent of Africa’s primate species, including chimpanzees, baboons, and L’Hoest’s and Hamlyn’s monkeys, which are only found in this region.

Besides Nyungwe, African Parks’ award will support three other parks under their management: Chinko in the Central African Republic; Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo; and Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia.

The funding will contribute to restoring biodiversity, preventing deforestation and poaching, and supporting local enterprise and community initiatives to ensure sustainability for people and wildlife. This will help to mitigate climate change by protecting ecosystems that lock up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It will also help to ensure the ecosystem’s ability to deliver clean air, water, food and other natural resources.

"African Parks is extremely grateful to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for the significant contribution to the conservation of these four crucial parks," said African Parks’ CEO Peter Fearnhead. "Thanks to this instrumental support, we can work with our Government partners to sustainably manage these large natural landscapes which safeguard a myriad of wildlife species, protect the catchments of three of Africa’s largest rivers, and help to moderate climate change and improve climate resilience among communities that depend on these ecosystem services for their survival."
Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: "Since the launch of People’s Postcode Lottery 15 years ago, our players have been providing vital support to a wide range of environmental charities. This latest project, led by African Parks, will see funds raised by players being used to tackle the two great environmental challenges of our age - climate change and biodiversity loss. The climate and nature emergencies are inextricably linked and we must fight them together. By doing so, we can help safeguard the future of these globally-important ecosystems and, of course, the communities who depend on them."

The funding award forms part of People’s Postcode Lottery’s Postcode Climate Challenge initiative. £24 million, raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, is shared across 12 charities to invest in projects focusing on reducing the impacts of the climate crisis.

Images: Scott Ramsay and Mana Meadows