Susan Sheward M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire) is  a Rotarian from Bookham & Horsely, Surrey, UK – District 1145.  Susan Sheward is the Chairperson and Founder of Orangutan Appeal UK which Sue established in 2000Sue has been working closely with the Sabah Wildlife Department in North Borneo and the renown Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre for over 16 years saving and rehabilitating the Bornean orangutans.  They have a ground breaking Post Release Monitoring Project which has been running for 9 years and have trialed implanted telemetry devises for tracking.  They recently achieved 100% birth rate on the project which they are very proud of.  They also work with NGOs in Indonesian Borneo – eg Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project and their Fire Fighting Team who they support and have purchased drones to enable them to identify hotspots in the Orangutan habitat before they get out of control.

Rotarian Sue Sheward recently assumed leadership of saving another critically endangered species in Malaysia; as well as being home to orphaned and injured orangutans, Sue is helping the Sepilok Rehabilitation Center which has become a safe haven for the Bornean Pygmy Elephant.  There are believed to be less than 2,000 of these elephants left in the wild and conflict with humans is pushing this rare species closer to the edge of extinction. Though the Bornean Pygmy Elephant is smaller than its mainland cousin the Asian Elephant, they still require vast areas of territory to feed and roam in. With the human population expanding and development causing greater expanses of rainforest to be felled, the pygmy elephants are being pushed out of the jungle and are increasingly found on agricultural or residential land where they risk being shot at or caught in illegal snares.

The Rotary Club of Kenton-on-Sea, South Africa takes up the challenge to save the Rhino. In existence for over 50-million years, rhinos are global symbols of nature’s right to life –  the shocking plight of rhinos led to the  RC Kenton-on-Sea donating Rand 23,250 to the Chipembere Rhino Foundation for tracking collars. At the handover of the donation, world renowned veterinarian and expert on rhino conservation, Dr William Fowlds, talked about the fight to save the Kariega Nature Reserve rhinos after a brutal poaching attack. When asked what the Kenton Rotary Club could do to help, he answered “create awareness across the world.”

The Bush Babies school program is an environmentally based education program currently conducted in 13 schools in local communities surrounding the Greater Kruger National Park. The program is run weekly for a period of 1 hour throughout the course of the academic year. With previously disadvantaged learners between the ages of 12 – 17 years old, conservation issues are discussed and incorporated into the existing school curriculum.  Although the focus seems to be on the children, the Bush Babies program also impacts its co-workers, supporters, learner’s families and communities. Public schools who join our programs benefit in similar ways to their pupils in terms of community building experiences that cannot be taught in classrooms.

Mountain and Lowland Gorillas face survival threats each day. Rotarian Raemonde Bezenar and the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Society of Canada are working to alleviate health issues, the transmission of diseases, deforestation, illegal hunting, and poaching threaten the survival of gorillas and other species.  Our mission is to bring awareness to the plight of the gorillas and further gorilla conservation throughout the world. Gorilla conservation includes the need to preserve the environment and ecosystem for the sake of the gorilla and other species but also for the people. In order for the gorilla to survive, people must realize the benefit. To achieve this, The MGCSC Scholarship Program has been established.  The Mountain Gorilla Conservation Society of Canada Scholarship Program provides postgraduate scholarships in veterinary medicine for African students who will directly impact the survival of the critically endangered mountain and lowland gorillas and their habitat and other species.  MGCSC provides scholarships to African students enrolled at the Makerere University, School of Veterinary Medicine and other accredited African Schools of Veterinary Medicine in Uganda, Rwanda and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Students must adhere to the Scholarship Eligibility Requirements, Scholarship Funding, and Renewal Guidelines to receive funding

Around the world, an estimated 80 percent of all flowering plant species and over one-third of our food is dependent upon or benefited by animal pollinators. However, many of these pollinator species are in decline, threatening the productivity of both global food production and ecological communities.  How do pollinators help the food supply?  They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce.  Rotarian Richard Rivera of the Rotary Club of Carpinteria Morning Guatemala leads the SAVE ME Peace Project.  The SAVE ME project extends the benefit of conserving bees to other pollinating species such as hummingbirds.  Facilitation of the curriculum Nature’s Partners a Citizen Science 4-H education program to students on a scholarship basis with the objective of increasing the habitat and population of pollinators. In a ripple effect, Nature’s Partners fosters the opportunity for students to embrace important school, home and community Citizen Science projects.

Habitat loss and poaching threaten these magnificent animals like never before.   Rotarian Susan Eberth of the Rotary Club of Pickering, Canada, and Ape Action Africa are protecting Cameroon’s great apes through direct action, including rescuing orphaned gorillas, chimpanzees and monkeys, giving them a safe forest sanctuary home where they can live with their own kind.  Their team of education officers works tirelessly with local children, teaching them about bushmeat, logging, conservation, and other environmental issues. They incorporate fun and exciting ways for children to learn.  They run nature clubs, visit schools and encourage children to learn using art, planting trees and other activities.  This project is sponsored by Rotary Club of Pickering.

In 2012 a joint effort made by Transfrontier Africa and Rotarian Tom Tochterman of the Rotary Club of Lake Chelan, founder of Rhino Mercy, developed a multifaceted approach to prepare for an impending poaching crisis of the Kruger Park.  The project was named the Balule Rhino Conservation Plan and currently involves physical security (boots on the ground), adaptation of technology, and human/wildlife research and initiatives.  The all-female Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit was formed and provides jobs (community and economic development) as wildlife rangers conducting foot-patrols, observations, vehicle checks and roadblocks  The Black Mamba teams are comprised of well- trained local indigenous women with excellent communication skills and a genuine passion for wildlife.

PDG John Glassford of the Rotary Club of Coolamon together with Duke Ingram created the RAGES Say NO! campaign. The object was to foster global awareness of how consumer choices impact endangered species.  The current debate within conservation often centers around the false construct of “It stays if it pays”.  To the contrary, RAGES supports demand reduction campaigns that encourage Rotarians to “be informed and buy informed”, campaigns that promote the notion of “It pays if it stays”.  In the context of promoting healthy landscapes and healthy communities, RAGES further supports efforts and initiatives that lead to decreases in consumption of endangered species and their habitat.  Often responsible consumption and pro-environmental choice making simply comes down to “Say NO!”.   Please consider joining our Say NO! forum and make your voice heard.  Soon we will have Say NO campaign materials available for you to use in a presentation to your Rotary, Rotaract, and/or Interact club.  We encourage the Say NO! campaign being presented to schools and community clubs to message communities that Rotary is concerned and doing something about our environment.