Message from the Executive Director
Compiling the GCF Annual Report is always a daunting task. There is always so much to report. It is always a question of where to start and, importantly, who has the insight, time and talent to succinctly write about it all? Our team at GCF is small. We do not have the luxury of a dedicated communications team, which can dedicate time to writing and compiling such a report. So, inevitably, the annual report ends up on my ever-increasing to-do-list and then easily slips to the end of every week as I concentrate on tasks that seem much more urgent for giraffe – or, quite frankly, sometimes so much more fun.
As a team we are trying to streamline our administrative work, especially our reporting. We have asked ourselves: Who actually takes the time to read long reports these days? The focus today is on bite-sized, digestible chunks and easily accessible information. As a result, we have made the first move in the direction of impact reporting for most of our programmes and initiatives, keeping things short and sharp and highlighting a few important numbers and achievements – ideally illustrated through a few captivating images. That’s it. If you are the exception and you would like to learn more about certain aspects of our work, please get in touch with us directly! Most of our partners and staff love this new reporting style, as it allows them to concentrate on being a louder voice for giraffe and to making a difference for these iconic animals and their habitat.
But then again, change is not always easy. We are working hard to take our team with us on this conservation journey. In January, we brought most of our team together for an in-person planning session in Namibia. This was one of the best ideas we have had in a while. After years of Zoom and virtual team meetings, it was such a pleasure to discuss and plan exciting new work opportunities together, face-to-face, and to laugh together and reconnect on a personal level. GCF is so much more than a job for all of us. We are passionate about conservation and what we do. Working for GCF comes with a lot of freedom and for some lots of intrepid travel, but it also requires commitment on many levels.
One thing we have been reminded of over and over again this year is that our team is our most important asset. So, in line with all this, we decided to try something new and slightly different for this Annual Report. While we really want to highlight GCF’s wide range of giraffe conservation actions, programmes and initiatives, we have endeavoured to do this from a different perspective. This time, we asked our team to share their highlights of our achievements during the reporting period. This approach has produced a combination of personal achievements and conservation actions. GCF is an effective team and we are proud of what we have accomplished in 2022/23. So, meet the team that is a voice for giraffe!
What else is inside …
Message from the Board Chair
After a few years of Zoom and Teams calls, it was great to meet face-to-face with partners and team members from all over Africa. Determined to hit the ground running and make 2023 the greatest year yet for giraffe conservation, our GCF conservation team and some of our board members came together at our head office in Windhoek, Namibia, to set the scene for the year ahead. From surveys and translocations to capacity building and considering potential future impacts of climate change, we discussed how to best implement our giraffe conservation actions throughout Africa. Seeing the immense value in physically coming together in one room, we now plan to conduct our planning sessions in this way annually.
While good near-term planning is important, long-term planning is critical in today’s changing world. One of my highlights this year was meeting with researchers from the University of East Anglia at the Savannah Landscape Ecology and Education Centre (SLEEC) in the Etosha Heights Private Reserve, adjacent to the famous Etosha National Park in Namibia. Ellie Harris, PhD Researcher at the School of Environmental Sciences, Rachel Warren, Professor of Global Change and Environmental Biology, and Jeff Price, Professor of Climate Change and Biodiversity, joined us to present work on the vulnerabilities of giraffe to climate change and human activities. Ellie’s important research will improve GCF’s giraffe conservation actions by identifying areas that are most resilient to climate change (no-regret areas), which can be used for future translocations or recommended as additions to the Protected Area Network.
This is now my third year serving on GCF’s board, whose work spans 400,000 sqkm of giraffe habitat. While guiding an organisation’s work dispersed across 18 African countries can seem a daunting task, GCF has a lean but very cause-driven board, with the right balance of skills and regional experience in conservation, as well as business acumen, to ensure that our partners on the ground can use their time to focus on saving giraffe. Being an NGO board member includes having to roll up your sleeves periodically, which is what we like to do. Now that travel has again become much easier, the board and I look forward to spending more time in Africa with GCF’s family of partner organisations that share our mission to save giraffe in the wild.
Get Involved, Stay Involved
Donations are the bread-and-butter of our conservation work.
Your donations directly contribute to our ability to ensure a sustainable future for giraffe in Africa.
Giraffe Adoptions give you a personal connection to GCF’s work.
Much like donations, adoptions directly fund our conservation work.
Spread the Word
Wear our official apparel to support our work, and our message.
By buying official GCF gear, you’re supporting our work in two ways:
- You are literally wearing the message to help spread the word about giraffe endangerment.
- Funds from each purchase directly support our conservation work in Africa.