Ricochet News

Conservation in Africa receives much needed support from two world-leading hospitality groups

May 15, 2018

Within six weeks of signing their strategic partnership agreement, renowned South African-based conservation and hospitality group Mantis, and world-leading travel & lifestyle group AccorHotels have formalised a joint conservation venture.

The Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA), a soon-to-be registered non-profit organization, was created by Mantis and AccorHotels to support the work of three internationally renowned conservation organizations – Wilderness Foundation, Tusk Trust and African Parks.

Dr Andrew Muir, CEO of Wilderness Foundation Global and spokesperson for the CCFA explained, “Pilot seed-funding of US$600 000 for year one has been donated by Mantis and AccorHotels.  This seed funding will be used to support projects across Africa through the three arms of the fund.”

The fund was officially launched during the Conservation Lab conference brought together by We Are Africa and Beyond Luxury, which took place at Spier, near Stellenbosch, between 11-13 May 2018. Two awards were announced at the Fund’s launch.  An award was made to African conservation leaders to enable their participation in the Conservation Lab, and USD

$25 000 was awarded to The Mahenye Community Conservancy for conservation work in Zimbabwe via the Tusk Trust.

“The Community Conservation Fund Africa will amplify both Mantis and AccorHotels’ commitment towards halting the accelerating decline of Africa’s wildlife and brings together three internationally renowned conservation organizations – Wilderness Foundation, Tusk Trust and African Parks,” said Mantis Founder and Chairman, Adrian Gardiner.

Mantis and AccorHotels signed a partnership agreement in April, which saw the Paris-based travel and lifestyle group acquiring a 50% stake in the South African conservation and hospitality group.

At the time, Gardiner said, “There are numerous synergies between the two groups – both operate global hospitality networks offering rare and unique experiences, and both have a focus on conservation and community upliftment. This partnership allows Mantis to utilize AccorHotels’ distribution channels and world-wide reach to further develop the hospitality concepts and sustainability projects we have worked so tirelessly to grow.”

“Mantis has well established credentials in the conservation and sustainability arena given the commitment of Adrian Gardiner and his work with world leading environmentalists throughout the years, including Dr. Andrew Muir from the Wilderness Foundation,” said Olivier Granet, Chief Executive Officer, AccorHotels Middle East and Africa.

“Our partnership with Mantis will provide AccorHotels with a robust platform to expand Planet 21, the Group’s global conservation and sustainability program, throughout Africa.”

He further added, “It is within the spirit of this unique collaboration that we have provided much needed funding to launch wildlife preservation initiatives and to be part of the transformation in Africa which we aim to do through the Community Conservation Fund.”

Highlights of Mantis’s success in conservation include previous support and sponsorship of initiatives for Wilderness Foundation Africa, Tusk Trust and various other conservation NGOs.

Mantis strives to conserve the biodiversity of the landscapes that host its properties and share the ecotourism benefits with local communities via job creation.

“The Community Conservation Fund Africa is an exciting new initiative for both Mantis and Accor Hotels. Conservation in Africa needs all the help it can garner and we are proud to celebrate our new partnership with the establishment of this Fund,” said Gardiner.