Land Rover marked environment day at the British International Motor Show with the announcement of its support for two leading environmental organisations, the Born Free Foundation and Biosphere Expeditions.
Land Rover has signed both as global sponsorship partners under its Fragile Earth policy, which is the company’s commitment to the environment through the sponsorship of leading environmental organisations, the development of sustainable practices and technologies and the company’s ‘Off-Road Code’.
The Born Free Foundation is a charity inspired by the 1964 film, Born Free – the story of George and Joy Adamson played by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, who in 1984 established the charity which is now run by their son, Will Travers. Born Free operates from its UK base throughout the world with the aim of ‘keeping wildlife in the wild’.
Current Born Free international projects include raising awareness and the conservation of the big cats of South America, Africa and Asia; the orca whales and polar bears of Canada; orphaned elephants in Sri Lanka; the great apes of Uganda and many more. In the UK their work concentrates on anti-captivity activity. Land Rover vehicles support the work of Born Free in many of these remote locations as a tool to access the wildlife that is in need.
As part of its commitment to Born Free, Land Rover handed over an expedition-ready Discovery at the motor show, which will be used for the charity’s operations in the UK. Other vehicles supplied are being shipped out to the Born Free Education and Rescue Centre at the Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa – home to rescued lions and leopards from zoos, circuses and the pet shop trade. More vehicles are used in Kenya by the Youth for Conservation organisation, which is a movement of unemployed local graduates that spots snares and captures poachers. Prior to Land Rover’s involvement their work was done entirely on foot. Their first success with the vehicle was recorded just this week with the capture of two armed poachers on Mount Kenya.
Actress, conservationist and Born Free patron, Amanda Holden who was at the Motor Show to collect the vehicle on the charity’s behalf, recently visited India on an expedition supported by Land Rover to place six tigers rescued from squalid conditions in European ‘attractions’ into a sanctuary in their natural habitat. She said: "Having visited some of India’s remotest regions with our rescued tigers earlier this year, I can fully appreciate the value of Land Rover’s versatile vehicles to the invaluable work Born Free does. It is also great to see these shining vehicles in all their glory with the expedition specification here amid the glamour of the motor show, my experience with Land Rovers has always been in their natural habitat – mud and desert dust."
The company’s other global sponsorship partner, Biosphere Expeditions is a not-for-profit organisation that takes people of all ages and from all walks of life and places them alongside scientists at the forefront of conservation work in some of the world’s remotest regions.
Part of Land Rover’s sponsorship of Biosphere Expeditions is the provision of vehicles to enable the expedition teams to reach the remote destinations in which they are required. The vehicles are used in the African Savannah in Namibia to monitor the rare Namibian Cheetah; in Central Asia’s Altai Republic to survey snow leopards, manuls (a local big cat predator) and other aerial wildlife; and in the Ukraine and the Polish Carpathian mountains to snow-track and radio-track wolves.
Accepting an expedition specification Defender 110 on behalf of Biosphere Expeditions, operations director, Katherine Wilden said: "Our Land Rovers enable us to take conservation expeditions to some of the most inhospitable and inaccessible places on Earth, and to support local scientists and conservation efforts with much needed and often invaluable vehicle back-up. They are an essential tool of our work."
Land Rover UK managing director, Mike Wright added: "Our commitment to the environment is based on the belief that future generations should be able to enjoy what we enjoy – in Land Rover’s case this is the ability to explore and do good in the very far flung regions and terrains of the world. This ‘spirit of adventure’ can only be appreciated by future generations through the protection of the world’s rarer inhabitants and landscapes – this is what Biosphere Expeditions and Born Free work to achieve, and that’s why Land Rover is very proud to support their efforts."Published 2 November 2002