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More than 40 years looking after nature – ample material for a new 400-page book on conservation

More than 40 years looking after nature – ample material for a new 400-page book on conservation

Peter Bridgeford’s book ‘Conservation Pioneers in Namibia – and stories by game rangers’ was very well received this week at its official launch, organised by the Namibian Scientific Society.

Paying tribute to the conservation stalwarts of earlier generations, Bridgeford said his intention is to convey a feel for the extreme conditions under which the pioneers often had to conduct their work. Still, they did not fail in their task and laid the foundation for what later became Namibia’s now-famous conservation framework.

“Already in those days, Namibia was a shining example in conservation and a number of people were world reknowned experts in their field. All these men and women should not be forgotten and people should be able to read about what these officials did for conservation,” he said.

He views it as an important task to collect the pioneers’ stories and preserve this heritage in published format. Only a few of them are still alive while others have moved away.

For Bridgeford, the book launch had a deep personal meaning. He was moved by the presence of some of his old colleagues and the large number of people who showed appreciation for his work.

As a gesture of solidarity, former colleagues Stoffel Rochéer and Polla Swart, attended the launch, as well as the Minister of Health and Social Services, Hon Kalumbi Shangula and the UNESCO Country Director, Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum.

The Scientific Society said numerous people contributed to the 400-page book and due to the overwhelming support, Bridgeford wants to publish another book on both the men and women in conservation. The book is a tribute not only to the pioneers, but also to all the women who supported their husbands working in the wild, enduring a life far from the amenities of civilisation.

Services, Kalumbi Shangula, and the newly appointed head of UNESCO, Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum.

Bridgeford and his wife Marilyn started their work in 1976. The couple served at many stations until his retirement in 1999. They then worked at NamibRand Nature Reserve until 2004 before settling in Walvis Bay.


Caption: Keen readers of Peter Bridgeford’s new book, ‘Conservation Pioneers in Namibia,’ wait patiently to have their own copy autographed by the author. (Photograph by Dirk Heinrich for the Namibia Scientific Society)


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