The World Wildlife Fund and the Nature Conservancy have received gifts totaling $3 million from former Coca-Cola CEO Neville Isdell and his wife, Pamela, to support conservation and tourism initiatives in southern Africa.
Announced during the launch of the Zambian Parliamentary Conservation Caucus, the gifts will be used by WWF Zambia to support its work in the Mufunta Game Management Area (GMA) and Silowana Complex and by the Nature Conservancy to support its work in Mulobezi GMA and Kafue National Park. Funding from the Isdells also will support WWF's wildlife conservation efforts in Namibia and tourism programs in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.
Neville Isdell, who currently serves as chair of the WWF board of directors, and his wife spent their formative years in Zambia, where they met and married. "I played rugby for Zambia, and not only did we start up businesses here, but this is where — in Mufulira, then Kitwe, and then Lusaka — I started my long career with the Coca-Cola Company," said Isdell.
"As we look back on [our] journey we have realized that it was in Zambia that we not only matured and became adults with a broad perspective of cultures and the world," he added. "Zambia moulded us and gave us our love for this country and this continent. This gift reflects that plus our determination to help the people and wildlife together to live in harmony for the benefit of all of Zambia."