Highlighting the career of Prof Willem van Riet, directing innovative conservation initiatives in Africa, illustrating his experiences and approach through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

An all-inclusive approach to conservation was instigated by numerous adventures on wild rivers in the 60’s and developed through academic research at Universities in Philadelphia (USA) and Pretoria (South Africa). GIS software, data and processes were harnessed throughout his career in support of planning, scientific analyses and fundraising.  Projects and programmes will be illustrated through a number themes. This approach was implemented during his years on the SANParks Board and on transboundary initiatives in Southern Africa during his 10 years as the CEO of the Peace Parks Foundation. Recently he has functioned as a consulted through the Swedish entity (Transboundary Conservation Foundation).

"I hope that the review of these conservation projects, as a journey of discovery through the use of GIS and maps, will be of assistance to conservation development in many parts of the world. I would like to iterate that the content of this site reflects my own personal point of view and is based on my personal experiences."

This could be the start of an approach to the demand side of the ivory equation that might also work for the rhino horn model. The principles behind the trading or protection of animal products such as ivory, rhino horn or big cat bones argument will be given some support by the success or otherwise of such a statement and government intervention.


Even while all the information leads to a cynical view of the future for rhino in Southern Africa, this information on news24 gives one some hope at last. At least the routes to the north and Europe should be more difficult to use. The informal news from the battlefront is not encouraging. In both Mozambique and South Africa there seems to be little political will to do anything.

Let us all hope we have reached the bottom of the cycle.