The Coronavirus pandemic paused human activity on the planet and, whilst traffic ground to a halt and people stayed home to save human lives, the pollution cleared in major cities and wild animals were seen wandering the empty streets. The eerie subdued intermittent reality is a stark warning for humanity to wake up and change its relationship with the planet permanently. A new dawn is breaking so there is a need for a world changing solution to revolutionize the way we see sustainability.
The likes of Greta Thunberg have got our attention, but many are becoming tired of the action without any real action – and this includes Richard and Hein Prinsloo-Curson. Taking action, over the last two years, the British-South African partners have put in motion a project to save animals from extinction and to preserve and improve the world for generations to come.
Their ground-breaking project, The Noah’s Ark Foundation is a global charity with 3 directives:
- To build action centres in locations around the world to work locally on environmental and climate issues
- To motivate social change by working with world media to help re programme humanity’s relationship with the planet and life on it
- To build a state-of-the-art animal and ecological conservation park, covering 100 square kilometres in the uMkhanyakude District on the North East coast of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Noah’s Ark will be the largest and most ambitious conservation project in history, with construction starting in August 2021. The project was due to break ground in 2020 but has suffered delays due to the Coronavirus lockdowns.
Nishal Mistry of DBM Architects Johannesburg designed the park using the original brief as follows:
To create non-profit organisations tasked with the sole purpose of eradication of human influence on population decrease for each endangered species via:
- Conducting research into the actual nutritional value and the superstitious value of consumption of each endangered species.
- The understanding of cultural beliefs associated to Nations that are primarily associated with the eradication of particular species of the animal kingdom.
- To engage nations primarily associated with the eradication of a species via:
- Scientific evidence and educational campaigns,
- Legal enforcement via existing world organisations through lobbying and then,
- The subsequent establishment of international law for non‐compliant demographic of predatory nations or groups.
- To install early age/development level awareness into future generations of the ecosystem that the human race shares with the animal kingdom; enlighten them around the senseless eradication of invaluable components of the plant earth ecosystem and to establish a firmly grasped understanding of consequences to themselves of missing components of the planet’s ecosystem.
- To create an experiential leisure-based visitor park that reconnects the (current and future) adults and children with the waning animal kingdom, and to grow the support base of the ‘everyman’ in the protection of a balanced ecosystem.
Created as an action to the ecosystem crisis the planet faces and to provide a way for everyone everywhere to get involved and be part of the solution; they aim to inspire unity so humanity will work together as one to fight the eco war, protect the circle of life, and encourage governments around the world to re think their relationship with the planet and the animals that exist within it.
The park’s aquarium is set to be the biggest in the world to accommodate ocean life, whilst Eden project-like Geo Domes, built using smart glass and sophisticated climate control systems, will ensure animals from other continents can feel at home in their own ecosystems under the South African sun. The most challenging of these is the Polar Dome which needs to replicate the entire Artic Eco System, and is one of the toughest challenges facing the technology research and development teams.
We all know the original story of Noah’s Ark being in the water, but this will be an ‘ark’ on the land, where an example of all animals and plants on Earth will be preserved and conserved. The Noah’s Ark Foundation, the non-profit organization set up to manage the ark will work to support global projects which prevent deforestation, pollution, hunting and the poaching of wild animals.
The funds needed for the project will be raised internationally outside of South Africa so would be a significant economic boost to the national Coronavirus recovery. To raise some of the capital needed to build the park the project is launching The Noah’s Ark Foundation UK and is working with leading Philanthropy organisations in the UK to secure donations and partnerships from British and American businesses. Other funds are coming from public fundraising, crowd funding, music and entertainment initiatives including a television series documenting the progress of the project being distributed by Lightening International Hong Kong.
Ark4Africa is the music arm of the project set up by award winning South African producer Neill Solomon and has released two songs on all music platforms, including iTunes, so far. Every download of “It takes the world to make a miracle” and “It’s just a memory” goes to help support the project. Richard and Hein are asking the public to listen, enjoy and share the music as much as possible to help with this effort.
The latest release “It’s just a memory” Performed by Phathiswa Magangane. Lyrics are by Nicholas Ellenbogen, music is composed by Neill Solomon and Gary Judd. The song is about the speed at which animals are being exterminated. This music is released in collaboration with Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Next Music. Phathiswa is known from The Voice SA.
Noah’s Ark is actively seeking South African local manufacturers and tradesmen and women to be part of this national project. Noah’s Ark will be completely South African made and will showcase the best South Africa has to offer. Fabric manufacturers, bed linen makers, furniture makers, glassware manufacturers, ceramics manufacturers, upholsterers, curtain makers, mattress and bed makers, technology companies, lighting manufacturers, cutlery manufacturers. Noah’s Ark Directors are calling on these businesses and more to approach the project team and offer products and services made in South Africa by South Africans.
Noah’s Ark is also actively seeking restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels and retail partners which can operate inside Noah’s Ark. Opportunities are now being discussed.
Communities Director Kgaugelo Sekhwela will register interest from South African businesses and the project aims to provide opportunities to as many businesses as possible. Email to register interest: [email protected]