Sanne Group was recently visited by WWF UK’s head of forest trade and policy, Beatrix Richards, who presented the latest developments in their Green Heart of Africa initiative to staff. The WWF is one of the charities supported by The Sanne Philanthropic Foundation as part of a programme of giving focused on the protection of tropical forests and the Green Heart of Africa initiative receives direct support from the Foundation.

The forest of the Congo Basin is far more densely inhabited than many of the more well known forests such as the Amazon and due to regional conflict, few humanitarian charities have been active in the region. Beatrix described the search for solutions to balance the governments’ needs for revenue through logging and other forest industries, the rights and development of local indigenous peoples and the protection of flora and fauna. The most iconic inhabitants might be the gorillas and chimpanzees but the point was strongly made that the key to their conservation was in the education and economic advancement of the human forest dwellers.

Beatrix was accompanied by members of WWF UK’s fundraising team who explained other initiatives focused on, ocean conservation, sustainable fishing, climate change and the reduction of carbon footprints.

The visit enabled staff to learn about the work carried out by WWF and to see how the donations made by The Sanne Philanthropic Foundation are making a difference.

After the meeting, Gillian Arthur, Director of The Sanne Philanthropic Foundation who advised on the giving programmes said: “This was a very useful presentation as WWF demonstrated many of the key factors that had been important to us when deciding which charities to include in our programme. These aspects include WWF’s willingness to work with companies to influence their behaviour in the forests, their commitment that people must be part of the solution and their great facility in explaining the issues and challenges of conservation to audiences of all levels of knowledge. A number of colleagues mentioned just how much they learnt in a short amount of time and we would like to continue to support organisations such as WWF in their efforts to address these global issues.”