Southern African Wildlife College

Other needs-based programmes and courses

Given the challenges being faced and the changing needs of conservation organizations and the greater conservation community, the College – in partnership with various stakeholders - develops training courses to meet these needs.

Examples of these programmes include:

New Venture Creation/Enterprise Development

As a continuation of the role the SAWC is playing in the development of skills and competence as a whole in the SADC sub-region, it has developed programmes focusing on strengthening existing and emerging enterprises within the trans-frontier conservation areas (TFCAs) in the SADC sub-region.

This allows for greater participation of local communities in the tourism value chain, thereby, finding alternative livelihoods other than a total reliance on agriculture and the natural resources around them.

If parks are set up responsibly they can be a generator of jobs, income and overall economic livelihoods. For example, people living in and around the parks can get involved in park creation and maintenance as well as other small business servicing the tourism industry.

As such, one of the skills programmes offered by the SAWC is aimed at start-up businesses or existing small business owners and entrepreneurs who require the knowledge and skills to set up or grow their current businesses, employ capable people and run a sustainable and profitable business.

Students who qualify against this programme will be able to:

  • Determine market requirements and manage the relevant marketing and selling process
  • Determine financial requirements and manage the financial resources of a new venture
  • Manage business operations to facilitate the successful running of a business.

Community Rangers

The first Community Ranger's training course offered was aimed at equipping young people from communities bordering the western boundary of Kruger National Park and surrounding nature reserves with the skills and knowledge of conservation guardianship.

This will help pave the way for young people by providing them with opportunities/chances of future employment by local communities as game scouts or in conservation organizations.

K-9 Anti Poaching Dog Handlers Course

The call for the establishment of the College’s K-9 Unit was primarily due to the successes that dogs and their trackers were experiencing in the anti poaching field and will support conservation organisations involved in and requiring canine capabilities. 

The addition of the Unit to the SAWC’S African Field Ranger Training Services division explicitly talks to the building and protection of rhino populations through field conservation efforts. Run as a College project, the full scope of the project aims to train field rangers (as dog handlers) and dogs in disciplines that are considered to be of most benefit to the anti-poaching community. 

The initial focus of the Project is on rangers (handlers) and dogs in the disciplines that are not currently being offered elsewhere and will provide the greatest immediate benefit to the anti poaching operations, whilst also directly building on the current K9 capability of the Kruger National Park. 

This in turn supports the five tactical areas that have been identified as priorities by WWF-SA to support rhino conservation efforts: Building resilient rhino populations through field conservation efforts, engaging local communities in wildlife conservation, strengthening national law enforcement activities, developing bilateral cooperation between South Africa and transit and consumer countries and ultimately reducing demand for illicit rhino horn.

Bathawk Pilot Training

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