Beverly & Dereck Joubert

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are award-winning filmmakers from Botswana who have been Explorers-in-Residence for over four years. Their mission is the conservation and understanding of the large predators and key African wildlife species that determine the course of all conservation in Africa.

They have been filming, researching, and exploring in Africa for over 25 years. Their coverage of unique predator behavior has resulted in 22 films, 10 books, six scientific papers, and many articles for National Geographic magazine. This body of work has resulted in five Emmys, a Peabody, the World Ecology Award, and the recent induction into the American Academy of Achievement.

Beverly Joubert also is an acclaimed photographer, and many of her photographs have appeared in National Geographic magazine. Filmmaking for them has always been a way to bring the message of conservation to audiences. Their recent expansion into conservation tourism via their new company, Great Plains, is a venture into community/conservation partnerships in Africa, and Great Plains has received awards for responsible tourism in London and South Africa.

It is the Jouberts’ belief that while some areas need the wilderness to be maintained in isolation, other areas will disappear unless viable, extremely-light-ecological-footprint (low-volume, high-cost) benefits are generated for communities. This year they added land in Tanzania, Kenya and an exciting new project in Rwanda, bringing the total amount of impacted conservation land to about 1.5 million acres. These projects all aim to rehabilitate the environment and return these vast tracts of land to nature.

Their major effort today is in establishing the Big Cats Initiative with National Geographic as an emergency action fund to drive the world’s attention to big cats and to develop real solutions to stop the decline that has seen lion numbers drop from 450,000 to 20,000 in 50 years.

“We no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to big cats,” says Dereck. “They are in such a downward spiral that if we hesitate now, we will be responsible for extinctions across the globe. If there was ever a time to take action, it is now.”

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