Chinese business magnate Jack Ma announced a 10-year wildlife conservation program in Africa by China-based nonprofit organization, the Paradise International Foundation during his maiden trip to the continent.
The owner of online retail giant Alibaba Group was in Kenya and Rwanda on a two-day trip in his capacity as Special Adviser for Youth Entrepreneurship and Small Business for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Established by a group of prominent Chinese entrepreneurs, artists and philanthropists in 2015, the Paradise Foundation focuses on protecting the environment and preserving nature reserves through charitable action, scientific approach and business management.
Ma co-chairs the Paradise Foundation with Tencent founder Pony Ma.
The Paradise Foundation and philanthropic arm of the Alibaba Group, the Alibaba Foundation will donate $1.65 million for the preservation of national parks in Africa including the Virunga National Park in Congo and Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.
“Africa is a natural habitat for a range of wildlife currently threatened by illegal hunting and wildlife trade,” said Ma, making the announcement in Kigali, Rwanda. “We are very pleased to be able to contribute our resources to countries that need them.”
The financing will foster linkages between Chinese charitable organizations and Africa’s reserves to retain their rich wildlife assets and fighting the trade of illegal wildlife products including ivory and rhino horn.
It will go towards outstanding frontline patrolling staff at the reserves and management expenses of the program.
This is the Paradise Foundation’s first conservation project in Africa.