Home » U.S. retail tycoon Rob Walton commits $100 million to Johannesburg’s African Parks

U.S. retail tycoon Rob Walton commits $100 million to Johannesburg’s African Parks

by Ishioma Emi

The Rob and Melani Walton Foundation has announced the donation of $100 million to the Johannesburg-based African Parks to support wildlife conservation in Africa, Afrik21 reported

The Rob and Melani Walton Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by Rob Walton alongside his wife, Melani, to fund sustainable development projects.

Rob is the first son of Helen and Sam Walton, founders of Walmart Inc., America’s largest retailer.

He was the chairman of the company from 1992 to 2015 and had an estimated net worth of $65.9 billion in August, making him the 15th richest person globally.

The donated funds will be divided into two parts: $75 million to create the Rob and Melani Walton Endowment Fund for the support of conservation operations and $25 million to support the 19 national parks that it manages across the continent. 

“Part of the funds will be used for five-year matching grants, in conjunction with the Legacy Landscapes Fund, for Iona National Park in Angola and Odzala-Kokoua National Park in Congo,” African Parks said. “This funding will leverage an additional $10 million for each park over the following 10 years.” 

African Parks is a non-profit conservation organization that takes direct responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of protected areas in partnership with governments and local communities.

It covers millions of hectares of land and employs about 3,200 staff. 

Rob is a trustee of the nonprofit. 

The fund will aid the daily running of its activities, enabling expansion while creating more jobs.

It will also promote biodiversity and protect communities to enable the harmonious coexistence between people and nature.

 “In Africa, part of the solution is to conserve more parks to protect biodiversity and ensure that communities enjoy the health and economic benefits that these areas can offer when well-managed,” Walton said.

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