Kingspan_Born Free Foundation_Partnership_Mfalme and cubs

Lion Conservation Partnership with the Born Free Foundation

Upon entering the Born Free Foundation partnership back in December 2019, Gene Murtagh, CEO of Kingspan Group said:
Protecting the natural world is a priority for us. Together with Born Free, we aim to protect and grow the lion population, while preserving the habitat they roam in.
Lions have no natural predators in the wild, and yet the lion population in Africa has collapsed by up to 50% in the last 20 years. This sharp decline is a result of our own human impact and means that lions have been officially labelled as ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN Redlist.*

To help halt this dramatic decline and safeguard the future of an animal close to our hearts and at the centre of our logo, Kingspan entered a three-year partnership with the Born Free Foundation, as 2019 drew to a close. Born Free has been fighting for lions’ survival since 1966 and is an established and accomplished charity in the field of conservation and protection. With this partnership we can join them in the fight. Working together, we will ensure this incredible species is safeguarded for the future.

In particular, this partnership focuses attention on Born Free’s existing Pride of Meru project in the Meru-Kora landscape. Home of Elsa the Lion who inspired the classic wildlife film Born Free, this area has been hit hard by human poaching and banditry, which in turn has had dramatic implications for the lion population.

Climate change and other factors have led to lions encroaching on livestock and areas inhabited by humans. Through the Kingspan partnership, Born Free can track and monitor the remaining lions in Elsa’s pride, warning the people of Meru if the lions are approaching, thus protecting both people and the pride. This monitoring also ensures the team are gathering data on how to help mitigate the threats facing these endangered animals, including poaching, with additional conservation activity geared towards the message of co-existence.

Meru Conservation Area Research Officer, Newton Simiyu understands how the monitoring activity is enabling Born Free’s conservation goals:
Lion monitoring is very important, because it gives us the information of what we are conserving. Before you conserve something, you have to know what numbers you have. And to know the exact numbers you have, you then need to monitor each and every individual, understanding every individual, so you can come up with the measure on how best to approach in terms of conservation.
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This joint mission forms an integral part of our ambitious 10-year sustainability strategy, Planet Passionate, which aims to reduce carbon emissions, accelerate a circular economy and protect the natural world. Similarly, Born Free’s Compassionate Conservation approach seeks to address environmental challenges impacting wildlife populations, while inspiring behaviour change for the future. Enhancing knowledge and awareness amongst the public is critical in conservation, and there is much both companies can do to raise light on the future of the lion as we work together.
*Born Free Conservation Report 2018-2019

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