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Cheetah preservation inspires sustainable initiatives

September 24, 2009

Arizona Stata University’s Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS) and ecoSERVICES’ Advancing Conservation in a Social Context (ACSC) project will host a discussion with Laurie Marker, founder and director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund. The discussion will be held at 4 p.m., Oct. 1, in the Pima Auditorium in the Memorial Union on ASU's Tempe campus. The talk is free and open to the public. Space is limited. Light refreshments to be served.

Marker, named by Time magazine as a “Hero for the Planet,” and most recently recognized as ABC World News’ “Person of the Week” and coined the "Ultimate Cat Lady,” will talk about sustainable conservation programs working to ensure Africa’s most endangered cats’ survival, including the fund’s Bushblok project, a recent recipient of Intel’s Environmental Tech Award. The fund has also launched the "Cheetah Country Beef" program, which promotes acceptance of cheetahs on farmland, use of dogs as non-lethal protection for livestock, and eco-tourism and nets farmers premium prices for their beef. “Sustainable utilization of our natural resources combined with viable economic initiatives is key to conservation,” says Marker.

The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is a Namibian nonprofit trust dedicated to the long-term survival of the cheetah and its ecosystems. Their strategy to save the wild cheetah is a three-pronged process of research, conservation and education.

ecoSERVICES in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU studies the causes and consequences of change in ecosystem services – the benefits that people derive from the biophysical environment. One project supported by ecoSERVICESs and funded by the MacArthur Foundation is Advancing Conservation in a Social Context (ACSC). This collaborative program examines the nature of trade-offs at different scales (local, national, regional and global) and the mechanisms and institutions needed to redistribute costs and benefits so that socially beneficial conservation can occur.

For more details go to,,, or contact Barry Sparkman at