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Visting Explorer Program with Praveen Moman & Tara Stoinski

The Legacy of Dian Fossey: Connecting Conservation, Tourism and Communities

Praveen Moman was born in Uganda and moved to the UK when his family became refugees during the Amin era. This was followed by a career as a political and policy adviser in the European Union and British Government.

Praveen founded Volcanoes Safaris in 1997 which has been at the forefront of reviving gorilla tourism in Uganda and Rwanda. Under Praveen's guiding vision, Volcanoes has designed and built four unique lodges near the great ape parks - Virunga, Mount Gahinga, Bwindi and Kyambura. The luxury lodges are sensitive to local culture and aesthetics, the post-conflict context and the need to use resources responsibly. A long term empowerment program has nurtured staff from the region to enable them to manage the lodges.

In 2000, Volcanoes Safaris became the first international safari company to take clients to Rwanda and in 2004 built the now renowned Virunga Lodge. It helped kick-start gorilla tourism after the genocide through the Volcanoes BLCF Partnership Project. In 2005 the company become a charter signatory to the UN Kinshasa Declaration on Saving the Great Apes, the only tourism company to do so. Then, in 2009, Praveen established the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), a non-profit organisation that aims to create long-term, self-sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities and promote the conservation of the great apes.

In recognition of this work, Volcanoes Safaris has received various awards including the Travel + Leisure Global Vision (2012) and Condé Nast Traveler World Savers (2013) awards; the Pure Community Engagement Award (2016) for Bwindi Bar; Virunga Lodge - Africa’s most romantic retreat by the World Boutique Awards (2016). All four Volcanoes Lodges were voted among the top thirty lodges in Africa by Conde Nast US readers (2017).

Tara Stoinski, PhD, serves as President and CEO and Chief Scientific Officer for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. Prior to taking on the CEO role in 2014, she worked with the Fossey Fund for 13 years in a scientific capacity. Tara has studied gorillas for more than two decades and is the author of over 90 scientific publications and books. Her work has been featured in numerous press outlets, including National Geographic Magazine, CNN, and NPR.

Dr. Stoinski holds degrees from Tufts University, University of Oxford and the Georgia Institute of Technology and is an adjunct professor at Emory University and Georgia Tech. She also serves in a number of leadership positions within the conservation and primate communities, including as an executive committee member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Section on Great Apes.

Date: March 22, 2018

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: $10

Guest Ticket Price: $15

Reservation Notes:

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste