Johannesburg, 9 April 2015

JCDecaux flying alongside BirdLife SA to give conservation wings

JCDecaux has aligned its corporate social investment spend with its core business objectives and imperatives. This strategic approach over the past few years has resulted in CSI initiatives being moved largely out of the charitable sphere into one in which true partnerships have been forged with key beneficiaries, one of which is BirdLife South AfricaJCDecaux has provided much-needed advertising exposure to further BirdLife South Africa’s goals and objectives. This was achieved by way of free design assistance and advertising space on both static billboards and digital platforms across the country, amounting to in excess of 2 million Rand a year.

As South Africa’s only dedicated bird conservation organisation, BirdLife South Africa is making very important contributions to the conservation of our country’s birds and their habitats. In their quest to conserve threatened species they have, for example, reduced the impact of fisheries on albatrosses by more than 90%. As a result, tens of thousands of albatrosses are each year spared from drowning at the end of a hook or being caught in a trawl net. BirdLife South Africa’s habitat work is also making very significant contributions, and through the Biodiversity Stewardship Programme, this work is busy securing more than 100 000 ha of grasslands and estuaries as protected areas in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Mpumalanga. BirdLife South Africa aims to prevent the extinction of threatened bird species and to maintain the conservation status of common bird species. The organisation conserves, improves and enlarges sites and habitats that are important for birds and thereby also conserve other biodiversity as well as secures food and water resources for the country. In addition, they integrate bird conservation into sustaining people's livelihoods.

Mark Anderson, CEO of BirdLife South Africa states, “A very important part of our work is creating awareness about birds, bird conservation issues, and about BirdLife South AfricaJCDecaux has played a huge role in this, for which we are immensely grateful. More people are aware of birds, our membership is growing, and our magazine subscriptions are increasing. My work, as BirdLife South Africa’s main fundraiser, has also been made easier because, when I approach new donors, they have already heard of us”.

Barry Sayer, Executive Chairman of JCDecaux adds, “We remain committed supporters of the great work that BirdLife South Africa performs, their preservation of our birdlife for generations to come and the broader impact that BirdLife South Africa has on the greater environment and consequently the quality of life for our people. We look forward to contributing to the awareness of the Blue Crane, our national bird and this year’s Bird of the Year, very soon”.