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Forevermark, De Beers Support Rhino Rescue in Botswana

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Uma Thurman, Gloria Steinem at the Forevermark Dinner Benefitting Rhino Rescue Botswana

(Press Release)
NEW YORK – Forevermark, the diamond brand from The De Beers Group of Companies, and custom safari specialist Explore Inc. recently joined together to support Rhino Rescue Botswana.

More than 100 guests attended a private dinner hosted by Chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin Privé benefiting Botswana’s newly created Tlhokomela Trust. “Tlhokomela” means “to protect” in Setswana, reflecting the trust’s mission to perpetuate and expand Botswana’s vast and pristine wilderness areas and protect critically endangered rhino and other species.

Once widespread in Southern Africa, the white rhino is now listed as “near-threatened” and black rhino “critically endangered” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. A rhino is killed every seven minutes in Southern Africa due to the skyrocketing value of rhino horn in Asia, which has made it more valuable than gold.

Special guests including the Hon. Minister Tshekedi Khama of the Botswana Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism; legendary activist Gloria Steinem; actress Uma Thurman; model Coco Rocho and husband James Conran attended in support of rhino conservation.

Cherri Briggs, safari specialist and conservation-activist of Explore Inc, conceived of the event after taking Eric Ripert and Uma Thurman to Botswana in an effort to raise awareness of plight of the rhino.

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Forevermark’s support of the Tlhokomela Trust is part of the ongoing commitment by De Beers to protect the diversity of the natural world in which it operates. For every acre of land used for mining by De Beers, five acres are dedicated to the conservation of nature, building thriving ecosystems with healthy populations of native wild animals and plants.

“A diamond is a treasure of nature, created by the earth billions of years ago. Our passion for diamonds is matched by our deep sense of connection with the natural world, which we are dedicated to protecting for future generations,” says Stephen Lussier, CEO of Forevermark and executive vice president of marketing for De Beers. “We are proud to join with the Government of Botswana in promoting rhino conservation globally.”

De Beers has been active in rhino conservation since the 1970s and is a strong supporter of the Government of Botswana’s progressive conservation program. Debswana, a joint venture partnership between the Government of Botswana and De Beers, currently supports approximately 50 percent of Botswana’s white rhino population. The Debswana rhino conservation project aims to grow and improve the genetic diversity of the rhino population before relocation back into the natural habitat.

Both the Orapa Game Park and Jwana Game Park, which surround Debswana’s Orapa and Jwaneng Mines, are home to several thousand animals, including rhino, giraffe, zebra, baboon, cheetah, leopard and many other animal species. The Jwana Game park spans more than 40,000 acres of protected land, while the Orapa Game park currently consists of 30,000 acres with plans to expand to more than 100,000 acres. Balisi Bonyongo, managing director of Debswana, is the chairman of the Tlhokomela Trust.

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