Raoul du Toit - Director
In 1985, du Toit was appointed as Scientific Officer for the IUCN African Elephant and Rhino Specialist Group, and diverted from his previous professional focus on Environmental Impact Assessments. In 1988, du Toit developed a WWF project to survey the status of black rhinos in the Zambezi Valley and remained a Project Executant with WWF until 2009. In 1990, du Toit was seconded from WWF to the Zimbabwean Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management, where he worked for seven years to initiate and implement the Rhino Conservancy Project in Zimbabwe (funded by the Beit Trust, via WWF). This project entailed establishing viable rhino breeding groups in semi-arid Lowveld region of Zimbabwe, amalgamating game ranches into large conservancies to provide adequate habitat, setting up protection and monitoring systems, and helping to deal with the ongoing economic and political challenges to these private sector projects. Du Toit also helped to establish the regional rhino conservation programme of the Southern African Development Community and was involved in this programme as a technical adviser on rhino projects in several countries, over the period 2000-2007. From 2009, the Rhino Conservancy Project has been subsumed into the Lowveld Rhino Trust which du Toit set up and is now Director of. Du Toit acts as the African Program Coordinator for the International Rhino Foundation, which is a primary support agency for the Lowveld Rhino Trust. Du Toit has been awarded the Sir Peter Scott Award (by the IUCN Species Survival Commission) in 2009, and the Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa, in 2011.