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In the Spotlight – Beverly and Dereck Joubert, Guardians of the Wild

Beverly and Dereck Joubert are renowned filmmakers, conservationists, and National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence whose lives are dedicated to preserving Africa’s wildlife, focusing on big cats. Their work spans over three decades and encompasses award-winning films, books, scientific research, and the founding of the Big Cats Initiative with National Geographic. This spotlight explores their multifaceted contributions to wildlife conservation and education, offering insight into their profound impact on preserving Africa’s majestic creatures.

About the Joubert’s

Image credit: Shutterstock / The Len

Beverly and Dereck Joubert are synonymous with wildlife conservation in Africa. Their journey began in Botswana, where their deep connection with the land and its creatures sparked a lifelong commitment to conservation. Their work extends beyond filmmaking to include significant contributions to scientific research and direct conservation efforts, particularly aimed at protecting endangered species like lions, leopards, and cheetahs.

Beverly and Dereck Joubert’s conservation began in Botswana’s wild landscapes, where their profound connection to the land and its inhabitants ignited a lifelong commitment to wildlife preservation. This dedication has evolved far beyond their initial foray into filmmaking, encompassing significant strides in scientific research and hands-on conservation initiatives. Their focus has been on safeguarding endangered species, including lions, leopards, and cheetahs, which face threats from habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and poaching.

The Jouberts’ approach to conservation is multifaceted, combining their skills in storytelling with rigorous scientific inquiry and active fieldwork. They have contributed to the scientific community through detailed studies on big cat behaviors, demographics, and genetics, providing valuable insights that inform conservation strategies. Their efforts in direct conservation work include establishing protected areas, developing community-based conservation programs, and launching initiatives to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts. This comprehensive strategy underscores their belief in a holistic approach to conservation, where understanding the intricate balance of ecosystems plays a crucial role in formulating effective preservation efforts.

Moreover, the Jouberts have leveraged their storytelling prowess to raise global awareness about Africa’s wildlife challenges. Through their films, books, and public engagements, they have brought the beauty and fragility of these ecosystems to an international audience, fostering a broader understanding of the importance of conservation. Their work emphasizes the interconnectedness of all living beings and the critical role humans play in ensuring the survival of these majestic creatures.

Beverly and Dereck Joubert exemplify a model of conservation that is deeply rooted in a passion for the natural world, underpinned by scientific knowledge and amplified by compelling storytelling. Their journey from filmmakers to leading conservationists demonstrates the powerful impact of combining diverse approaches to safeguard the planet’s biodiversity. 

Educational Initiatives

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The Jouberts’ educational initiatives are aimed at raising awareness about the plight of big cats and the importance of conservation. Through their films, books, and speeches, they educate the public about the challenges facing these animals and the critical need for habitat protection and anti-poaching efforts.

Their Work

Image caption: Pexels / Pixabay

The Jouberts’ work is a blend of art, science, and conservation. Their films, often years in the making, offer unparalleled insights into the lives of big cats, showcasing their beauty, complexity, and the threats they face. Their scientific research contributes valuable data to the field of conservation, informing strategies to protect these species.


Image Credit: Shutterstock / bundit jonwises

The Jouberts have produced over 25 films, garnering numerous awards and accolades. Their storytelling, characterized by breathtaking cinematography and deep respect for their subjects, has significantly impacted conservation filmmaking, bringing the plight of Africa’s wildlife to a global audience.


Image Credit: Shutterstock / Radoslaw Maciejewski

In addition to their films, the Jouberts have authored several books that explore the lives of big cats and their conservation. These works are educational and serve as a call to action, inspiring readers to engage with conservation efforts.


Image Credit: Shutterstock / wellphoto

The Jouberts’ contributions to wildlife conservation and filmmaking have been recognized with over 100 awards, including Emmys, Peabodys, and a World Ecology Award. These accolades reflect their impact on the conservation community and the broader public.


Image credit: Shutterstock / Anuradha Marwah

The Big Cats Initiative, founded by the Jouberts in partnership with National Geographic, is a global program focused on conserving big cats. The initiative supports on-the-ground conservation projects, anti-poaching efforts, and community education programs to ensure the survival of these iconic species.

Beyond their films and conservation work, the Jouberts are also involved in eco-tourism and have established several conservation-minded safari lodges. These lodges serve as a model for sustainable tourism, demonstrating how responsible travel can support conservation efforts and benefit local communities.

These lodges provide eco-friendly accommodations for tourists and are integral to the broader conservation effort to protect big cats and their habitats. Strategically located in areas critical to big cat conservation, these lodges operate under a sustainable tourism model that directly contributes to wildlife preservation. A portion of the proceeds from lodge operations is funneled back into conservation projects, including anti-poaching patrols, community education programs, and habitat restoration efforts. The lodges also serve as educational hubs, where guests can learn about big cats’ challenges and the ongoing efforts to protect them. By staying at these lodges, visitors support a model of tourism that prioritizes environmental stewardship and the well-being of local wildlife populations, embodying the Jouberts’ vision of harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.

The Big Cats Initiative: A Closer Look

Image caption: Pexels /
Mr Sketch

The Big Cats Initiative (BCI), a critical conservation effort, was launched by Beverly and Dereck Joubert in partnership with National Geographic in 2009. This comprehensive program is dedicated to halting the decline of big cat populations worldwide, focusing on lions, leopards, cheetahs, tigers, and jaguars. The initiative embodies the Jouberts’ commitment to conservation, combining research, protection projects, and community involvement to address these majestic animals’ threats, including habitat loss, poaching, and conflict with humans.

The BCI supports innovative projects that protect big cats and their habitats. It funds on-the-ground conservation and research efforts, works to mitigate human-wildlife conflict, and strives to increase the land under protection for big cats. Through education and global awareness campaigns, the initiative also seeks to inspire a lifelong commitment to conservation among the general public.

The Great Plains Foundation Big Cats Initiative

Image credit: Shutterstock / worldswildlifewonders

In addition to their work with the BCI, the Jouberts founded the Great Plains Foundation, which plays a pivotal role in conserving big cats. This foundation focuses on securing and expanding habitats, facilitating coexistence between humans and wildlife, and rehabilitating ecosystems to ensure big cats’ survival. The Great Plains Foundation believes conservation should benefit both wildlife and local communities, promoting sustainable development and environmental protection.

The Bottom Line

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Beverly and Dereck Joubert are filmmakers and conservation pioneers, whose passion and dedication have inspired countless individuals to take action in support of Africa’s wildlife. Their work serves as a powerful reminder of the impact committed individuals can have on preserving our planet’s natural heritage. As you learn about their journey, let it inspire you to consider how you, too, can contribute to conserving our world’s precious wildlife.

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The post In the Spotlight – Beverly and Dereck Joubert, Guardians of the Wild first appeared on The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Thomas Retterath.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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