Dameon Mander - Anti-Poaching in Africa - Referred by Alan Feldstein
Damien Mander born 11 December 1979 , in Mornington, Australia is a former Australian Royal Navy Clearance Diver and Special Operations military sniper turned anti-poaching crusader.
While deployed in Iraq he Project Managed the Iraq Special Police Training Academy, overseeing training of up to 700 cadets at one time. Following 3 years on the frontlines of the Iraq war he departed in 2008 with no new direction in life.
A trip to Africa left him face-to-face with the horrors that the worlds wildlife is facing. Liquidating his personal assets from his time in the military, he founded the International Anti-Poaching Foundation. The IAPF focuses on ranger training, operations and integrating modern technology such as drones into conservation.
The IAPF’s work has featured in National Geographic Magazine, twice on 60 Minutes, Voice of America, Discovery Network, TED, Animal Planet, Good Weekend Magazine, The Project, Australia and Africa Geographic Magazines, Carte Blanch, Al Jazeera, ABC, Forbes, The Sunday Times, Christian Science Monitor and the UK Daily Telegraph.
In 2009 Mander decided he wanted to escape the death and destruction he had seen in the Middle East. So he travelled South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Upon learning about the Poaching scourge sweeping Southern Africa and the sophisticated criminal networks that used military equipment to poach for large profits, Mander was convinced that his specialized military skills, personal finances, and experience could contribute significantly to wildlife protection and conservation.
Working as a volunteer with an anti-poaching unit in the Zambezi National Park (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe), Mander gained first-hand experience of the struggles associated with anti-poaching work, as well as an up-close look at poaching's decimating effect on wildlife. He began writing training packages that would later form the basis of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation's Anti-Poaching Ranger Training Course and the qualification of Anti-Poaching Ranger.
Mander used his life savings and liquidated his investments and assets to fund the start-up and running costs of International Anti-Poaching Foundation – an organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wildlife in some of the world's most volatile regions.
Mander’s personal evolution has seen him recognize the need for protection of all animals, not just from an ethical standpoint, but also from a global environmental perspective. A public speaker, Mander is a vegan who actively encourages his audience to hold back the tide of human encroachment and correct the imbalance between dwindling wilderness areas and rapidly increasing human populations.
Mander is also a director of the Conservation Guardians and resides in Southern Africa with his wife Maria.