The White Lion Peace Fund seeks to create a safe zone for an iconic animal in the very heart of its ancestral and ecological homelands, while establishing a living model of leadership that supports planetary health, and is in direct alignment with the creative force within Mother Nature herself, offering Nature-based solutions towards peace and regeneration on this planet.
In the midst of a global lion crisis that treats Panthera leo as a killing commodity in cross-border trade, The White Lion Peace Fund is dedicated to modelling solutions, based on combined cultural and conservation strategies: protecting an ancient primordial Sacred Natural Site together with an iconic species, which is site-specific.
It’s aim is to ensure the protection of the White Lions as a living heritage and the restoration of their associated ecosystem, including purchase and restoration of large tracks of land.
According to African record keepers, the Heartlands of the White Lions is an ancient Sacred Natural Site, which was once protected by African kings for many hundreds of years before Kruger was declared a National Park in 1926. It has since been recognized by ASSEGAIA (Alliance for the Sacred Sites of the Earth Gaia), which is calling for strict protective measures for Earth’s critically important Sacred Natural Sites.
In the 90s, Linda Tucker’s pioneering research first revealed profound links to Ancient Egypt, and traced humankind’s leadership to primordial origins in association with the White Lions, whose role today is essential to the health and balance of the ecosystem.
Restoring the ecosystem alongside human value systems, this initiative’s aim is to create harmonious coexistence and mutual benefi¬ts for Lions, Land and People in a living model of LionHearted Leadership for others to emulate.
Unification is an urgent imperative to render a more peaceful environment for all planetary inhabitants, not only humans. We recognize that without revitalizing true leadership principles in human nature, Mother Nature stands little chance of flourishing.
The luminous White Lions, as an ecological and cultural symbol of unification and good governance, provide an aspirant symbol in support of our commitment to achieve unity in people and unification of wildlands.
Our vision is to protect the sovereignty of the White Lions in their natural and spiritual homelands – an ancient Sacred Natural Site – while supporting a rich and enthusiastic cultural and eco-educational renaissance in the region, which celebrates the White Lions’ existence and significance for humanity.
To achieve this mission, The White Lion Peace Fund implements a multi-level strategy which lays down the foundations for cross-cultural peace, celebrating cultural heritage and eco-education, uplifting human and animal welfare, and reviving the biodiversity of wildlife alongside the dignity of human life.
With this goal we aim to support the restoration of the White Lions in their sacred natural heritage lands in the heart of the Kruger-to-Canyons ecosystem: a UNESCO Biosphere region, and one of the world’s last viable lion ranges.
Historically, the model for wildlife management in this important biodiversity region was one of patriarchal domination and exploitation, with little regard for time-honored Indigenous ways of reverential stewardship. By contrast, our core vision is one of lasting transformation based on a deeply loving and respectful approach to Mother Nature, turning human-wildlife conflict into a living model of harmonious co-existence between wildlife, land and people.
As apex animal in the complex biodiversity of a living ecosystem, ‘lions’ represent all species. In this way, the conservation of the White Lion provides an opportunity to achieve protection of the biodiversity of the entire UNESCO Kruger-to-Canyons ecosystem – and, furthermore, to take these regenerative principles into a living showcase for new-paradigm conservation theory and practice today.
We recognize that the dignity and welfare of the local indigenous communities is directly linked with the survival and wellbeing of the White Lions as a proud living heritage.
Since the imperilled White Lions have only occurred naturally in this “Biosphere” region of South Africa, it is here that The White Lion Peace Fund focuses its community-based conservation efforts, in protection of this magnificent naturally-born and critically rare genetic phenotype, whose survival in its natural ecosystem will support the not only the greater lion population, but all trophic levels of speciation in this sensitive biodiversity hotspot.
In the midst of a global wildlife crisis that commoditizes the king of animals (Panthera leo) alongside other endangered species in a dead-end extractive-use and consumptive-use paradigm, The White Lion Peace Fund is based on ecologically sustainable principles. An initiative which demonstratively combines cultural and conservation strategies, The White Lion Peace Fund draws on scientific research and indigenous knowledge systems to ensure the dignity, freedom, mutuality, continuance and flourishing of planetary life and health, of which humankind is an integral part.
Protecting a Sacred Natural Site:
Recognizing the intelligence and sentience of Nature and the critical importance of Sacred Natural Sites for planetary regeneration, our efforts will:
The White Lions are a sacred heritage to two local cultural groupings, the Sepedi and the Tsonga peoples, while being honored by many other tribal groups in Africa, including the first nation of First Nations – the Khoisan/Bushmen peoples. The White Lions are also recognized as a sacred heritage by Indigenous wisdom keepers from other continents.
The White Lion Peace Fund appreciates that this reverential honoring of a Sacred Animal provides the ideal opportunity to create unity across racial divides.
From this location – declared an ancient Sacred Natural Site by African kings many hundreds of years before the Kruger Natural Park was proclaimed in 1926 – we are able to engage some of the most critical issues of our times. Combining leading-edge science with Indigenous knowledge systems we aim to help save not only this genetic rarity, which is recognized as the “Sacred Spiritual Guardian” of this site, but also a multitude of other endemic species and rich biodiversity associated with this site.
As these genetic rarities are “site specific”, the indications are that the unique White Lions are intended by Nature to govern this geographic location, as they hold Nature’s codes for planetary regeneration.
The White Lions are understood by Indigenous elders around the globe to be ‘climate indicator species’, bringing harmony and balance to the ecosystem and peace to human systems. They are revered by African elders as the most sacred animal on the African continent. Yet they have been brutally removed from this natural system into zoos and circuses around the globe, and the now notorious death camps in South Africa for captive breeding for the bullet, and the escalating cross-border trade of lion bones to the Far East.
The White Lion Peace Fund recognizes the deep cultural importance of the White Lions is matched by their critical ecological role as ‘capstone animal’ at the top of the ‘trophic’ food-chain pyramid in this biodiversity hotspot.
They are an iconic animal of great cultural and conservation importance, unique to this region. Culturally, the White Lions are associated with restoration of ethical leadership, while ecologically, they are a capstone animal identified with ecosystem regeneration.
For Panthera leo, if the drastic decline in habitat and lion numbers continues, due to an entrenched ethos of industrializing and commoditizing wild animals, studies show that lions will become extinct in the wild in our lifetimes. The challenges are even more urgent for the rare White Lions.
In 2019, the White Lion Heartlands at the epicenter of UNESCO’s Kruger-to-Canyons Biosphere was identified as a primary Sacred Natural Site by an international alliance of Indigenous leaders, scientists, conservationists, environmental lawyers, human rights experts, and global NGOs: the ASSEGAIA Alliance (Alliance for the Sacred Sites of Earth Gaia).
Housing the source waters of the entire region, it is of critical importance that the Heartland territories and their surrounding areas be protected, not only for the White Lions, but all associated species, including humans.
Focusing on sustainable living methods, heart-centered values, and leading-edge science in service of Nature, our projects will seek to build upon important foundational work that has already been established in this region, ensuring the flourishing of the White Lions within their Sacred Natural Site.
Aimed at restoring unity amongst people and unification of wildlands, The White Lion Peace Fund will pay particular attention to long-standing community-based conservation efforts within the White Lion ancestral heartlands, which bring science together with Indigenous knowledge to save species. It’s pioneering “ecocentric” model ensures that Planetary Health and the Rights of Nature take precedence in all decisions.
This model includes the strategic purchase of sacred heritage lands and large tracks of wilderness to ensure the flourishing of the White Lions within their associated biodiversity, in a non-extractive use and consumptive use conservation strategy.
After more than 6 decades of forced removals rendered White Lions all-but-extinct in these lands of their origin, pioneering efforts in this region initiated and led by the Global White Lion Protection Trust, managed through a scientifically-monitored reintroduction program to reestablish the White Lions in their ancestral Heartlands, and to secure the heart of these endemic territories as a Protected Area.
Since this time, these magnificent animals have been re-establishing themselves in these wildlands, while also restoring the natural biodiversity of their endemic area: a miraculous process of regeneration now understood by ecologists as ‘trophic cascading.’
The White Lion Peace Fund, aims to operate with extreme cultural sensitivity and ecological responsibility, respecting Indigenous knowledge systems alongside scientific advancements.
Ecologically regenerative practices:
In addition to the protection of the Sacred Natural Site, The White Lion Peace Fund will support the Regeneration program in the “Buffer Region” of the ecosystem, with low impact activities, near the Sacred Natural Site for the public to develop a meaningful and non-invasive relationship with the site. To ensure that there is no impact on the heart of the Sacred Natural Site, whilst simultaneously protecting its vulnerable surroundings, these activities will be sensitized to the site and take place on the outskirts, providing maximum area and protection for the ‘no-go’ zone. These activities include: heritage interpretative and information centres; transformational travel; regenerative agriculture; as well as meaningful and connective experiences with/in Nature. Specifically, a Lion and Endangered Species Protection Centre, fencing and water retriculation system at both the Heritage Centre and StarLion Centres, food gardens at the StarLion Centres and vehicles needed for the Heritage Centre.
This project aligns with The White Lion Peace Fund’s charitable objective to protect the environment for the benefit of the general public by reducing pollution, conserving or restoring ecosystems and biodiversity and saving, supporting, protecting, or assisting stressed or endangered forms of life (including plant and animal life).
Details of the project work are as follows:
Our unification strategy is based on mutual benefits, while ensuring that the White Lions have rights of sovereignty in their endemic kingdom.
The direct beneficiaries of these activities will be the restoration of the biodiversity of wildlife in this UNESCO Biosphere, the regeneration of critically important ancestral lands, with life-giving waterways serving all those peoples who will benefit immediately and in future from this living legacy.
The lions will also benefit, as well as the other animals in the region. Also this project will help with the unification of two local rural communities, with a history of conflict and wildlife conflict as well as the unification of international cultural groups. By supporting the emergence of community champions from diverse backgrounds, we will be influencing the welfare and livelihood of many thousands.
With greater community-building and cohesion, we expect success in the anti-poaching strategies amongst rural community dwellers. Alongside the reduction in illicit trade of animal parts, we expect the risk of human trafficking to minimize in a community rooted on solid values.
The White Lion Peace Fund addresses the fundamental truth that real, long-term sustainability can only be achieved through ecological sustainability.
Our experienced team has the character, courage, and commitment to solve the world’s greatest challenges. We operate on the ground to facilitate essential research. Conducting large-scale interviews and clarifying risks and opportunities, we create engagement with community leaders to establish sustainable solutions.
Robert Smith, Founder of ICV, is a fifth generation investment executive who has spent most of his career managing capital for some of the largest financial institutions and identifying traditional and alternative investment and philanthropic opportunities for family offices. Mr. Smith serves as Advisor to the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), which makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries; the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates; and, the Mandela family’s Africa Rising Foundation. He serves as International Trustee of Religions for Peace International, the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace, since 1970, by working to advance multi-religious consensus on positive aspects of peace as well as concrete actions to stop war, help eliminate extreme poverty and protect the earth. Mr. Smith also serves on the President’s Leadership Council of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, the largest academic medical center in Philadelphia. Carrying on the mission of his family to provide “inspirational and tangible help for young people,” Mr. Smith serves as a member of the board of directors of the Chaeli Foundation USA, Childhood Cancer Kids, The Children’s Village, St. Clair Butterfly Foundation, and Tuesday’s Children. He also serves as president and a member of the board of directors of The Harmon Foundation, a private foundation established in 1922 by his great, great grandfather, William E. Harmon. In 2018, Mr. Smith was recognized as one of The 100 Visionary Leaders by Real Leaders Magazine, alongside Bill Gates, Muhammad Yunus, President Juan Santos, Mikhail Gorbachev, Leonardo DiCaprio and many others who are leading us towards a better world. He was also inducted as a member of Evolutionary Leaders, alongside Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Gary Zukav, Bruce Lipton, Gregg Braden and other leaders who feel a sense of urgency about the state of our world and are forging a movement for the conscious evolution of humanity.
Rachel Kearl is the Executive Director of The White Lion Peace Fund. In this role, she acts as an operations director, overseeing the development of marketing communications, project portfolio productivity, communication between project initiatives and fosters dynamic community support for the portfolio of projects. Rachel is a Founder Member of the ASSEGAIA Alliance, and Founder of Kevel, an apparel company based in San Clemente, California, and has hosted and project managed high-level fundraising events for ground-breaking causes in alignment with eco-centric regenerative models. Rachel supports The White Lion Peace Fund by liaising between the projects of the Global White Lion Protection Trust and donors in the ICV community, including convening and hosting retreats in South Africa.
Susanna Choe is the Executive Director of The Regeneration Fund and The Unification Fund. She is a humanitarian and futurist with an educational background in international affairs and her professional experience ranges across media, education, emerging technology, business and non-profits. Her mission is to evolve the planetary governance system to share resources effectively, empower humanity to collaborate for collective action to reach the SDGs, and support the transition towards a regenerative economy for life on earth to thrive in harmony with nature. She is dedicated to spreading a culture of peace through her organization and modern day peace movement, Peace Accelerators. She is an advisor to Huxley, an augmented operating system for vertical farming using camera vision and machine learning, and is dedicated to spreading a culture of peace and happiness through her organization Peace Accelerators and Mo Gawdat’s #OneBillionHappy initiative. Previously, she worked with Y2X, an impact investing firm based in NYC, focusing on working towards the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, weaving together a diverse community of leaders, researchers, entrepreneurs, technologists, creatives and investors to effectively solve global challenges.
Linda Tucker is CEO and Founder of the Global White Lion Protection Trust. After being rescued from a life-threatening encounter with a pride of lions by an African medicine woman in 1991, Linda spent a decade of primary research on the cultural and conservation importance of the White Lions, before formalizing her NPO in 2002. Global White Lion Protection Trust is long-standing leadership organization on the frontline of conservation strategy today, with the primary mission of protecting the White Lions in their endemic territories: through sensitive scientific reintroduction programs, and multi-level cultural efforts, and purchase of large tracks of lands, normally the responsibility associated with the function of governments.
Sarah Grace, founder of Somatic Sanctuary in Ojai, California, is a Somatic-based Trauma Therapist and Conscious Birth Worker. Sarah first visited Timabati in 2015 and knew it was her destiny to support this land and these Great Ones throughout her life. She has since visited, taken groups, and supported this land and the lions for the past 5 years. Sarah has been dedicated to bringing forth funds for this project and continues to be a primary donor. Sarah’s passion lies in healing trauma, restoring conscious birth, supporting our earth, the ecosystem and the interconnectedness of Life.
“Lion Heartedness is that quality of fearlessness, inspired by Love and Respect for Nature, that empowers us to change the world.”
– Linda Tucker