Cheetahs and the BBC World Challenge

I stole this picture from Ryan

My friend Ryan Richards is a graduate student at the University of Maryland. We met when I attended the Cheetah Conservation Fund benefit in September (see blog). Ryan spent the summer in Namibia, Africa working with CCF on the Bush Project, the focus of his graduate research. His project is one of 12 finalists in the BBC/World Challenge 2009. The winner is decided by popular vote and I am asking that you help Ryan as well as the cheetahs win this thing!

The Bush Project aims to reduce bush encroachment caused by overgrazing, restore habitat for cheetahs and other wildlife and produce a renewable energy source for a country that is largely dependent on coal and charcoal. At the moment most of the acacia bush that is cleared is turned into Bushblok, a chipped, compressed wood product that looks a bit like a Duraflame log (without any waxy additives). It's marketed in South Africa and Europe as an alternative to charcoal. Our ultimate goal is to develop biomass as a viable electricity source in Namibia, and the World Challenge award would help us pursue that goal (the publicity in the EU and US certainly won't hurt either).

The website for voters is . Click on the pushpin in southern Africa to find out more about the project. Then VOTE!

If you'd like a better idea of the work CCF does, check out their website:

Please vote for the Bush Project!