Imagine a vast conservation park containing every species on the planet. Maybe it isn’t such a far fetched idea! Noah’s Ark is about to be resurrected on dry land, if a British entrepreneur has anything to do with it.
Richard Prinsloo Curson, together with fellow business brain Hein Prinsloo Curson, is reaching for the sky with a truly mammoth project based in South Africa.
The price tag? According to their crowdfunding page, “an estimated $7 BILLION”. The non-profit Noah’s Ark Foundation’s ambitious message to humanity is described as the “largest in history to help our world.”
The idea has been compared to a certain dinosaur franchise. Indeed, the synopsis for Hein Prinsloo Curson’s forthcoming book ‘You Are Noah’ states the 100 square km park is “Incorporating advanced research as well as Jurassic strength and security”. The synopsis also refers to a gigantic aquarium, “Geo Domes” with “smart glass” and climate control for those residents accustomed to colder weather.
Reporting in February, the Wisbech Standard quotes a spokesman for the Foundation. They talk about “nuclear proof” conditions for storing animal DNA. If that sounds heavy duty, the “pulse beam system” defending the park is like something out of an action flick! The Standard has a personal interest in the story as Richard used to live in the
Once it gets off the drawing board, the location will be the more exotic climes of KwaZulu Natal province. Before building work can take place, the group must negotiate with the South African government.
Other permissions are required – the Noah’s Ark website mentions the park is backed by His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu of the Zulu Nation. Region leader INkosi Tembe is also lending support to the project.
Speaking via the crowdfunding page Richard Prinsloo Curson says that nature is at “crisis point”. He identifies the main challenges as: “Climate change, overdevelopment, farming, ocean plastic, big game hunting and poaching”.
“If humanity continues at the above trend,” the Noah’s Ark website writes, “the natural world will be gone in 20 years” This dramatic assessment chimes with the view of Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF (World Wildlife Fund). As reported by WWF and the Daily Mail, 60% of the planet’s animals have perished at human hands (data from 2018). Quoted by the Mail, Barrett said: “Nature is not a ‘nice to have’ – it is our life-support”.
Financial backers are apparently on board. But Curson’s call out to the public for assistance has received less than compassionate results.
Richard Prinsloo Curson’s background in media has played a big role in the project so far. Actor and TV personality Paul Danan is representing the group’s UK interests. He’s hosting a show titled ‘Noah’s Ark’, set to air next year.
Quoted by the Wisbech Standard, Danan said he was pleased the park would be built in South Africa, adding “it will in the process lift some of the poorest communities in the world out of poverty”.
An emphasis has been placed on promoting South African businesses through the endeavor. Johannesburg-based companies DBM Architects and Image Nation are responsible for conceptualization.
There’s a hashtag, #WeAreNoah, and a single. An album is also mentioned. The Noah’s Ark Foundation are hoping the planet will be singing from the same hymn sheet as themselves.
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