1st World Wilderness Congress

Johannesburg, South Africa, 1977

The 1st World Wilderness Congress was held in October 1977, in Johannesburg, South Africa, with 2,500 delegates from 27 countries. Proceedings: Voices of the Wilderness, edited by Ian Player and published by Jonathan Ball, 1978.

Outcomes:

  • Introduced the wilderness concept as an international issue of importance, whereas formerly it had been only an issue of Western cultures.
  • Presented programs for integrating cultures and races around the world in nature conservation.
  • Incorporated economics and banking for the first time as major issues on the conservation agenda.
  • Presented the largest exhibition of conservation art ever held to date in Africa.
  • Prompted production of major BBC film, Zululand Wilderness: The Black Umfolozi Rediscovered.

See the original program, signed by featured speakers/participants (Download PDF)

Voices of the WildernessVoices of the Wilderness is an edited compilation of papers presented at the 1st World Wildernes Congress. Among the eminent contributors to the book are Laurens van der Post, (who has also written the foreword) Robert Ardrey, Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Ian Player, Edmund de Rothschild and a host of other renowned conservationists.

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