Farewell to Earth Sanctuaries
The remaining shareholders of Earth Sanctuaries Limited, among whom I’m one, have been advised that the company is to be wound up, having been delisted. ESL, which was floated with high hopes (a little too late to catch the dotcom boom, unfortunately) was Australia’s most substantial attempt at private-sector biodiversity conservation. I suspect though, that most of the investors knew that, in all probability, they were making a donation rather than an investment (at least there’s a capital loss to offset against any more succcesful investments!). Still, there were some interesting ideas that could be useful if governments ever get around to creating price incentives for biodiversity preservation (this could include allowing the sale of animals, or at least offering to purchase them).
The big selling point of ESL for me was its founder John Wamsley and his idea of fencing reserves then eradicating all the feral pests before reintroducing native species. Wamsley is definitely one of the awkward squad, but often you have to make yourself awkward to get things done.