National Geographic Society Newsroom

2017: A Landmark Year for Conservation Music

Dear friends and colleagues, Alex Paullin here, Founder of Conservation Music (“CM”) and National Geographic Explorer. It is with the utmost of gratitude and respect that I’m writing this letter today. It’s certainly a long time coming… the first month of 2018 has already nearly passed us by! Needless to say, it’s been a very busy...

Dear friends and colleagues,

Alex Paullin here, Founder of Conservation Music (“CM”) and National Geographic Explorer. It is with the utmost of gratitude and respect that I’m writing this letter today. It’s certainly a long time coming… the first month of 2018 has already nearly passed us by! Needless to say, it’s been a very busy start of the year, as we wrap up last year’s projects (Especially Our Music, Our Environment [OMOE] with the National Geographic Society) and prepare for our upcoming 13-month #K2K Expedition.

I am grateful for the chance to sit down now and extend my thanks to all of those who have gotten us this far. I am excited to fill you all in on the numerous accomplishments we made throughout our nine months in the field, thanks to your help! It didn’t come easy, but the organization grew in so many positive directions. So… before diving into what we were up to as we worked towards last year’s end, I want to summarize some of the specific steps of progress we were able to make because of your support and generosity.

Liam Nissan, trusty steed and future star of Expedition #K2K, in Maseru, Lesotho
    • Purchased Liam Nissan, our 4×4 (SUV) vehicle (CM began on just a motorbike!)
      • Upgraded with roof rack and tow bar
    • Expanded CM’s field crew to 3 members
      • Myself (Alex Paullin), Founder/CEO
      • Chris Volosevich, Audio Production Manager
      • Bryan Murphy, Visual Production Manager
    • Facilitated 2 #CrowdStudio recording workshops (What’s a #CrowdStudio?!)
      • Heal it Now (Swaziland, May 2017)
      • Over The Lands And The Oceans (Zambia, July 2017) (launching soon!)
    • Held our first village Conservation Concert in Malealea, Lesotho as part of Our Music, Our Environment (seen in Featured Image above)

      Pitso Rah Makhula, CM Lesotho artist and liaison, at our #CrowdStudio booth in Swaziland
    • Wrote, recorded, performed, and/or produced 17 new eco-songs and videos:
      • Lesotho (compilation album on the way…!)
        • Manyabolo (Alex Paullin, Pitso Rah Makhula feat. Mapule Masioua: Climate)
        • Notsi (Pitso Rah Makhula feat. Reekelitsoe Molapo: Bees)
        • Temo Ea Moshoelella (Rebel Sol feat. Reekelitsoe Molapo: Conservation Agriculture)
        • Puta, Puta, Puta (Mapule Masioua feat. Tsepang Khobotle)
        • Climate Song (Reekelitsoe Molapo, Mookho, Tsepang Khobotle: Climate)
        • Mother Earth (Mookho: Drought)
        • Ngope la Musi (Sotho Sounds: Erosion [2016])
        • Lifate (Sotho Sounds: Trees)
        • Thutsoana Ya Ebaka Thaba (Sotho Sounds: Burning)
        • Lekhulo Meraka (Pitso Rah Makhula feat. Qacha Leine: Responsible Herding)
        • Makhulo (Puseletso Seema feat. Pitso Rah Makhula: Responsible Herding)
        • Rato La Naha (Selimo Thabane feat. Pitso Rah Makhula: Responsible Herding)
      • Swaziland:
        • Heal It Now (#CrowdStudio feat. Bholoja, Velemseni & Black Rhino: Climate)
        • There Goes the Bee (Buddy Masango: Bees)
      • Zambia:
        • Over The Lands And The Oceans (#CrowdStudio feat. Flying Bantu: Nature)
        • Tushange Isamu (Mosi Oa Tunya Band: Trees [2016])
      • Mozambique:
        • Somos Academia (Peri Urban “Spice Girls”: Girls Empowerment & Conservation Agriculture)
Conservation Agriculture Learners at Peri Urban Agri Academy, Mozambique.
Puseletso Seema, Pitso Rah Makhula, myself and Chris Volosevich and more on location to shoot for “Makhulo,” a project for GIZ
    • Visited Phelisanong Children’s Center (a home for orphans and disabled children) for some musical fun
    • Planted trees with King Letsie III of Lesotho
    • Joined and documented a community cleanup in Morija, Lesotho
    • Conducted a successful research project to quantify our impact
    • Created our first documentary film, Our Music, Our Environment (link to teaser)
    • Registered our first satellite organization, Conservation Music Lesotho
    • Received our first corporate funding, from Metropolitan Lesotho
    • Won our first contract from a large international NGO
    • Received a sponsorship of 5 guitars from Mitech Direct
    • Increased our network in all locations listed above, plus the eastern cape of South Africa
    • Met with stakeholders in Cape Town to plan launch of 2018 Kaapstad to Kilimanjaro Expedition
    • Began planning for Expedition #K2K

It was truly an honor to work alongside so many wonderful partners and individuals to create impactful, beautiful works of art with a message! A beautiful chapter in the story of our vision for a global community that stewards the Earth, in which the memorable, emotional, and unifying power of music contributes to the balance between humankind, nature, and society.

As you can see, we stayed busy in 2017, and 2018 is no different. This year we’ve planned a 13-month sea-to-summit caravan from Cape Town’s drying coast to Kilimanjaro’s melting glacier, forming partnerships with eco-NGOs and musicians along the way. This eco-musical expedition intends to amplify the messaging of all of our NGO partners, both locally and globally, and to empower our fellow musicians with knowledge that they can use to foster better futures for their communities, their country, and the world.

To learn more about our upcoming Expedition #K2K, and to join us in making this impactful effort possible by partnering, supporting, or referring your friends and your colleagues to such opportunities, please visit the Kaapstad to Kilimanjaro website and get in touch!

Thank you for your interest and gracious support thus far… I look forward to taking you on this next journey with us through social media posts (facebook, insta, twitter), our webseries, and of course, through this blog and other platforms of the National Geographic Society.

All my best,





Alex Paullin
Founder, Conservation Music


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Meet the Author

Author Photo Conservation Music Team
After years of soul-searching and months in the African wilderness with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, musician and geographer Alex Paullin combined his foremost passions and founded Conservation Music, a non-profit aiming to foster a global culture of sustainability using music as the messenger. Currently, the organization collaborates with musicians throughout Southern Africa, catalyzing songs in local genres and local languages regarding local conservation issues in countries like Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, and more. Throughout his life he aims to expand the project globally, in hopes that his lifetime will see and hear songs of conservation being sung throughout the world.