Conservation Watch’s round-up of the month’s news on protected areas and conservation in the Global South.
For regular updates, follow @conserwatch on Twitter.
The news links are grouped under the following sub-headings:
- Human rights
- Protected areas
- Communities and conservation
- Financing Conservation
- Wildlife trade
- Militarisation of conservation
- Big game hunting
Kenya: Indigenous peoples targeted as forced evictions continue despite government promises
Amnesty International, 9 August 2018
The Government of Kenya must not break its promise to respect the rights of Indigenous forest peoples who are still being forcibly evicted from their homes, having their property destroyed and seeing their traditional way of life trampled upon, Amnesty International said on International Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
In April of this year President Kenyatta, responding to a question on evictions of Indigenous peoples from forests said, “Ours is not to interfere with traditional communities who have lived there. We have done a lot to allow people in those areas, who use those areas for traditional rights, to continue enjoying their practises.”
Thai activist to appeal sentence for trespassing in national park
Thomson Reuters Foundation, 17 August 2018
A Thai activist charged with trespassing after refusing to abandon farmland in a national park said on Friday that she will appeal her sentence, which campaigners said set a harsh precedent for land rights cases involving forest dwellers.
Earlier this month, a court in Chaiyaphum province in the northeast, sentenced Nittaya Muangklang to 12 months in jail and fines of 140,000 baht ($4,218 or 466,851 yen) for trespassing in the Sai Thong National Park.
Protected areas could help boost Brazil’s national economy, study finds
WWF press release, 8 August 2018
Brazil’s protected areas (Pas) such as the Amazon and Caatinga are known globally for the incredible biodiversity treasures they hold. In 2016, there were approximately 17 million visitors in Brazilian protected areas and according to a new study published this week, greater investment in the environmental management of these areas could help yield even more economic gains for the country.
Ruralists in Brazilian congress put nation’s protected areas at risk
By Liz Kimbrough, Mongabay, 14 August 2018
What do the ocelot, giant anteater, cougar, and hyacinth macaw have in common? They all live within Brazil’s protected areas — areas now at risk of losing their protected status if a newly written bill becomes law.
Bill PL 3,751 / 2015 would set a five-year deadline for the resolution of land issues and disputes, such as land ownership conflicts, in protected areas. If issues are not resolved within that time frame, a protected area could have its protected status removed.
[Myanmar] Govt Readies Protected Areas for Wild Elephants
By Kyaw Myo, The Irrawaddy, 21 August 2018
The government is planning to open wild elephant protection camps in three regions where the pachyderms are most at risk from poachers, Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Minister U Ohn Win told a session of Parliament on Friday.
“We are planning to make camps where police, local administration officers and staff from the Forestry Department can stay and watch for poachers, hunt down the poachers and protect the wild elephants,” he said, responding to questions about the plan from lawmakers.
Tanzania’s largest wildlife reserve threatened by dam construction
By Margaret Sessa-Hawkins, Birdlife International, 22 August 2018
Inside Tanzania lies a nearly undisturbed tract of land roughly the size of Switzerland. The Selous Game Reserve is one of the last areas of wilderness left on Earth. Due to its importance as a largely untouched habitat, this vast expanse was named a World Heritage Site in 1982. It is also an Important Bird & Biodiversity Area (IBA) and Key Biodiversity Area (KBA), hosting a long list of species typical to the savanna regions of Africa.
Communities and conservation
Gateway Communities: Key Partners in Conservation of Chile’s National Parks
By Francisco Solís Germani, The Pew Charitable Trusts, 7 August 2018
Gateway communities—small towns that serve as entry points to national parks and other natural sites—play a key role in the sustainable development and management of protected areas in Chilean Patagonia and around the world. To preserve these natural treasures and the surrounding area’s economic well-being, local residents’ involvement is essential.
Chile was recognized as the top adventure travel destination in 2016 and 2017 in the World Travel Awards—the Oscars of tourism. And the country’s tourism secretariat expects visits to protected areas to increase by 60 percent in the next decade. But tourism is in its early stages in Patagonia, so there’s still time to create a sustainable tourism plan that incorporates community input and helps locals feel a sense of ownership. And that’s crucial, because when a community, park managers, and nonprofits working on conservation are aligned, everyone benefits.
Expert: Conservation, indigenous rights at a crossroads
By Bruno Vander Velde, Conservation International 8 August 2018
A recently published paper has added to a body of evidence showing that indigenous peoples can be powerful allies for protecting nature.
That said, some recent reports have cast a critical eye at the relationship between conservationism and indigenous rights.
What are conservationists getting right? What do they need to change? Human Nature spoke with Kristen Walker Painemilla, managing director and senior vice president of Conservation International’s Policy Center for Environment and Peace, about these and other questions.
Indigenous Territory: Between Consultations & Conservationists
teleSUR, 8 August 2018
According to the United Nations, there are about 370 million indigenous peoples in the world, occupying 20 percent of the Earth’s territory. Other reports estimate they hold tenure rights or other kinds of administration to up to a quarter of the whole inhabitable territory.
Taking into account there are about 7.4 billion people on Earth, aboriginal people own a considerable amount of territory in one way or another, at least on paper.
In reality, modern Nation-States usually don’t respect international legislation on indigenous rights to self-determination and administration of their land. Rights to consultation, choosing their own ways of government, and respect for their ancestral land are often ignored, and the States put international legislation, and even their own, on the side. For governments, economic interests seem to weight more than an organized community protecting its forest.
[Laos] Women leaders protect the forest and the future
By Savann Oeurm, Oxfam America, 8 August 2018
In southern Laos, Oxfam’s partner helps a small village conserve their natural resources and the forest that sustains them.
The news spread quickly around Phonemani village that morning: Late the previous night, someone crept into the forest near the village and cut down 10 precious Malva trees, prized for their valuable nuts.
In this part of southern Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malva nuts are an important source of income. “Villagers harvest the nuts and can generate around two to three million kips [US$240 to $350] per year,” Phonemani village’s chief, Bouathong Sengchan, says. In a country with an average income of about $2,000 (villagers in Phonemani probably earn half that annually), losing 10 valuable Malva trees was a shock to her and her fellow villagers.
[Indonesia] In protecting the Javan rhino, locals gain a ‘more meaningful life’
By Donny Iqbal, Mongabay, 10 August 2018
Sarmidi joined a conservation program for the Javan rhino in 1980. But it wasn’t until 2008 that he finally met one of the elusive creatures. And it wasn’t his finest moment, he admits.
He’d been working for the Rhino Observation and Activity Management (ROAM) program for nearly three decades when he quite literally stumbled across a rhino wallowing in a mud pit in Ujung Kulon National Park on the western tip of Java.
[India] Focus on conservation efforts to avoid man-animal conflict, says Suresh Prabhu
Financial Express, 12 August 2018
Man-animal conflict is an existential crisis not for animals, but for human beings, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said today, and stressed the need to address the root cause behind it. Outlining a few ways how the conflict can be avoided, he said protection of wilderness and forests is necessary to protect any wildlife species. He asserted that there is a need to explain “this existential crisis” to the human population.
Community-based conservation management has positive effect on wildlife
Penn State, 13 August 2018
Putting land management in the hands of local communities helps the wildlife within, according to new research by a Penn State scientist. A new study demonstrates the positive ecological impacts of a community-based wildlife conservation area in Tanzania. The research is summarized in a paper that appears online [date] in the Journal of Wildlife Management.
“Community-based natural resource management has become one of the dominant paradigms of natural resource conservation worldwide,” said Derek E. Lee, the author of the paper, associate research professor at Penn State, and principal scientist at the Wild Nature Institute.
Study shows forest conservation is a powerful tool to improve nutrition in developing nations
University of Vermont press release, 15 August 2018
A first-of-its-kind global study shows that children in 27 developing countries have better nutrition—when they live near forests.
The results turn on its head the common assumption that improving nutrition in poorer countries requires clearing forests for more farmland—and, instead, suggest that forest conservation could be an important tool for aid agencies seeking to improve the nutrition of children.
“The data show that forests aren’t just correlated with improvements in people’s diets,” says Ranaivo Rasolofoson, a scientist at the University of Vermont who led the new study. “We show that forests cause these improvements.”
Indigenous Peoples’ Right To Land Can Help In Achieving Conservation Goals
By Palash Sanyal, Science Trends, 17 August 2018
Indigenous people make up about five percent of the world’s population, residing in 70 countries with minimum or no management control over their land, resources, and lives. Even though the actual number is unknown for native populations, about 70% of the world’s population does not have a registered title to their land.
A recent analysis showed 370 million indigenous peoples have rights or claims to over 25% of the world’s land area which includes two-fifth of the world’s protected and reserved zones, mostly unrecognized. Published in Nature, the study pointed that providing the rights to land and resources to natives can ensure greater ecological conservation and meeting local and global conservation goals.
Nepal’s Success in Wildlife Conservation
By Prabin Poudel, The Diplomat, 23 August 2018
Nepal is a small yet geographically highly diverse country located in South Asia. Its territory ranges from altitudes of 60 meters to 8,848 meters above mean sea level within its area of under 150,000 square kilometers. According to the National Biodiversity Strategy, 2002 Nepal encompasses 118 different types of ecosystems. Home to mega-fauna like tigers and the one-horned rhinoceros and the habitat of 11,971 different species of flora, Nepal is one of the most unique nations in the world.
Among its many specialties, however, the beauty of Nepal lies largely in its success when it comes to wildlife conservation. Nepal has put itself on the front line when it comes to commitment in conserving and managing all sorts of resources and life-forms, including both plants and animals.
[India] Villagers resent loss of high-value cattle
The Hindu, 29 August 2018
Fluctuating coffee prices, lower demand for cow dung as manure and increasing foreign cattle varieties may be part of the changing local economy, fuelling man-carnivore conflict around the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
In the centre of this could be the replacement of native cows with the more expensive “hybrid” cattle, note researchers Jared D. Margulies from the University of Sheffield, and Krithi K. Karanth from the Wildlife Conservation Society, in a paper being published in journal Geoforum in October.
[Myanmar] Conservation must not “expand govt administration”, KNU warns
By Thompson Chau, Myanmar Times, 2 August 2018
The Karen National Union (KNU) has warned that the US$21 million conservation project, backed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), threatens the “land and livelihoods” of local communities in Tanintharyi. In response, the UN’s development arm emphasised that they had met senior officials from the KNU to allay their concerns and consultations were held with both the KNU and villagers earlier.
[India] Elephant rides, jungle safaris banned in Uttarakhand’s tiger reserves
By Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times, 4 August 2018
The Uttarakhand High Court on Friday banned the commercial use of elephants, including for joyrides and jungle safaris, and restricted the number of Gypsys, hired by tourists for safari in Corbett and Rajaji tiger reserves, to not more than 100 per day. It also directed the chief wildlife warden to take possession of private elephants within 24 hours.
The order comes as setback to gypsy owners, as currently more than 200 vehicles on an average are allowed to enter the protected area every day, and to private resort owners near Corbett who organised elephant safaris even as environmentalists and wildlife activists welcomed the move.
Finalists of 2018 Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa announced
By Susan Wong, Lifestyle Magazine, 6 August 2018
Three conservationists from Kenya, Malawi and Uganda have been shortlisted for the 2018 Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa.
Tusk has been working since 1990 to build a sustainable future for the African continent and its wildlife. HRH The Duke of Cambridge became Royal Patron of Tusk Trust in December 2005 and he has actively supported the charity’s work both privately and publicly on many occasions.
Writing about the awards, Prince William, Royal Patron of Tusk, said: “These Awards are an important initiative with which I am proud to have been involved since its inception. It is wonderful to see how the awards continue to identify the unsung heroes of conservation working across the African continent. The finalists’ selfless commitment, determination and bravery is truly inspiring.”
Myanmar’s indigenous people fight ‘fortress’ conservation
By Rina Chandran, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 6 August 2018
Saw Ma Bu’s family has lived in the mountainous forests of Myanmar’s Kayin state for generations, farming and fishing in the Salween river, even as a decades-long armed conflict raged in the region.
Now, he says, they fear their way of life is under threat as the government declares swathes of forest in indigenous Karen homelands as protected areas.
World mourns passing of leading wild cat expert and conservationist Alan Rabinowitz, age 64
The Nation, 7 August 2018
The world’s top wildlife conservation experts and organisations, as well as those in Thailand, have jointly mourned the loss of one of the world’s foremost experts on wild cats, Dr Alan Rabinowitz.
His more than three decades of conservation work have also helped contribute to improve wildlife conservation here in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. His passing was announced early this week by his co-founded organisation, Panthera, set up in 2006 to dedicate to preserving wild cats and their critical role in the world’s ecosystems. He died of cancer at the age of 64.
[Tanzania] Inside the effort to save Africa’s elephant population
By Kenneth Dickerman, Washington Post, 8 August 2018
According to the World Wildlife Fund, between 20,000 and 30,000 African elephants are killed each year. They are mostly killed for their tusks, which are sought after in Asia. To help curtail elephant poaching, the WWF has teamed up with the government of Tanzania in a program to collar elephants in that country’s Selous Game Reserve area. With the help of satellite collars, the program is monitoring 60 elephants in an effort to better protect them against poachers.
A tale of HE, SHE, WE, and me
By Chris Sandbrook, Thinking like a human, 9 August 2018
A big debate is going on at the moment about the future of conservation – much of it centred on the suggestion by Edward Wilson and others that half the world should be allocated to protected areas. Wilson calls this “Half Earth” (HE), and his book of the same name calls for 50% coverage of ‘inviolable natural reserves’. Others have set out various counter-proposals, including “Whole Earth” (WE) and “Sustainable Half Earth” (SHE). I have played a small part in this debate over the last few months, which has given me the chance to observe at close quarters the strange process by which simple and catchy ideas can take hold, even when most people don’t agree with them. In this article I try to tell this curious tale of HE, SHE, WE and me.
Meanwhile in … Australia, there’s talk about putting rhinos in the outback
Christian Science Monitor, 9 August 2018
Australia, there’s talk about putting rhinos in the outback. It may sound strange but in some ways it makes perfect sense. According to the Australian Rhino Project, since 2010, “6,925 rhinos have been poached in South Africa. With an estimated remaining population of less than 20,000 [southern] white rhinos, the species is becoming increasingly threatened due to poaching.” Australia has a climate and terrain that would suit the needs of rhinos, in addition to having well-enforced anti-poaching laws. The rhinos would not run free but would be managed in large enclosed areas, perhaps becoming a major attraction for ecotourists.
Former Botswana President Ian Khama appointed Africa representative for Conservation International
The Global Dispatch, 9 August 2018
US-based global wildlife and nature organization Conservation International has appointed former Botswana President Ian Khama as a Distinguished Fellow and regional representative for Africa.
In a statement issued from its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, Conservation International chairman Peter Seligmann said as a Distinguished Fellow, Khama will build on a decades-long conservation legacy to forge the path to sustainable development in Africa.
[Indonesia] Hydroelectric Dam Threatens to Wipe Out World’s Rarest Ape
By Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, 9 August 2018
The World’s rarest great ape, discovered only in 2017, will not survive the building of a $1.6 billion hydroelectric power plant and dam in the middle of its remaining habitat in Sumatra, Indonesia, wildlife experts warn.
Only 800 of the newly identified Tapanuli orangutans remain in the wild, all in northern Sumatra’s Batang Toru Forest. It’s one of the most biodiverse spots in Indonesia, home to such rare species as Sumatran tigers and the critically endangered Sunda pangolin.
Prince Harry Heads Back to Botswana (Without Wife Meghan Markle!) for Rhino Conservation Work
By Monique Jessen, People, 10 August 2018
Prince Harry returned to the place where he fell in love: Africa.
The 33-year-old royal has been spending time in Botswana this week — without his wife Meghan Markle — visiting the rhino conservation charity which he became patron of last year.
“The Duke of Sussex is on a private working trip to Botswana, to join the Annual General Meeting for Rhino Conservation Botswana in his capacity as patron,” a palace source confirms to PEOPLE, adding, “He attended the board meeting in Maun and an RCB community project in Xarakao village.”
Conservation: African rangers feted
By Susan Muumbi, The East African, 11 August 2018
Some 50 rangers working in 17 countries across Africa won the inaugural African Ranger Awards, which were given out on August 7.
The awards will be given annually for the next 10 years by the Alibaba Foundation and the Paradise Foundation, a Chinese not-for-profit environmental conservation organisation.
World Elephant Day: Should we be worried about the number of elephants?
BBC Newsround, 12 August 2018
When you think about the animals you’d love to see in the wild, elephants would probably be top of most of our lists.
But what if your hope of one day seeing them in their natural habitat ended – because there weren’t any elephants left!
Two years ago Newsround went to South Africa to find out more about the ivory trade, and the devastating impact it’s had on the world’s elephant populations.
A count of Africa’s elephants published in August 2016 found that nearly one in three has disappeared over the past seven years – meaning there was fewer than 400,000 left.
[India] There is no forest without elephants, say environmentalists
By P Sangeetha, Times of India, 12 August 2018
The Supreme Court recently cracked the whip on resort owners who have illegally constructed hotels and restaurants in the picturesque Moyar elephant corridor in Nilgiris. The court asked the state government to close down the resorts within 48 hours and the others to produce documents to prove that they had valid license. The move has come as a huge relief for environmentalists in the city on World Elephant Day.
Why is it critical to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes? A glimpse of WWF’s efforts and vision
By Geofrey Mwanjela, WWF, 13 August 2018
Africa is currently losing around 3 million hectares of forest per year, threatening livelihoods of people as well as the habitat of vulnerable wildlife such as elephants. The Congo Basin and Eastern Africa regions have some of the highest deforestation rates in the world. If business as usual continues, the two regions combined are projected to lose around 24 million hectares of forest by 2030.
[Cambodia] WWF urges stronger elephant conservation
By Pech Sotheary, Khmer Times, 13 August 2018
The World Wide Fund for Nature in Cambodia yesterday urged conservation groups to unite and protect elephants by battling illegal logging and wildlife hunting.
WWF Cambodia said that elephants play a crucial role in balancing ecosystems by maintaining biodiversity. It said that elephants continue to face extinction due to habitat destruction and conflict with humans, including poaching.
“Together we can save the Asian elephant by not eating bushmeat and by not using luxury wood,” it said.
[Guyana] ExxonMobil Foundation, Conservation International launch US$10m partnership
Stabroek News, 13 August 2018
Conservation International-Guyana (CI-G) and the ExxonMobil Foundation last Monday launched their US$10 million partnership which aims to advance a sustainable economy through investments in education, research, sustainable management and preservation of the country’s ecosystem.
The two will be working along with the University of Guyana (UG) and the Arizona State University (ASU). [C-W: Subscription needed.]
Extending palm oil production in Africa threatens primate conservation
European Commission Joint Research Centre press release, 14 August 2018
Future expansion of the palm oil industry could have a dramatic impact on African primates, according to the findings of a new study led by the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission’s science and knowledge service. The study has been published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Scientists found only a few small ‘areas of compromise’ in Africa with a high suitability for oil palm cultivation and a low potential impact on the primate species living there.
[South Africa] Poor governance forces Kruger National Park to consider re-erecting fences
By Louzel Lombard Steyn, IOL, 14 August 2018
A number of the private reserves in the Greater Kruger National Park appear to be violating the protocols and regulations that permitted them to drop fences with Kruger and hunt animals that cross over from the national park. As a result Kruger is threatening to re-erect the fence.
One of the reserves, Umbabat, has been flagged by Kruger officials for its questionable commitment to local community involvement and empowerment and its contribution to community development programmes, as required by the 2018 Greater KNP Hunting Protocol.
How to conserve half the planet without going hungry
By Zia Mehrabi, Erle C. Ellis, and Navin Ramankutty, The Conversation, 15 August 2018
Every day there are roughly 386,000 new mouths to feed, and in that same 24 hours, scientists estimate between one and 100 species will go extinct. That’s it. Lost forever.
To deal with the biodiversity crisis we need to find a way to give nature more space — habitat loss is a key factor driving these extinctions. But how would this affect our food supplies?
New research, published in Nature Sustainability, found it could mean we lose a lot of food — but exactly how much really depends on how we choose to give nature that space. Doing it right could mean rethinking how we do agriculture and conservation altogether.
[Malaysia] Orangutan conservation bears fruit on Borneo
By Maria Bakkalapulo, DW, 16 August 2018
The Malaysian state of Sarawak is home to some of the largest but most at-risk populations of orangutans in the world. The Semenggoh Wildlife preserve is at the forefront of efforts to ensure they survive.
Warden Nor Emel Farnida Biniti Jaddil ranges through the Semenggoh Wildlife Center, surveying the treetops. Located in Sarawak, in Malaysian Borneo, this is one of just four orangutan rehabilitation centers in the world.
Can businesses practice profitable conservation?
By Mark Aspelin, GreenBiz, 18 August 2018
In this book, I focus on a key idea, which I call “profitable conservation,” meaning any action that benefits wildlife, biodiversity and business. A long list of actions may meet that criteria; however, as the late, great, personal development guru Jim Rohn used to say, “There are always a half-dozen things that make 80 percent of the difference” for any area of life. In this book, you’ll learn the half-dozen things that businesses can do that make 80 percent of the difference when it comes to benefiting wildlife, biodiversity and the bottom line.
Toward a Half-Earth Future
By Linus Blomqvist, Kenton de Kirby, and Ted Nordhaus, Breakthrough Blog, 20 August 2018
Over the last several years, a growing network of conservationists, through efforts like the Nature Needs Half network, has proposed an audacious goal for 21st century conservation: set aside half of the earth’s land area for nature. As an aspirational goal, the concept has inspired. Rather than framing global conservation as an exercise in damage control, the new effort offers a vision of an ecologically vibrant future in which people and nature thrive together.
[India] Managing Kaziranga
The Sentinel, 20 August 2018
Managing Kaziranga national park is a challenging task, considering the multiple threats facing it. The ever present menace of poachers, erosion by the Brahmaputra, stone quarrying and mining in Karbi hills, environmental hazard posed by national highway 37 and restive populace on the park fringes all indicate how multi-dimensional the problem is. The latest move by the State government to split the 1,030 sq km park into two wildlife divisions is therefore welcome.
The battle for the soul of biodiversity
By Ehsan Masood, Nature, 22 August 2018
It’s a hot and humid afternoon in the suburbs of Washington DC, and Bob Watson is looking worried. The renowned atmospheric chemist sits back on a bench in his yard, hemmed in by piles of paperwork. He speaks with his characteristic rapid-fire delivery as he explains the tensions surrounding the international committee he helms. The panel is supposed to provide scientific advice on one of the world’s most intractable problems — the rapidly accelerating loss of plants and animals. But a rift in the research community risks diminishing the whole effort. In a few days’ time, Watson will fly to England to mark his seventieth birthday, but right now he is not in a celebratory mood.
Botswana’s Unique Wilderness Area, Okavango Delta, Faces an Uncertain Future
By Tom Molanphy, Earth Island Journal, 22 August 2018
Conservationists are racing to protect the UNESCO world heritage site’s two main source rivers in Angola.
“The number one rule of safari is that we are just visitors,” Keokeditswe Gabine, “KK,” a seasoned safari guide of 25 years and native of Maun, Botswana, told our group of ten the first day of our ten-day safari in Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta.
Why Africa urgently needs a paradigm shift in conservation
By Michael O’Brien-Onyeka, Standard Digital, 23 August 2018
Africa’s natural wealth underpins the continent’s development potential. However, the current economic model places low premium on Africa’s vast natural capital and requires people to exploit their natural wealth for short-term gains, in ways that create a recurring pattern of scarcity, depletion, and poverty.
In the face an unprecedented scale of potentially cataclysmic human-induced environmental challenges in Africa and their far-reaching economic, social and political impacts, there is an urgent need for a paradigm shift in conservation (or natural capital management) in the continent.
Colombia’s new president faces daunting environmental challenges
By Antonio José Paz Cardona, Mongabay, 24 August 2018
On August 7, Juan Manuel Santos ceased to be the president of Colombia and handed over the office to Iván Duque, who was the right-wing candidate for the Democratic Center political party and had the support of former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez.
The environmental performance report of Santos’ government shows important progress in this sector. According to official government’s figures, by 2018, and after eight years in office, the National System of Protected Areas (also known by its acronym in Spanish, SINAP) increased from 13 to 31 million hectares. In addition, 1.8 million hectares were declared Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance.
As the DMZ turns 65, a call for Korean peace through conservation (commentary)
By Russell A. Mittermeier and Michael I. Crowther, Mongabay, 24 August 2018
As the world continues to watch the high-stakes diplomacy that is unfolding between North Korea, South Korea, and their key allies, there’s been wide speculation about the many outcomes that could result from talks of peace. One that has not yet been widely mentioned is the opportunity for the permanent ecological protection of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) — the de facto border between the two nations that just turned 65 years old.
Chinese wildlife conservationist in Maasai Mara, Kenya
Xinhua, 25 August 2018
A man walks past lion proof fence built by Mara Conservation Fund (MCF) founded by Chinese wildlife conservationist Zhuo Qiang in Maasai Mara, Kenya, July 6, 2018. The founder and Chairman of Mara Conservation Fund (MCF) Zhuo Qiang, a 45-year-old Chinese, has pioneered outstanding wildlife conservation projects in the world famous Maasai Mara ecosystem. Ol Kinyei is among the conservancies benefiting from his activities. Around it, he has built three lion proof boas preventing the wildlife conflict with the adjacent communities. He was officially adopted as a son of the Maasai’s Ol Kinyei conservation group in 2015, owing to his unwavering friendship with the pastoralists. Zhuo’s anti-poaching drives in the East African nation expresses the increasing collaboration between Kenyan and China in ending the killing of rhinos, elephants and lions.
[India] Illegal mining near Kaziranga National Park: Report sought from Karbi Anglong SP
By Naresh Mitra, Times of India, 27 August 2018
The office of the director general of police has entrusted the Karbin Anglong superintendent of police to probe into illegal stone quarrying activities within a 10-km radius of Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage Site, following a complaint lodged by environment activist Rohit Choudhury.
Tanzania, Germany sign pact on wildlife, forest conservation
Xinhua, 27 August 2018
Tanzania has signed two agreements with the German Development Agency (GIZ) to beef up conservation in wildlife and forest reserves in Kigoma and Katavi regions that are facing increasing encroachment by human activities, an official said on Sunday.
Geoffrey Mwashitete, Tanganyika district administrative secretary in Katavi region, said the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), an international conservation organization headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, will oversee the conservation of the two reserves.
‘Saving Species with Feces’: Rhino Poo Aids Conservation Study
Reuters, 28 August 2018
A team of U.K.-based scientists is collecting rhinoceros droppings for a new conservation initiative to help prevent global extinction of the endangered species.
In a collaboration dubbed “Saving species with feces,” the team from Chester Zoo and University of Manchester aims to identify causes of poor population growth of Africa’s “mega-herbivores,” including Eastern black rhinos, Grevy’s zebras, and Cape mountain zebras.
Protect key habitats, not just wilderness, to preserve species
Duke University press release, 29 August 018
Some scientists have suggested we need to protect half of Earth’s surface to preserve most of its species. A new Duke University-led study, however, cautions that it is the quality, not merely the quantity, of what we protect that matters.
“There’s a lot of discussion about protecting ‘Half Earth’ as a minimum to protect biodiversity. The challenge is, which half do we protect?” said Stuart L. Pimm, Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, who was lead author of the new study.
Will protecting half the Earth save biodiversity? Depends which half
By Shreya Dasgupta, Mongabay, 30 August 2018
How much of the Earth should we protect to save species from going extinct? Some conservationists have suggested an ambitious number: half of the planet.
Prominent biologist Edward O. Wilson, for instance, proposes in his book, “Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life,” that devoting half the world to nature would help save the majority of species. Other researchers have backed the “Nature Needs Half” theme in policy and advocacy papers: protecting 50 percent of Earth’s land by 2050 would “help make the planet more livable for humanity.”
How a plan to save Kenya’s rhino left 11 dead in historic blunder
AFP, 30 August 2018
It was a disaster that left wildlife lovers around the globe appalled and baffled.
Eleven of Kenya’s precious black rhinos were transferred to a new home in what was supposed to be a routine operation in a country fabled for its conservation.
So how did all of them end up dead?
The primary cause of death, an official report found, was due to toxic levels of salt in the water of their sanctuary.
But an AFP investigation has found that the problem was well known and deep concerns were ignored.
[Kenya] Are vulnerable lions eating endangered zebras?
Wildlife Conservation Society press release, 31 August 2018
Are Laikipia’s recovering lions turning to endangered Grevy’s zebras (Equus grevyi) for their next meal?
That’s what a team of researchers led by WCS and WWF set out to discover – whether the comeback of a top predator – in this case lions in Laikipa County, Kenya – were recovering at the expense of Grevy’s zebras, which number only around 2,680 individuals with half of those living in Likipia.
[South Africa] Rhino breeder Piet Warren sells half his animals due to financial pressure
By Beth Coetzee, The Citizen, 11 August 2018
SA is well placed to create a thriving farming industry in which horn could be harvested annually. Instead, the creatures continue to be poached into extinction.
Limpopo businessman Piet Warren was until recently the owner of the second-largest privately owned population of rhino in South Africa, but was recently forced to sell more than half his animals due to financial constraints.
With about 250 animals, Warren was second only to John Hume, who has more than 1,600 southern white rhino on his property near Klerksdorp in the North West province.
Last month however, Gravelotte-based Warren made the decision to sell 145 rhinos and two properties, summing 2700 hectares, to a private investor due to economics.
To End Ivory Trafficking, Follow the Cash and Conflict
By Marika Annunziata, Political Insights, 1 August 2018
The European Commission adopted a Communication on an EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking in February 2016. This EU Action Plan was approved by the EU Member States through the Conclusions adopted by Council of the European Union in June 2016 and through a following Resolution adopted in November 2016 by the European Parliament. A large number of actions and initiatives have been taken by the EU Member States and the European Commission itself since the inception of the Action Plan. The European Union, however, reported that it would implement full ban measures only when African States requested it. Only recently, more than thirty African States called on the European Union to fully outlaw ivory trade. The United States and China, historically major importers of ivory together with the EU, took similar action in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Is the EU doing enough to address wildlife crime?
By Janice Weatherley-Singh (WCS), Euractiv, 1 August 2018
The illegal trade in wild animals and wildlife products continues to threaten many endangered species across the globe, from large iconic animals such as elephants and rhinos to less well-known reptiles and birds.
The problem has attracted increased political attention in recent years and the European Union (EU) has been one of the leading players in building international momentum to tackle it. The MEPs for Wildlife group in the European Parliament has been championing the issue and EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella has made it a priority.
Former Botswana President Ian Khama to help African countries scale up the fight against Illegal wildlife trade
Standard Digital, 2 August 2018
Former President of Botswana Dr. Ian Khama, who voluntarily stepped down from office four months ago, is lending his weight to help African countries scale up the fight against illegal wildlife trade that’s negatively impacting the continent’s biodiversity and economy. The fourth president of Botswana will work with the international community to combat the trade and its drivers through the Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI), a coalition of 18 African countries that’s working to tackle elephant poaching and shut down the remaining global ivory markets.
A new lust for elephant skin jewelry could decimate Myanmar’s giants
By Nsikan Akpan, PBS, 8 August 2018
The poaching of African elephants, where they are murdered for their ivory tusks, is well-documented. But halfway around world in Myanmar, their cousins are 10 times more endangered and facing a new serious threat. Poachers are taking the skin of Asian elephants and turning it into ruby red jewelry. The NewsHour’s Nsikan Akpan reports.
World Wildlife Fund uses fake Singapore ivory store in awareness campaign
Mail & Guardian, 8 August 2018
An apparent online ivory store which caused a furore in Singapore has been exposed as a hoax set up by environmental group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to highlight perceived shortcomings in local laws.
The outlet called Ivory Lane purportedly offered items including earrings and necklaces for sale and had a well-produced website, including a price list and images of women modelling the jewellery.
Malaysia has made a record seizure of 50 rhino horns worth an estimated $12 million at Kuala Lumpur airport as they were being flown to Vietnam, authorities said Monday
AFP, 20 August 2018
Customs officials found the parts in cardboard boxes on August 13 in the cargo terminal of the capital’s airport, said Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim, head of Malaysia’s wildlife department.
The 50 rhino horns weighed 116 kilogrammes (256 pounds) and are worth about 50 million ringgit ($12 million), he told AFP, adding that the seizure was “the biggest ever in (Malaysia’s) history in terms of the number of horns and value”.
Vietnam is a hot market for rhino horn, which is believed to have medicinal properties and is in high demand among the communist nation’s growing middle class.
Conservation activists call for ban on lion bone trade
By Gaye Davis, Eyewitness News, 21 August 2018
Conservation activists are calling for an immediate ban on the trade in lion bones, saying it is a major embarrassment for the country that threatens tourism jobs and fuels crime.
The call was made at Parliament, where the spotlight has been put on the breeding of lions in captivity for trophy hunting.
Environmental Affairs Committee chairperson Philly Mapulane has warned that South Africa risks becoming a pariah among world conservation bodies, who are “turning their backs on the country” for allowing the practice.
Wow, Americans Are Selling a Lot of Dead Giraffes
By Maddie Stone, Earther, 24 August 2018
A new report is drawing attention to fact that thousands of giraffe parts are imported into the U.S. for sale each year—which is extremely legal and fine according to U.S. and international law. Wait, what?!
The report, which the Humane Society published Thursday following an investigation into the U.S. giraffe market, found that market to be positively thriving. Parts of the long-necked African animals are being sold from coast to coast, in form of everything from giraffe leather boots that run $400 a pop to custom jackets fetching up to $5,500. Giraffe parts were also found in bar stools, pistol grips, bracelets, and bible covers (yes, bible covers).
From Assam to China, a ‘phantom’ rules the rhino horn trade
By Rahul Karmakar, The Hindu, 25 August 2018
Terrestrial links between Assam and China through Myanmar and the Eastern Himalayas have come at a high price. More than 1,100 Americans died carving the 1,726 km Stilwell Road through treacherous hills from eastern Assam’s Ledo to Kunming in China’s Yunnan province during the Second World War, after Yangon (then Rangoon) fell to the Japanese.
The road that took two years and $150 million for U.S. Army General Joseph Stilwell to build, however, barely served its purpose of sending supplies to China, and fell into disuse soon after the end of the war.
Bangkok conference seeks to build inter-continental cooperation in suppressing wildlife trade and trafficking
The Nation, 28 August 2018
Cooperation among three major regions where illicit wildlife trades and trafficking are still rampant is being forged in an attempt to suppress the activities that are now seen crossing from countries in Africa to Asia.
Some leading anti-wildlife trafficking experts and law enforcers from 30 countries of Africa, South Asia and Asean are gathering at a two-day Bangkok “Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation for addressing Wildlife and Forest Crimes and Attaining SDGs”, being held at the Asian Institute of Technology until tomorrow.
How AI Is Protecting Elephants from Poachers
Discovery DCode, August 2018
Elephants are massive and majestic creatures that have been beasts of burden, war and entertainment before finding themselves in their current plight. Endangered for several decades, new technology could aid their fight for survival.
[Myanmar] Elephant Poaching Dips in 2018 After Years on Rise
By Salai Thant Zin, The Irrawaddy, 3 August 2018
More than 100 wild elephants were poached in forest reserves across the country over the past four years, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation’s Forest Department.
U Pyae Phyo Aung, head of the Forest Department in Irrawaddy Region’s Ngapudaw Township, said poachers killed a total 115 of the pachyderms over the period: seven in 2014, 20 in 2015, 18 in 2016, 59 in 2017, and 11 from January through May.
Zimbabwean nationals nabbed in crackdown against rhino poaching
RNews, 3 August 2018
police efforts to track, trace and arrest suspects involved in illegal wildlife trade and wildlife crimes have intensified and are bearing dividends.
“Six suspects, aged between 25-30 years, were apprehended during a well-coordinated, multi-discipline crime fighting operation are appearing at the Grahamstown Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of unlicensed firearms and possession of ammunition,” said police spokesperson, Colonel Sibongile Soci.
[India] With 10 percent conviction rate poachers roam at large
By Richa Sharma, Indian Express, 5 August 2018
Despite all efforts by forest departments across the country, poachers continue to be a huge threat to wild elephants, tigers, and rhinoceroses as official data reveal that over 50 people are arrested each month on charges of wildlife poaching.
However, what is even more worrying is that though one case of poaching was registered daily in the last three-and-a-half years, convictions happened in only 10 per cent of the registered poaching cases.
South Africa rhino poaching: ‘Bribes paid to court syndicate’
By Alastair Leithead, BBC News, 5 August 2018
A whistle-blower has told the BBC he was the middleman between rhino-horn smugglers and a court syndicate in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.
He alleges he took money given to a lawyer from rhino-horn kingpins and paid it to people within the judiciary.
The lawyer, Welcome Ngwenya, denies that he was involved in paying bribes.
But investigations, involving others informants, point to a court syndicate that could be keeping rhino killers beyond the reach of the law.
[South Africa] Rhino poachers sentenced to more than 15 years in prison
By Carly Day, Lady Freethinker, 6 August 2018
Two men have been sentenced to 15 years and 6 months jail time each for poaching rhinos within the Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa.
The conviction has been a long time coming: Joseph Molapo and Sebastian Mbhombhi were arrested four years ago as they entered the park with a third man, who was later shot dead by rangers. The poachers were armed with high powered hunting rifles and dressed in uniforms resembling those worn by park rangers.
[South Africa] 23 suspected poachers arrested since July
The Citizen, 6 August 2018
The parks body says the suspects were in possession of 10 high-calibre rifles and poaching equipment.
South African National Parks (SANParks) announced on Monday that 23 suspected rhino poachers had been arrested in the Kruger National Park (KNP) since July.
SANParks said the spate of arrests were made after Thursday, 19 July, the day the Rangers Corps lost a colleague who was shot dead while arresting suspected poachers.
Extinct: A Race Against Time To Save Our Endangered Species
By Paddy Maddison, LADBible, 7 August 2018
Extinction. It’s not something the majority of everyday folk tend to pay a great deal of notice to when they’re going about their lives. Maybe it’s because our default point of reference is the dinosaurs which, being from 66 million years ago, are pretty easy to forget about. Or could it just be that we’re too busy staring at our phones or watching Love Island the whole time?
Whatever the reason, it doesn’t change the facts. And the reality is that not only is animal extinction a huge, widespread issue, it’s also a growing one.
This all-women anti-poaching team is changing the face of animal conservation in Zimbabwe
By Starre Vartan, MNN, 9 August 2018
If we’re going to save endangered species living in wildlife reserves in Africa, we humans need to do a better job of protecting them from other humans.
Anti-poaching squads already work hard to fend off people who want to kill elephants for trophies, dubious medical treatments or meat. Now, the focus is on encouraging them to work smarter. One way to to do that is to bring women into this previously all-male world. There are now two all-women anti-poaching squads (the first were the Black Mambas in South Africa) and early data shows they are saving more animals.
South Sudan alarmed by raising elephant poaching
Xinhua, 9 August 2018
Wildlife officials in South Sudan have expressed concerns over the rising cases of elephant poaching in the country’s game parks.
Thomas Sebit, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, told Xinhua on Wednesday that over 20 elephants are estimated to have been killed in the East African nation this year alone.
[Botswana] Elephant poaching continues to rise as latest incident dramatically increases numbers
By Nic Andersen, The South African, 10 August 2018
Last week, Conservation SA reported on the worrying rise of elephant poaching figures in Botswana. At the time, 55 elephants had been killed since the group’s survey began in July. With tensions rising over potential changes to the area’s hunting ban, the number of dead elephants is skyrocketing.
[Kenya] Lion population declines to 2,000 due to poaching, lack of food
By Melanie Mwangi, The Star, 10 August 2018
Kenya has only about 2,000 lions left compared to 2,280 in 2004, according to Kenya Wildlife Service.
The revelation comes as the World marks World lion Day today.
KWS communications officer Paul Udoto said Kenya is losing an average of 100 of its 2,000 lions yearly due to growing human and wildlife conflict, poisoning of carcasses and loss of prey.
Globally, there are only about 20,000 lions left.
[Central African Republic] Fighting poachers in central Africa’s secret Eden
By Jack Losh, Al Jazeera, 16 August 2018
In 1889, an intrepid, 20-year-old American called William Stamps Cherry made a solo voyage up the Congo’s tributaries. His destination was Oubangui-Chari, a remote corner of the French Empire, in what would later become the Central African Republic (CAR).
From the capital, Cherry struck out into uncharted wilderness. He was completely alone, save for a double-barreled rifle. This hunter from Missouri found a land brimming with wildlife.
Kenya: Disregard for Wildlife Conservancy in South Africa and Kenya
By Kylie Kiunguyu, This is Africa, 16 August 2018
To work effectively for conservation, regulatory interventions must evolve – as must the institutions that are tasked with protecting our wildlife. Instances of negligence and corruption have no place in global efforts to safeguard the dwindling away of endangered species.
Poaching is a persistent global problem with a profound effect on those regions that house the animals most attractive to poachers. The international demand for ivory and rhino horn is fuelling catastrophic declines in the elephant and rhino populations in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and elsewhere in Africa.
Born Free uses World Elephant Day to highlight poaching crisis in Africa
By Gillian West, The Drum, 19 August 2018
With one elephant killed in Africa every 25 minutes, Born Free has turned to WCRS to raise awareness that if this continues, there will be no more elephants in the wild within two decades.
Launched to coincide with World Elephant Day, executions across OOH and social aim to not only raise awareness but also to drive people to donate to Born Free in order to fund anti-poaching patrols and elephant research in Africa.
[South Africa] Devastated Woman Sits Next To White Rhino Killed For Her Horn
LADBible, 19 August 2018
Look, anybody that hunts animals for a sport or financial gain falls into that important bracket of being the scum of the Earth. If you’re going to keep on reading, then be prepared with a box of tissues. It’s not for the faint of heart, fellow animal lovers.
Lynne MacTavish, who is operations manager at Mankwe Game Reserve, finds herself sitting by the white rhinoceros Winnie and is absolutely mortified and in tears at what’s happened to the beautiful creature. Winnie, you see, is the latest victim of animal poachers who wanted her horn.
Rhino poaching is hitting a new height that could see the species extinct within the next 10 years.
Of course, there are many people taking a stand against this unjustified cruelty towards animals.
[South Africa] Anti-poaching unit nabs 365 poachers in six months
IOL, 20 August 2018
A specialised unit, set up to fight poaching have made great strides in their bid to stamp out rhino poaching. Over the last six months, a total of 365 rhino poachers have been convicted and an additional 15 men aged between 33 and 50, have been arrested.
National police spokesperson, Brigadier Vish Naidoo said the 15 were nabbed following sting operations in Mpumalanga.
He said police recovered four unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
Anti poaching remains top priority at South Africa’s Kruger national park
Devdiscourse, 21 August 2018
Anti-poaching initiatives remain the top priority at the Kruger, as the national park has declared war on the problem that often leads to certain death for both man and animal.
“It’s war. Poachers are coming in armed and they want to get their horn or task. They are willing to risk their lives and if we get in their way, they are willing to end our lives,” said section ranger at the national park Andrew Desmet.
Addressing the media on Monday at the Kruger National Park, Desmet said the pressure is intense as there are daily incursions in the park.
Botswana intensifies fight against rhino poaching
Xinhua, 22 August 2018
Law enforcement agencies are intensifying patrols after a dead white rhino was discovered in the lower reaches of the Okavango Delta in Botswana on August 18.
This marked the second rhino that was killed at the delta since last year.
The carcass was discovered during a routine joint anti-poaching patrol by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP), Botswana Defense Force as well as non-governmental organizations.
[South Africa] Four KNP rhinos killed in two weeks, but ‘definite decrease’ in poaching
By Amanda Watson, The Citizen, 22 August 2018
Two rhino calves found near the carcasses in the southern Kruger National Park near Malelane were moved to a nearby rhino sanctuary.
The white-backed vulture hung almost perfectly motionless in the pale blue African sky above the Malelane landscape baking in the late morning sun and, with a barely perceptible flick of its great wings, floated down to tear another chunk off the rhino carcass.
Conservationist: Proposal on wildlife utilization will spur poaching
NTV, 23 August 2018
Wildlife Conservationists are opposed to a government’s proposal on consumptive utilization of wildlife, saying it will spur a poaching crisis in the country and open doors for wildlife syndicates, going after wildlife trophies. Concerns about the potential increase in game and sport hunting have escalated, as the taskforce mandated to look into the proposal begins writing a report, on submissions made by various stakeholders on this.
[Myanmar] Paying a debt of gratitude: an elephant defender’s story
By Myat Moe Aung, Myanmar Times, 24 August 2018
U Kyaw Myint Tun still loves elephants, even though these giants of the jungle killed his father and his uncle.
“I regard elephants as my benefactors, which is why I love them, and I am showing my gratitude by helping to protect them,” said the man, who was recently honoured as a hero of elephant conservation.
U Kyaw Myint Tun grew up in a family that has made a living from elephants for generations. His great grandfathers captured and tamed wild elephants for use in hauling logs from the forest.
[Cambodia] Wildlife busts in Kingdom’s north
By Khouth Sophak Chakrya and Soth Koemsoeun, Phnom Penh Post, 27 August 2018
The Mondulkiri provincial Environment Department launched a campaign among the Banong, Krueng and Tumpuon ethnic communities to create awareness about the importance of wildlife to the ecology and tourism sector. The communities live close to wildlife sanctuaries.
The move comes after authorities discovered and destroyed 4,000 traps that were laid to catch animals and jailed five hunters who possessed home-made weapons in the first seven months of this year.
China’s richest entrepreneurs back new conservation awards for African rangers
By Mike Pflanz, The Independent, 27 August 2018
As a ranger in a national park in Zambia, Vorster Mweene’s strategy to deal with poachers was so successful that he and his family received death threats, and he had to be transferred to work in another far away area.
In Gabon, Hamed Salvadord regularly leads weeks-long patrols deep into the central African hinterland, arresting suspected poachers targeting elusive and highly-endangered forest elephants.
Sniffer Dogs Represent the Latest Weapon in the Fight Against the Illegal Ivory Trade
By Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 28 August 2018
In recent years, more and more nations have strengthened their bans on the import and sale of elephant ivory, an important step in stopping the rampant poaching threatening the species in Africa. But bans only go so far; huge amounts of ivory, as well as rhino horn, endangered pangolins, rare plants and woods are smuggled off the continent every day, hidden in cargo containers shipped worldwide. But the BBC reports that, at least at one port, authorities are trying a new tactic to stop the illegal wildlife trade: trained dogs.
[Malaysia] Poachers running rampant in Pahang’s forests to kill elephants just for their tusks.
By Amin Ridzuan Ishak and T.N Alagesh, New Straits Times, 31 August 2018
Lying on the ground is the carcass of an adult elephant with its head badly mutilated and bearing gunshot wounds while its tusks were hacked-off by poachers.
That is the stunning discovery made by Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) rangers near a forest reserve here late last year raising concerns about poaching syndicates making inroads into the state to gun-down the mammals for their tusks.
Militarisation of conservation
[South Africa] Militarisation alone will not end poaching – Environmental Affairs Minister
defenceWeb, 8 August 2018
Poaching is not a one-dimensional problem and cannot be solved by militarisation alone Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa told the African Ranger awards in Cape Town this week.
“It necessitates an integrated approach drawing together all sectors of society — government, the private sector, the NGO and donor community and importantly, communities,” Molewa said.
She said South Africa manages and conserves its biodiversity in the face of a multitude of threats.
Can military-style tactics help save the African rhino?
By Todd Pitock, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 August 2018
As the sun drifts down on the rolling hills in the heartland of South Africa, Manie Van Niekerk sits with his fingers clasped in his lap. At 52, he wears his hair cropped, which along with a solid physique gives the impression of a man who cannot be easily shaken. But now he looks mournful. People will be gathering at his farm to take away his 32 rhinoceros the next morning. He doesn’t want to part with them. “You fall in love with the rhino,” he tells me. “You get a lot of joy looking at them. They are dinosaurs. You can look at them and imagine the world before. People think they’re clumsy, but they’re actually very graceful. They move like ballerinas.”
Tanzania tourism stakeholder puts his money where his mouth is and fights poaching
By Adam Ihucha, eTN Tanzania, 6 August 2018
Dubai-based investor, Ali Albwardy, has joined a bloody war against wildlife poaching in East Africa’s wildlife-rich country of Tanzania, e-Turbo news has learned.
Mr. Albwardy’s company known as ASB Dubai, which owns a hotel chain in Tanzania, has offered a Land Cruiser vehicle worth $44,000 to boost a unique anti-poaching drive in the country’s flagship national park of Serengeti.
Poaching remains a hard nut to crack in Tanzania, prompting tourism investors, mostly those operating in Serengeti, to support Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) through Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) by funding the Serengeti De-Snaring Program.
Enjoy a DIY road trip to elephant heaven
By Laura Secorun Palet, OZY, 7 August 2018
“Whatever happens, do not slow down,” warns my father-in-law. I’m sitting at the wheel of a 4×4 facing the biggest pothole — or the smallest lake — I have ever seen. Stepping on the gas, scared of drowning my extended family, I fail to notice I’m speeding toward a tree. At the last second, my father-in-law grabs the wheel and gets us safely back on the road. Hands shaking, I squeal, “That was fun! Does someone else want to drive?”
Intrepid launches social media fight against elephant abuse
By Gary Noakes, TTG Media, 10 August 2018
The campaign is timed to coincide with this Sunday’s World Elephant Day. A short video highlights what the operator says is the cruelty and violence that elephants suffer while being trained to be ridden by tourists.
It will feature on the Intrepid Loves Agents Facebook page as well the operator’s consumer-facing social media channels. Travellers and agents are encouraged to share this across social media channels with the hashtag #bekind.
[Philippines] Fruit bats can be Davao’s primary eco-tourism attraction
By Antonio L. Colina IV, Minda News, 13 August 2018
Fruit bats could become the primary eco-tourism attractions in the Davao Region but conservationists warned there must be a stricter measure to control the unsupervised tourism activities that may endanger the population of the bats.
Mylea Bayless, senior director for Network and Partnerships of Bat Conservation International, said during Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday that the so called “bat tourism” could be very profitable and safe if done properly but the people must deepen their appreciation for these creatures to effectively protect them from destructive human activities.
We need to limit tourist numbers to save cheetahs from becoming an endangered species
By Femke Broekhuis, Quartz Africa, 13 August 2018
The global cheetah population is continuing to decline with only about 7000 individuals left in Africa. This is thought to be about half the population that existed 40 years ago. The decline has been caused by the loss and fragmentation of their natural habitats, a decline in their prey base, the illegal trade in wildlife as well as conflict with humans for space.
[Fiji] Tourism plays lead role in conservation
By Repeka Nasiko, Fiji Times, 26 August 2018
Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau believes the tourism industry’s has to play a leading role in the conservation of a marine ecosystem.
This after the minister visited Mana Island Resort and Spa earlier this week to survey the resort’s conservation efforts for the decreasing turtle population in the Mamanuca Group.
“We have to understand that it’s very important for the tourism industry to be actively involved in conservation activities,” he said.
[Kenya] How tourism helps elephants – and people – make a home
By Michael Trimble, National Geographic, 30 August 2018
In the heart of northern Kenya, the pointed peaks of the Mathews Range engulf Sarara Camp’s six canvas tents. Dispelling notions of traditional safaris, a stay here—within a dense forest thick with acacia and juniper trees, grazed by elephants, giraffes, and dik-diks—is just as much about access to wildlife and nature as it is about the indigenous Samburu culture.
The Samburu are a group of seminomadic pastoralists related to the Maasai, who’ve thrived in the desert foothills of Mount Kenya for centuries. Though their territory once extended north of Lake Turkana into Ethiopia, tribal warfare in the mid-1800s forced the Samburu south to their present-day lands—an area which includes Sarara Camp, a destination quickly gaining recognition for its community-based conservation model.