COMACO, from snares to plowshares:
A conservation and human wellbeing success story.
Community Markets for Conservation is a private sector, not-for-profit social
enterprise in Zambia. It was established in 2003 to halt wildlife poaching and
illegal tree cutting for charcoal by helping poor rural families to increase their
food and income security through improved farming practices and marketing
of value-added agricultural commodities. COMACO supports 178,891 farmers
in the Luangwa Valley, providing them with improved farming skills, seed
loans, a premium price for their crop surplus, and a dividend if they comply
with sustainable farming and wildlife, and forest conservation best practices.
Maize yields using COMACO methods increased by 63% and net income was
37% higher than for farmers who purchased inorganic fertilizers. Between
2012 and 2018 the number of food secure families increased from 67–84%. Elephant poaching has declined in all but one COMACO district, poaching is now
primarily conducted by nonlocal hunters, and leg-hold snare detections by
community game scouts have decreased significantly in COMACO areas.
Increasing food and income security while reducing deforestation and
unsustainable hunting for ~$US10 per farmer per year is cheap and can be replicated in Zambia and other nations in Africa.
Sep 29, 2020
How American Environmentalism’s Racist Roots Shaped Our Thoughts on Conservation
The United States is having a long-overdue national reckoning with racism. From criminal justice to pro sports to pop culture, Americans increasingly are recognising how racist ideas have influenced virtually every sphere of life in this country.
Sep 17, 2020
Mapping conflict hotspots as leopards adapt to unlikely habitats outside protected areas
Analysis of leopard attacks on livestock offers clues to potential human-leopard conflict hotspots in North Bengal in eastern Himalayas and Pauri Garhwal in western Himalayas.
Leopards have adapted to using human-modified landscapes such as tea gardens, sugarcane fields and farmlands and they can survive in unusual, multi-use, fragmented vegetation patches outside protected areas. The study finds the risk of a leopard killing livestock increased within a heterogeneous landscape matrix consisting of both closed and open habitats (very dense forests, moderate dense forests, open forests, scrubland and non-forests).
Aug 06, 2020
CECIL Act threatens successful wildlife conservation efforts in African countries
The CECIL Act, name after the lion killed by a hunter in 2015, would prohibit American hunters from importing animals harvested through legal, regulated means.
Aug 03, 2020
WWF Says It Is “Troubled” By An Alleged Human Rights Violation At A Park With A History Of Violence
“Conservation should never come at the expense of human rights and well-being.”
After guards at a wildlife park funded by the World Wide Fund for Nature were accused of killing a 24-year-old Nepali man earlier this month, the leading conservation charity said it will "advocate for diligence" in the investigation.
Aug 01, 2020
Sri Lanka: Rich in biodiversity, and human-wildlife conflict
- Human-wildlife encounters have increased rapidly in recent years and go beyond elephants and leopards. Competition has grown over the shared space between humans and wildlife due to encroachment, deforestation, habitat degradation, and climate change, putting humans and animals in conflict over land, water and resources.
Humans often clash with macaques and langurs as the monkeys are attracted by garbage, are being fed or try to find new habitats due to deforestation. Peafowl are emerging as top agricultural pests due to their expanding range and distribution over the last decade. - Crocodile attacks mainly affect poorer communities that are dependent on unsafe bodies of water, and they often lack awareness of the animals’ behavior. - There is an urgent need to increase awareness around human-wildlife conflict and crop foraging as well as to employ non-violent mitigation measures that take into account the interests of both humans and animals, including fences, garbage management and habitat conservation.
Aug 01, 2020
View from the Termite Mound
Scattered, Scarce, and Delayed Reports While Waiting for Action against the Genocidal MLUM Proposal in Ngorongoro
Jun 22, 2020
The Achilles Heel of Conservation -
Conservation is not yet inclusive, considerate and attuned to the black African experience
Conservation globally is a challenging battle. Movements against climate change, plastic pollution and deforestation in the Amazon are on the rise. So to are ground-breaking research and futuristic interventions, and yet the natural world is burning. Nowhere else is this more evident and an uphill battle than in Africa and this is why.
Jun 14, 2020