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A network for all who care about the conservation of our world and who want to see it achieved with justice, compassion, dignity and honesty.

Poaching and the problem with conservation in Africa (commentary).

Across Africa, state-led anti-poaching forces, no matter how well funded and equipped, have been unable to curtail the high levels of poaching currently observed.

Poaching is a complex topic that cannot be solved by myopic, top-down enforcement approaches. Crime syndicates may be fuelling the poaching of elephant and rhino but they are not the source of the problem. Rather than treat the symptoms by spending millions on weapons and anti-poaching forces, which experience has repeatedly shown does not stop poaching, there is a need to understand the underlying causes of the poaching problem if it is to be solved. Devolving power and benefits to local communities will enable local communities to acquire full responsibility for anti-poaching operations, which they are much better positioned to do than external agencies who do not have the social networks and local knowledge needed to effectively perform oversight functions in the local area. As witnessed in the Luangwa Valley and Namibian conservancies, there is every likelihood that there will be a significant decline in poaching once community conservation is properly implemented.

More… Mar 09, 2020

Armed ecoguards funded by WWF 'beat up Congo tribes people'.

Exclusive: Inquiry into $21.4m conservation project reports ‘credible’ evidence of abuse.

Armed ecoguards partly funded by the conservation group WWF to protect wildlife in the Republic of the Congo beat up and intimidated hundreds of Baka pygmies living deep in the rainforests, an investigation into a landmark global conservation project has heard.

More… Feb 10, 2020

The Masoka Community in Zimbabwe speak out.

The Masoka community, on behalf of communities in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, add their voices to the current global media debate on trophy hunting and sustainable use.

This is a letter that adds the voices of rural communities to the current global debate on trophy hunting. This letter is informed by those who live with wildlife and who are concerned that their livelihoods are protected and their rights upheld. These voices are rarely heard but they are vital to any healthy debate about conservation.

More… Jan 23, 2020

Perfidious Albion

Moves by the United Kingdom to Ban the Import of Hunting Trophies - An Analysis by Rowan B. Martin.

This document reviews a debate which took place at Westminster Hall in the UK Houses of Parliament on the 2nd October 2019 in which the advocacy by Animal Rights parliamentary members was extreme. In this document I challenge some of the misinformation that was prevalent. Much of the ill-informed debate was taken up with trophy hunting of lions while ignoring the social, ecological and economic realities of the rural population and their resource base in Africa.. Zac Goldsmith (Minister for DIFD (Department for International Development) and DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) has initiated a ‘consultative process’ which closes on the 25th January 2020. This paper will be submitted to the Committee responsible for the consultations.

More… Jan 07, 2020

Why are people killed for protecting their natural lands?

Stories from Colombia, Indonesia and India

“Each year sets a new record for the murder of people defending their lands and the environment,” says Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples. “And thousands more are victims of violence or criminalization.”

More… Dec 31, 2019

A US Lawmaker Wants To Ban Funding For Conservation Groups That Support Human Rights Abuses

In the wake of a BuzzFeed News investigation, new legislation promises "to deter possibilities of future taxpayer-funded instances of torture, rape, and extrajudicial killings."

More… Dec 21, 2019

Outrage over ‘unethical’ Botswana elephant hunt.

There’s outrage in Botswana over the shooting of a collared elephant and four others on San communal land.

When President Mokgweetsi Masisi opened up Botswana’s rich wildlands to hunting, it helped gain him the essential rural votes he needed to get re-elected. But the ‘unethical’ hunting of a collared elephant has the local San community, and supporters of hunting, up in arms.

More… Dec 12, 2019

The Immorality of Saving Elephants.

An opinion piece on the enduring debate about Elephant Conservation following the recent CITES meeting that rewarded those with unsuccessful conservation records over those with manifest successes.

More… Sep 16, 2019