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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.

View from the Termite Mound

Scattered, Scarce, and Delayed Reports While Waiting for Action against the Genocidal MLUM Proposal in Ngorongoro

More… Jun 22, 2020

Dossier: hunting and human-wildlife conflict.

Hunting is a topic that attracts polarised viewpoints. But as Mark Rowe demonstrates, when it comes to limiting human-wildlife conflict and to wider conservation measures, it’s not always so simple.

Mention ‘hunting’ and most of us think of poaching – primarily for ivory and the demands of Chinese medicine – or trophy hunting (see maps below); and the unpalatable image of a triumphant (usually) white Westerner straddling a dead, charismatic mammal. But the issue is a much wider and more nuanced one.

More… Jun 05, 2020

Pastoralists into New Round of Negotiations with those who Want to Wipe them off the Map of Ngorongoro

This blog has been too silent. I’m very sad and tired, and in Loliondo, and Ngorongoro district as a whole, people have been busy discussing Covid-19, or “politics” (possible candidates, and I’m not innocent in this regard, even if my main interest is in who will best defend the land), while the biggest threat ever looms over everyone’s head – the insane Multiple Land Use Model report of last year. This threat has again been spoken about, and there’s a new attempt to, from the inside, stop planned atrocities.

More… May 12, 2020

Periyar Tiger Reserve.

A Trendsetter in Converting Poachers to Protectors

Then a range forest officer with Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Kerala, Raju K. Francis still remembers that distant afternoon in 1994, when he arrested elusive forest brigand Aruvi from a hideout near an ancient cave in Theni district of Tamil Nadu, where local gangs used to hide smuggled sandalwood. Aruvi was the leader of a 23-member team of wildlife poachers and sandalwood smugglers operating from K.G. Patti, Varusanadu and Lower Gudalur regions of Theni, which were around 20 kilometres from PTR.

More… Mar 10, 2020

Cornered by PAs:

Adopting rights-based approaches to enable cost-effective conservation and climate action

Progress on many commitments made in past decades to respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples in conservation is too limited. Rights violations affect IPs culture, well-being, livelihoods, and security without evidence of resulting conservation outcomes. Protected Areas Financing is limited and heavily public spending, not support of Indigenous and community conservation. Regular global monitoring of progress and access to grievance are key to accelerate progress or secure conservation outcomes.

More… Mar 10, 2020

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

Thailand's disappeared Karen activist.

Billy and the burned village.

An oil barrel discovered at the bottom of a reservoir in a nature reserve in Thailand in April 2019 has cast a light on a story some would rather stayed hidden. It is a tale of powerful men and the lengths they will allegedly go to keep their crimes covered up. But it is also the story of one woman's determination to get justice for the man she loved and the community he was fighting for.

More… Jan 04, 2020