More than 100 rangers die every year in the conservation war

More than 100 rangers die every year in the conservation war

In 2003, Sean Willmore was at an international rangers’ conference in Australia. In his presentation, Jobogo Mirindi, a ranger from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, showed a photograph of thirty-odd of his colleagues. Six rangers’ heads were circled in red. They were the only ones that had survived since the photograph was taken five years earlier.

Willmore set up The Thin Green Line Foundation to support rangers and their families. Between 2009 and 2016, 595 rangers were killed. “It’s absolutely a war. It’s an untold war and we’ve lost over one thousand rangers that we know of,” Willmore says in a promotional video for The Thin Green Line Foundation.

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BBC banned from filming in Kaziranga and all of India’s tiger reserves for five years

BBC banned from filming in Kaziranga and all of India’s tiger reserves for five years

In February 2017, the BBC visited Kaziranga National Park in north east India. Justin Rowlatt, the BBC’s South Asia correspondent, reported that “Kaziranga is a triumph of wildlife conservation.”

The number of rhinos in Kaziranga has grown from just a handful a century ago when the park was established, to more than 2,400 today. But Rowlatt also reported on Kaziranga’s dark side: the park’s ruthless anti-poaching strategy. Fifty people have been killed in the past three years.

DNA India reports that the BBC and Rowlatt are now banned from filming in tiger reserves in India for the next five years.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

The ivory game

The ivory game

The numbers are horrific. About every 15 minutes an elephant is killed. That adds up to 150,000 elephants killed in the past five years. At this rate, the African elephant could become extinct in 15 years.

These deaths are driven by the ivory trade. Criminal networks smuggle ivory into China, where it fuels a multi-billion trade.

A recent documentary film on Netflix, “The Ivory Game”, looks into the ivory trade and how it is driving elephants to extinction.

The film is directed by Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson. Leonardo di Caprio is executive producer. It looks at poaching in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. And at ivory markets in China and Vietnam. This is a film about wildlife activists taking on poachers and criminals.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

Pope meets indigenous peoples: “Confrontation and conflict can be overcome through prior and informed consent”

Pope meets indigenous peoples: “Confrontation and conflict can be overcome through prior and informed consent”

Yesterday, Pope Francis met with a group of indigenous peoples. They had travelled to Rome to take part in the Third Global Meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Pope Francis made a short speech to the indigenous peoples’ representatives, reported on the Vatican Radio website as follows:

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to welcome you at the conclusion of the third Indigenous Peoples’ Forum convened by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, which this year is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of its foundation…

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WWF’s role in Kaziranga National Park’s shoot to kill anti-poaching policy

WWF’s role in Kaziranga National Park’s shoot to kill anti-poaching policy

“The grass in northern India is the tallest on the planet. Home to some of the most impressive creatures to tread the earth.”

That’s David Attenborough talking about Kaziranga National Park for the Grasslands episode of his Planet Earth II series. We see elephants, rhinos, water buffalo and lots of grass.

We also see armed guards. “The guard carries a gun in case a warning shot is needed”, Attenborough tells us. “And with good reason. More people are killed by buffalo than by any other animal in Kaziranga.”

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org

 

Towards a new model of conservation?

Towards a new model of conservation?

Somewhere between US$7 billion and US$10 billion is spent every year on nature conservation. Much of this money goes towards managing existing and creating new protected areas. But these areas of rainforest, taiga, or desert are not only home to wildlife.

These lands are also home to millions of indigenous peoples. They have lived there for millennia. They protect the land and depend on it for their survival.

A project called “Reserved!” looks into the question of what happens to indigenous peoples when a protected area is created on their lands. And even more important, how to combine indigenous peoples’ rights and nature conservation.

Last week, the project launched an “Atlas on Indigenous Peoples and Nature Conservation”. Produced by Marine Gauthier and Riccardo Pravettoni, the Atlas is the result of a large number of interviews with representatives of indigenous peoples, conservation organisations, governments, and human rights activists.>>

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Honey at the Top: A film about the Sengwer forest people in the Cherangani Hills, Kenya

Honey at the Top: A film about the Sengwer forest people in the Cherangani Hills, Kenya

Honey at the Top is a film by Dean Puckett, a UK-based documentary film maker. At the end of 2014, Puckett travelled to the Cherangani Hills in Western Kenya. He filmed and documented the lives of the Sengwer people.

Parts of Puckett’s film are beautiful. The Sengwer live in a landscape of mists, forests, fields and mountains. They farm cows, sheep and goats, and collect honey.

Other parts of the film are disturbing. In recent years, the Kenya Forest Service has carried out a series of violent evictions. Armed guards from the Kenya Forest Service have burned the Sengwer’s homes. They destroyed their property, and punched and beat the Sengwer. They even destroyed a school.

>> Click here for the full article on conservation-watch.org