Conservation News

 
 


Wildlife and our last remaining wild places are being destroyed because of human action or inaction and because of our own short –term greed.

Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa


 

 RSS Feed

  1. Canada is investing C$14.7 million – that’s the equivalent of about £8.5 million – to put aside 7,900 hectares for wildlife conservation in the Rocky Mountains.

    They are beautiful – I visited there far too long ago – and I’m delighted to hear of this move.

    The funding will expand a tract of land in the south-east of British Columbia.   The initiative will help protect about 40 species.  Grizzly bears, wolverines, peregrine falcons and mountain caribou will benefit.

    British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies Travel Guide from Lonely Planet
    f
    rom Lonely Planet Publications

    The investment comes from federal and provincial governments.  It will add 14% more land to the existing Darkwoods Conservation Area, which has valleys, mountains and lakes and which connects to an existing network of wildlife management areas and parkland.


    The investment means that both wildlife and plant life will have improved protection in an area which lies within the world’s only inland temperate rainforest.

    Find out more about why the Darkwoods Conservation Area matters

     

     

  2. The African Wildlife Foundation will invest $25 million over the next 4 years to support the work being done by local communities and African governments to protect wild lands and wildlife in Africa.

    The pledge was made at the recent Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) conference in London.  AWF’s President Kaddu Sebunya said that poaching and illegal trade in wildlife poses an acute threat to Africa’s rich heritage of natural wealth.

    Kaddu says that there is some recovery and stabilization of some vital wildlife populations.   AFW has invested $13.1 million to tackle the illegal wildlife trade in Africa and also a further $5.5 million with public-sector partners.   The total of $18.6 million has been used to:

    • Support anti-poaching efforts on the ground
    • Strengthen prosecutorial and judiciary processes
    • Put sniffer dogs in critical transit points
    • Campaign to stop demand in Asia

    As a result:

    • 10 out of the 14 populations of elephants the funding has been targeting are increasing or are stable.
    • All rhino populations and 7 out of 9 carnivore populations that AWF supports are increasing or are stable
    • Prosecutors are building stronger case;  judges are delivery stronger sentences for wildlife crimes
    • Sniffer dogs have made over 250 finds

    And now this most recent pledge will support programmes putting the priorities in place that came out of the London IWT conference:

    • To build African leadership and ownership of the illegal wildlife trade in Africa
    • Protect habitats and key populations of rhinos, elephants, great apes, large carnivores and giraffes
    • Enhance detection of wildlife crimes and strengthen the ability to prosecute and judge, putting criminals behind bars.

    The belief is that Africa must own and drive the illegal wildlife trade work.  The London conference will help strengthen partnerships across borders to fight the illegal wildlife trade in an effective way.

    Four key elements are crucial to give Africa’s wildlife a chance, according to AWF Chief Scientist and VP of Species Protection, Dr Philip Muruthi, and they are:

    1. Keep wildlife safe from poachers
    2. Make wildlife products difficult to move around
    3. Actively involve key local players
    4. Dampen the demand for wildlife products

    Visit the African Wildlife Foundation

  3. There’s a very great danger to rainforests and consequently to all our wellbeing.  We all need rainforests in good conditions in order for every one of us to survive and thrive and be well.

     

    Rainforest Rescue report that business groups and politicians want to meet to discuss worldwide demand for energy and raw materials.  These groups want to boost economic growth with a new “bioeconomy”. 

     

    The idea is that vast amounts of land will produce wood and other agricultural goods.

     

    Rainforest Rescue says:

     

    Burning our forests in power plants and setting up huge industrial plantations to grow biomass for supposedly renewable energy and bioplastics is anything but clean or green.

     

    Please sign Rainforest Rescue's petition here

     

    These plants threaten natural ecosystems, the global climate, human health and human rights.  One example is the Brazilian “Biofuture Platform”. This is a Brazilian initiative supported by 20 countries.

    Rainforest Rescue is asking us to speak out against these plans by signing their petition.   80 environmental organisations worldwide are against then plans. 

    Personally, I think far too many business leaders and politicians around the world have lost touch with nature to such an extent that they think it’s now a “nice to have” thing, or something which isn’t relevant to them and doesn’t apply to them.  Their arrogance is breathtaking. 

     

    Look after the earth and the earth will look after us.  

     

    I don't think we are looking after the earth and she is rapidly coming to a point where will she cannot look after us because she isn’t in good health herself.  And that’s our fault.  

     

    Please sign Rainforest Rescue's petition.

  4. What’s special about Palau?

    It’s an island situated in the western part of the Pacific ocean and it consists of one large volcanic island and several smaller coral reef associated islands.

    It’s small.  But it takes action.

    Palau is imposing a widespread ban on sunscreen in order to protect its coral reefs.  This ban will come into effect in 2020.

    The sale and use of sunscreen and skincare products which have a list of 10 different chemicals will be restricted.  Researchers believe that these ingredients are highly toxic to marine life.  They can also make coral more susceptible to bleaching.  The ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate are particularly believed to make coral more susceptible. 

    Palau has taken the lead in protecting marine life before.

    Back in 2015 it designated almost its entire ocean territory as a marine protected zone.

    It was the second nation to ratify the 2016 Paris climate agreement.

    Thousands of visitors go to Palau every year – and the islands are determined to protect their coral reefs.

    As well as sunscreen, reefs are also threatened by sea water warming, over fishing, nutrient enrichment and pollution. These all need to be stopped to halt the continuing degradation of reef ecosystems.

    But that said, there is always more that can be done, we have to start somewhere, so thank you Palau for leading the way and showing that action can be taken.

    After all, many visitors to come to see the coral reefs in all their beauty, not bleached coral reefs in a terrible state.

    There are bans in other places.  Mexico has banned sunscreen in nature reserves.   The Island of Bonaire in the Caribbean and the state of Hawaii have also passed laws. 

    But Palau is leading the way as it covers 10 chemicals.

    Needless to say, some of the big corporates who produce sunscreen products are sulking, saying that there isn’t enough evidence of the impact on coral.  But some have come together to form the Safe Sunscreen Council and they’ve welcomed the move. 

    Come on other nations – if little Palau can do it, why can’t you? 

    Visit also Maui Nui Marine Resource Council, a nonprofit organization working for healthy coral reefs, clean ocean water and abundant native fish for the islands of Maui Nui