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


 

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Category: Creating & preserving wildlife habitat

  1. Canada invests £8.5 million to save land for wildlife conservation in the Rocky Mountains

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    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. Palau - islands making a difference

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    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 

  3. Apathy kills, action inspires

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    It’s very motivating to browse the internet and come across something which really strikes into your heart.

    The sort of thing I’m thinking of spurs you to take action – not just to want to take action, but to actually do it.

    How often do we come away having read something, thinking," That’s terrible," and then go on as if we had read nothing or not been affected at all?

    The key to successful wildlife conservation is to moving people literally to take action, to do something, in whatever way we all can, to do something to save this wildlife on this planet and most particularly, to save and protect their habitats. 

    Number of actions for wildlife...
    ___________________________________________________________

    0                          2              3              4              5              6              7                         

                    1 action
                    is better than
                    no action at all

    The good thing about taking one action is that we tend to feel good about doing it.  And often we may think, "That was easy!  What else can I do?"  Sometimes it’s just the getting started and doing something however little time it takes.

    The one thing wildlife cannot afford at all is for us all to sit at the zero action position. 

    We need a total army of people who will move from the zero point to doing stuff.  And if each of us already do stuff, we need to do more.

    E.O.Wilson is a scientist.  In his book Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life , (which inspires us to set aside half of the earth’s surface for nature), Mr Wilson writes:

    “To those who are steering the growth of reserves worldwide, let me make an earnest request:  don’t stop, just aim a lot higher.”

    We all need to act for the sake of wildlife and this beautiful planet of ours.

    Please take an action to help wildlife today.  One way is to support those already working to grow and protect reserves around the world or protecting the wildlife already there.

     

     

  4. Mansion House Declaration is signed commiting bank signatories to tackle illegal wildlife trade

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    The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be about £18 billion.  And it’s linked to extreme violence and drugs/weapons trafficking.

    In London from the 11-12 October 2018, the UK Government is hosting an international illegal wildlife trade conference. 

    And ahead of the conference, the  Duke of Cambridge, President of United for Wildlife, hosted a meeting of the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce for the signing of the Mansion House Declaration

    Over 20 banks are clamping down on money laundering by criminal gangs who are involved in poaching elephants, rhinos, tigers and other threatened species. 

    HSBC, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered and the Bank of America Merrill Lynch are all signing an agreement committing them to training their staff to spot transactions which are linked to the trade in rhino horn, ivory and other animal parts.

    The Duke met with senior staff from the banks back in May and they agreed to join a new wildlife financial taskforce set up by United for Wildlife.  Traffic (a wildlife trade monitoring network) and the Royal United Services Institute are also signing.

    The Duke of Cambridge launched the initiative and the commitment made by these financial institutions is laid out in the Mansion House Declaration. The six commitments in the declaration are:  

    1. Increasing awareness of how the financial industry can combat IWT
    2. Providing training to identify and investigate suspicious activity
    3. Providing intelligence to regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies
    4. Reviewing intelligence alerts received through the Taskforce and taking appropriate actions
    5. Considering additional actions such as policy amendments
    6. Supporting and promoting the work of the Taskforce and external supporting

    The Duke of Cambridge thinks that the wealthy overseeing the trade need to be tracked down as well as the poachers.

    Britain’s Penny Mordaunt, the UK’s International Development Secretary, will also sign.  She will also announce that the Government will give £3.5 million to an international project to tackle money laundering by gang leaders who profit from the illegal wildlife trade.

    In part, the money will help improve detection and the sharing of intelligence by law enforcement bodies in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Uganda and the Ivory Coast.

    If the UK can protect these species, it will also help some of the world’s poorest people to benefit from sustainable jobs which depend on the nautral world and endangered, wild animals.

    The creation of the Financial Taskforce follows on from the success of the of United for Wildlife’s Transportation Taskforce.  In March 2016, the Buckingham Palace Declaration in March 2016 was signed.  It saw global transport industry leaders unite to identify ways the transport sector can close down criminal supply routes to thwart traffickers as part of efforts to tackle the poaching crisis.  Find out here.

    Go to United for Wildlife here