Posts Tagged ‘COVID_19’

DISTRACTIONS ASIDE, CONSERVATION NEEDS RADICAL CHANGE

WRITTEN BY: Jared Kukura

Dare to criticize the opinions of those promoting the exploitation of wildlife for economic benefit, and you will likely find yourself engulfed in frivolous drama that takes away from the real issues facing conservation. Craig Packer, and many others, know this all too well.

Packer was once Tanzania’s leading lion conservationist with decades of research experience. That is until he was banned from the country for his outspoken criticism of the trophy hunting industry. His criticism was well supported though, his studies showed that trophy hunting was the leading cause of declining lion numbers in his areas of study.

Subsequent research confirmed Packer’s studies and noted lion numbers declined most in areas with short-term hunting leases. The short-term leases were both the most unsustainable and the most profitable for the government (surprise, surprise). Additional research also suggested Tanzania’s policies failed to adequately protect habitat and reduce illegal harvest of other species, leading to continual declines in wildlife numbers.

But, conveniently for Tanzania, trophy hunting is largely portrayed in a positive light when it comes to conserving the country’s wildlife. Trophy hunting, proponents state, protects more land than any other industry and creates economic benefits for rural communities. However, the difference in perspective has less to do with the promotion of trophy hunting’s positives and more to do with the silencing of trophy hunting’s negatives.

Criticism of the trophy hunting industry and Packer’s dismissal, while dramatic, failed to spur changes in Tanzania’s conservation policies. This happens all too often in conservation but it cannot happen now with the wildlife trade considering the implications of the COVID_19 pandemic. The debate over whether we should ban the wildlife trade can be dramatic. But we must ensure the debate goes not detract us from acting and transforming conservation to benefit humans and wildlife.

We are in the midst of a global pandemic likely caused by a virus jumping from wildlife to humans. To date, COVID-19 has killed more than 240,000 people and has ramifications beyond an increasing death toll. Global poverty is expected to rise for the first time in decades because of mandated shutdowns aimed at stopping the spread of the virus.

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“Sometimes it Falls Upon a Generation to be Great” Nelson Mandela

Freedom Day South Africa 2020

Ocean View, is a suburb situated in Cape Town in South Africa. It was established in 1968 as a township for “coloured” people who had been forcibly removed from so called “white areas” such as Simon’s Town, Noordhoek, Red Hill, Glencairn by the apartheid government under the Group Areas Act.

On the 5th of March 2020 South Africa confirmed its first coronavirus case and in the weeks that followed the infections were mostly confined to suburban areas and largely involved travellers arriving from Europe, the USA and the United Kingdom.

However that has all changed with the arrival of the virus in crowded urban areas where the access to clean water for hand-washing is scarce and self-quarantine practices are the most challenging.

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EMS FOUNDATION APPEALS FOR MORATORIUM ON THE LION BONE INDUSTRY

Legal Representatives of EMS Foundation Appeal to the South African Government

Letters have been written to the offices of Minister Barbara Creecy, Minister of the Enviornment, Forestry and Fisheries, to the offices of Minister Zwelini Mkhize and the offices of Minister Thoko Didiza.

The letters were sent to the South African government by the EMS Foundation and by their legal representatives Cullinan and Associates.

The subject matter of these correspondences relates specifically to the dangers to human life with regard to diseases and the wildlife trade.

Epidemiologists have long considered a pandemic like COVID_19 to be an inevitability and there is consensus that without massive changes to public health regulation a pandemic of zoonotic origin will happen again.

Until there is more information available about the risks of the captive breeding of lions and other big cats and the lion bone trade, both in terms of human health and to the survival of lions, a risk-averse and cautious approach requires that a moratorium is placed on the industry as outline above.

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I CHOOSE TO BE HERE – THE ART OF GIVING DURING THE GLOBAL COVID_19 PANDEMIC

“Awubizwanga Uzizele, no one asked me to be here, I chose to be here” this is the mantra of the Overberg Whale Boxing Club which was founded by Mzi Damesi in 2007 and was formally registered as a non-profit organisation in 2011.

Image Credit: Daily Maverick

The boxing club is housed in the Zwelihle village, Zwelihle means “Beautiful Place” and it is situated between Hermanus and Sandbaai in the Western Cape of South Africa.

The boxing gym is situated, for the moment, at the Zwelihle Sports Grounds in Lusaka Street. The gym consists of three converted shipping containers set around a central concrete square.

Despite having very limited resources, the most basic facilities and equipment Mzi’s dedication and his pupil’s hard work the OWBC boxers have enjoyed phenomenal success, not only regionally but nationally too.

Image Credit The Village News
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LOVE AND THE ART OF GIVING DURING THE TIME OF THE COVID_19 GLOBAL PANDEMIC

“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of” Nelson Mandela

“We are violating the rights of young people in this county on a daily basis. These kids are not getting what they were promised in terms of the constitution and the bill of rights. And then we blame them for the problem of high crime and gangs. Yet we put them in a situation where that’s sometimes the only alternative for survival. We are responsible, as a country, for creating a situation where gangs are inevitable” Don Pinnock. Pinnock is a South African writer, investigative journalist, criminologist and author of ‘Gang Town’ a book written drawing on three decades of research.

The Cape Flats is an area in the Western Cape of Southern Africa, it is an example of where the problems of massive income inequality in the country are most obvious. There are also high rates of unemployment and very limited state-supported service delivery. The Cape Flats is an epicentre where community members are recruited to become involved in local and international organised crime.

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