Category Archives: Africa

Good News for Okavango Delta

Okavango-Delta

GOOD NEWS!
Botswana’s Okavango Delta has become
the 1000th site inscribed on the World Heritage by UNESCO

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NO BIG OIL in Virunga

BIG WIN FOR WILDLIFE – NO OIL in VIRUNGA
at least for now

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British oil company Soco International has said it will suspend exploratory operations in Virunga National Park, home to half the world’s Critically Endangered mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) as well as thousands of other species. The announcement follows several years of campaigning from conservation groups, which argued that drilling could lead to severe environmental destruction in the UNESCO World Heritage site located in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The DRC government granted the company permits to conduct exploratory operations for oil in the park in 2012. But while the operations were approved by the DRC government, they were condemned by the UN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and even the British government. A petition against oil drilling in the park was signed by over 750,000 people.

Established in 1925 largely to protect the mountain gorilla population, Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park. Mountain gorillas were discovered in 1902 making them one of the last big mammals described by scientists. Virunga is also home to okapi (Okapia johnstoni), another big mammal discovered in the first years of the 20th Century. In addition to gorillas and okapi, the park is also home to chimpanzees, lion, savannah elephants, forest elephants, eastern lowland gorillas, and several species of rare birds. With a wealth of habitats, including rainforest and cloud forest, it is considered one of the most biodiverse parks on the continent.

The announcement by Soco International doesn’t mean the fight over oil in Virunga is over. Currently, 80 percent of the park is covered by oil concessions, making it very possible another oil company will come in when Soco leaves.

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Morgan-Trimble-for-Virunga-National-Park

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To see the full article published by Jeremy Hance visit:
http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0611-hance-soco-suspends-virunga.html

 

 

Bees and African Elephants

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Bee booby-traps defend Africa farms from Elephants

Wire fences booby-trapped with beehives are being built in five African countries to prevent elephants from raiding farms, while also providing local people with honey. This also saves elephants from being killed by farmers that would destroy their crops.

‘Beehive fences’ are now being put up in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda by UK charity Save the Elephant, says Lucy King, leader of the Elephants and Bees Project in Kenya — and they are already in use at three communities in Kenya.

The project, which is a collaboration between Save the Elephants, the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, studies how to use the African bush elephants’ instinctive avoidance of African honey bees to avoid crop losses.

Conflicts between farmers and elephants are a growing problem, with the animals’ encroachment onto farms causing massive crop losses.

Simple beehive fences using local materials. Bee Hives are hung every 30 feet and linked together and if an elephant touches one of the hives or the interconnecting wires, the beehives all along the fence swing and release the stinging insects.

A study, which was published in 2011 in the African Journal of Ecology, elephants made 14 attempts to enter farmland and 13 of these were unsuccessful. In each case the elephants were forced to turn away from the area after confronting a beehive fence or walk the length of the fence to choose an easier entry point through a thorn bush. Only once did elephants break through a beehive fence to eat crops, according to the paper.

Electric fences have proved successful in barring elephants from some human designated areas, says the study. In Kenya, electrification projects often fail because of poor maintenance, spiralling costs and the lack of buying capacity among the communities where the elephants are common.

According to Paul Udoto, corporate communications manager at the Kenya Wildlife Service, the use of beehive fences to prevent elephants from raiding farms is not a silver bullet, but it could be used alongside these other interventions. He adds that human-animal conflict is largely due to people moving onto land used by animals. Where elephants and agricultural land overlap, incidents of humananimal conflict are on the increase, Udoto tells SciDev.Net.

Suresh Raina, a bee expert at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Kenya, is impressed with the idea. It is an intelligent solution to a challenge which farmers were facing in the past to save crops from the incursion of elephants in their fields,

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A king bee hive fence in Kenya

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China Combats Poaching in Africa

The Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, has pledged $100 million to combat poaching in Africa during a visit to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. The fund is a part of a much larger loan package for the continent from China, totaling $10 billion in credit and $2 billion in aid.

The wildlife-rich continent is in the midst of a poaching crisis. Experts estimate that 22,000-35,000 elephants are killed every year by poachers, while last year over 1,000 rhinos were slaughtered in South Africa alone for their horns. Much of the ivory and rhino horn is destined for China or other countries in East Asia. While receiving less media attention, booming bushmeat markets are also taking their toll on Africa’s great apes, monkeys, small mammals, and birds.

Over the last couple decades, China has rapidly increased its presence in Africa through various industrial and development projects, including large-scale fossil fuel projects. Yet, this has also opened up China to criticism that it was consuming Africa’s natural resources for its own ends and negatively impacting the continent’s environment.

In addition to pledging funds, Keqiang, also said China would share high-speed rails technology with the continent.

“We have a dream that all African capitals are connected with high-speed rail, so as to boost pan-African communication and development,” he noted. “China is ready to work with Africa ‘to make this dream come true.'”
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0508-hance-china-africa-pledge.html#Bs6sFPmx6xZsBWzM.99

The Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, has pledged $100 million to combat poaching in Africa during a visit to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. The fund is a part of a much larger loan package for the continent from China, totaling $10 billion in credit and $2 billion in aid.

The wildlife-rich continent is in the midst of a poaching crisis. Experts estimate that 22,000-35,000 elephants are killed every year by poachers, while last year over 1,000 rhinos were slaughtered in South Africa alone for their horns. Much of the ivory and rhino horn is destined for China or other countries in East Asia. While receiving less media attention, booming bushmeat markets are also taking their toll on Africa’s great apes, monkeys, small mammals, and birds.

Over the last couple decades, China has rapidly increased its presence in Africa through various industrial and development projects, including large-scale fossil fuel projects. Yet, this has also opened up China to criticism that it was consuming Africa’s natural resources for its own ends and negatively impacting the continent’s environment.

In addition to pledging funds, Keqiang, also said China would share high-speed rails technology with the continent.

“We have a dream that all African capitals are connected with high-speed rail, so as to boost pan-African communication and development,” he noted. “China is ready to work with Africa ‘to make this dream come true.'”
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0508-hance-china-africa-pledge.html#Bs6sFPmx6xZsBWzM.99

The Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, has pledged $100 million to combat poaching in Africa during a visit to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. The fund is a part of a much larger loan package for the continent from China, totaling $10 billion in credit and $2 billion in aid.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0508-hance-china-africa-pledge.html#Bs6sFPmx6xZsBWzM.99

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Chinese Premier Keqiang pledges to combat wildlife poaching in Africa

The Chine Premier, Li Keqiang, has pledged $100 million dollars to combat wildlife poaching in Africa. The pledge was made during his visit to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. The money s part of a $10 billion dollar loan and $2 billion in foreign aid for the African continent from China.

China has increased its presence in Africa through development and industrious projects that include large-scale fossil fuel extraction and plants. The projects have led to criticism of China for consuming Africa’s natural resources for its own ends and impacting the African continent’s environment in a detrimental manner.

Over the last couple decades, China has rapidly increased its presence in Africa through various industrial and development projects, including large-scale fossil fuel projects. Yet, this has also opened up China to criticism that it was consuming Africa’s natural resources for its own ends and negatively impacting the continent’s environment.

Premier Keqiang stated that in addition to money, China would share high speed rail technology with African nations. ” We have a dream that all African capitals are connected with high-speed rail, so as to boost Pan African communication and development. China is ready to work with Africa to make this dream come true.”

This article was first reported by Jeremy Vance of Mongabay.com

ivory

If China is sincere and genuine on combating wildlife crime and poaching, then Premier Keqiang must first end the import and sale of elephant ivory and rhino horn in his own country, This will show the world that China means what is says. China has the opportunity to become a hero and take the stage as the world leader in the preservation of global biodiversity.

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Christopher@WCFF.org
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also said China would share high-speed rails technology with the continent.

Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0508-hance-china-africa-pledge.html#jCEOYfreGIapCQfS.99

 

In addition to pledging funds, Keqiang, also said China would share high-speed rails technology with the continent.

“We have a dream that all African capitals are connected with high-speed rail, so as to boost pan-African communication and development,” he noted. “China is ready to work with Africa ‘to make this dream come true
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0508-hance-china-africa-pledge.html#jCEOYfreGIapCQfS.99

In addition to pledging funds, Keqiang, also said China would share high-speed rails technology with the continent.

“We have a dream that all African capitals are connected with high-speed rail, so as to boost pan-African communication and development,” he noted. “China is ready to work with Africa ‘to make this dream come true
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0508-hance-china-africa-pledge.html#jCEOYfreGIapCQfS.99

Over the last couple decades, China has rapidly increased its presence in Africa through various industrial and development projects, including large-scale fossil fuel projects. Yet, this has also opened up China to criticism that it was consuming Africa’s natural resources for its own ends and negatively impacting the continent’s environment.

Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0508-hance-china-africa-pledge.html#Bs6sFPmx6xZsBWzM.99

Over the last couple decades, China has rapidly increased its presence in Africa through various industrial and development projects, including large-scale fossil fuel projects. Yet, this has also opened up China to criticism that it was consuming Africa’s natural resources for its own ends and negatively impacting the continent’s environment.

Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0508-hance-china-africa-pledge.html#Bs6sFPmx6xZsBWzM.99

Keqiang, has pledged $100 million to combat poaching in Africa during a visit to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. The fund is a part of a much larger loan package for the continent from China, totaling $10 billion in credit and $2 billion in aid.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0508-hance-china-africa-pledge.html#Bs6sFPmx6xZsBWzM.99

Virunga National Park Warden Shot

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Chief Warden, Emmanuel de Merode shot in an ambush

Emmanuel de Merode, Chief Warden of Africa’s oldest national park – Virunga – has been shot in an ambush while driving to the Congolese national park head quarters in Rumangabo. His vehicle was ambushed by unknown gunmen. The Belgian foreign minister has stated that the country will launch an inquiry into the ambush of its citizen.

de Merode has reportedly been shot a number of times and is currently in a stable but critical condition in hospital. He is in intensive care recovering from the operation to remove the bullets. He is believed to be in the Heal Africa Hospital at Goma.

de Merode was travelling alone at the time and he was rescued by an Congolese army unit who evacuated him to hospital. He is due to be airlifted from Goma to a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya when the opportunity arises. de Merode is a member of the Belgian royalty and he was made chief warden of the Virunga National Park in 2008. He has remained at the park throughout the troubles and civil war that has impacted the park and is well respected by the staff that serve under him as well as conservationists across Africa.

ImageWWF Director of Conservation, Lasse Gustavsson, paid tribute to de Merode, “Emmanuel is a dedicated conservationist putting his life on the line every day to protect Virunga National Park, its rangers, its endangered species and the people that depend on the park for their livelihoods. I know how much Emmanuel loves this park. He continues to be a source of inspiration to those around him and I wish him a swift recovery.”

The gunmen remain unknown but the region still contain many militias and rebel groups. Warden Emmanuel de Merode, “was shot in the chest,” North Kivu provincial governor Julien Paluku told AFP, following the attack 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of the capital Goma. Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders tweeted his best wishes for De Merode’s swift recovery, adding that “we are opening an enquiry”, into the apparent ambush.

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