VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
By Paula Kahumbu
In Kenya, when you hear that “Things are Elephant,” it means there’s a major problem. That’s why we chose this as the title for the first ever debate of its kind, organized by WildlifeDirect, on the future of elephants.
By Michael Schwartz
Malawi president Peter Mutharika recently decided to postpone the burning of roughly four tons of stockpiled ivory, worth around seven million dollars. He claimed that at least 2.6 more tons are still being held as evidence in the upcoming trials of suspected elephant poachers.
While his initial decision to destroy the ivory is being lauded by some Malawians, others question whether a burn is the best possible recourse. Some see confiscated ivory as disposable remnants of barbarism that only carry intrinsic value when attached to their owners. Others see it as revenue to help the country’s poor or to augment conservation.
This also broaches the larger debate as to whether or not destroying contraband stockpiles really helps elephants in the long run.
By Nathan Fey, Colorado Stewardship Director for American Whitewater
Cutting through the steep canyons and arid sage lands of northwestern Colorado and northeastern Utah, the Yampa is the region’s lifeblood. A major tributary of the Colorado, which has been increasingly stretched as demand exceeds supply, and climate warms and dries, the river’s flows are eyed by downstream water-users in Utah, Arizona and California. That fact behooves all of us to take a closer look at how water is managed in the West.
By Maraya Cornell
On March 14, Jim Justus Nyamu, a 39-year-old Kenyan conservationist and elephant research scientist, completed a 283-mile-walk (455 km) from Emali to Voi in Kenya. Nyamu passed through the Amboseli and Tsavo ecosystems, both critical refuges for Kenya’s elephant populations. By walking for elephants as part of his Ivory Belongs to Elephants campaign, Nyamu hopes to raise awareness and better involve rural Kenyan communities in wildlife conservation.
By Katarzyna Nowak
It’s entirely possible, even likely, that we humans will not coexist very much longer with ancient, thick-skinned megafauna weighing thousands of pounds. How to save them is a matter of ever greater urgency—and dispute.
By Patrick Bergin
On February 26, China’s State Forestry Administration announced on its website it was imposing a one-year ban on all imports of African ivory carvings. According to an unnamed forestry official, the suspension of ivory imports would allow authorities to evaluate the ban’s effectiveness in stemming elephant poaching in Africa. Because the ban was limited in scope, too brief in its temporal application, and fell far short of banning all domestic ivory trade in China, it was largely viewed by the conservation community as a symbolic plaster applied to a gushing wound.
By Fredrick Nzwili
NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya today burned tons of stockpiled ivory, sending a strong message against elephant poaching and ivory trafficking.
The burning is the latest in a series of ivory stockpile destructions by nations across the world. During the past three years, Gabon, Belgium, Chad, China, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, Gabon, France, Philippines, and the USA have all destroyed contraband ivory and rhino horn.
By Benny Andrés With scientific modeling foreshadowing megadroughts in the Southwest and Great Plains, it is imperative policymakers implement freshwater projects along the lower Colorado River, in particular, the Salton Sea, a 376-square-mile freshwater agricultural sump in southeastern California, and in the Colorado River Delta where the waterway ends its journey in the Baja California desert.…
By Jennifer O’Leary and Arthur Tuda When you think about East Africa, probably the first images that emerge are of large terrestrial animals like elephants and lions. Many people don’t know that East Africa has vibrant marine fishing communities and hundreds of miles of coral reefs. In a typical morning, you watch the sun rise…
More than 120,000 Americans are on waiting lists to receive organs that could extend their lives. Many, if not most, will be disappointed, because hearts, lungs, kidneys, livers and other body parts will not become available for them. Peta Cappello, a 59-year-old entrepreneur from Maryland, has lived with transplanted heart and lungs for nearly 21 years. As a “Donate Life Ambassador” for Washington Regional Transplant Community, a group that advocates for organ donation in the U.S. national capital area, she writes here of her experience and the gift of a productive and joyful life she received from her donor.
From Abe Springer: Humans have relied on springs for millennia. Since the beginning of human evolution, populations spanning all seven continents have built entire communities around these sources of water, because they are dependable, plentiful and not as subject to the changes of climate and stream flow.
Celebrate the successful revival of the Isle of Man’s ancient tongue as UNESCO marks International Mother Language Day.
From Katarzyna Nowak, Lauren McCall, and Isabel Behncke Izquierdo: What unique skills do women hold for the future of our species and the ecosystems we have come to dominate? What can we learn from elephants as human societies become more out of balance with nature?
The oceans need our help. Human impacts – overfishing, pollution, invasive species, habitat destruction, acidification and climate change – have put our ocean species on the cusp of mass extinctions today. Scientists predict the collapse of major fisheries across the world within the next decades. We need to realize that fish are more than just food. Fish are wildlife, as well as critical components of complex marine ecosystems and food webs that must be maintained. We urgently need a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) to help sustain the oceans that in turn sustain all of us.
By Megan Westmeyer Fishery improvement projects (FIPs) are based on the premise that the seafood industry itself is the strongest force for driving improvements in fisheries, and a group of shrimp suppliers from the Gulf of Mexico has shown us how it’s done. Cox’s Wholesale Seafood, Katie’s Seafood Market, National Fish and Seafood, and Philly…