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Tag archives for Africa

World body that could protect elephants—decides not to

Acutely, an elephant’s problem is ivory. Chronically the problem is shrinking space. Rich or poor, humans seem too much of a good thing. One wonders where this trend of growing human numbers and appetites, afflicting elephants and humans alike, is headed.

African Lions on the Brink: A Conversation with Lion Expert Craig Packer

With roars that rend the African night, lions have captured our imaginations since the dawn of humankind. “Lions have long been celebrated in art and literature throughout the world,” says ecologist Craig Packer, National Geographic Explorer and Expeditions Council grantee, and director of the University of Minnesota Lion Center. In the face of habitat loss and…

Taming Rivers: A Fulbright-National Geographic Journey

“Simply, water is surpassing oil itself as the world’s scarcest critical resource. Just as oil conflicts were central to twentieth-century history, the struggle over freshwater is set to shape a new turning point in the world order and the destiny of civilization” — Steven Solomon, Water   The Dam, located in the leafy Johannesburg suburb of…

CITES CoP17 Delegates Adopt Resolution Recommending Closure of Domestic Elephant Ivory Markets Globally

The global community today further chipped away at the elephant ivory market. The countries gathered at CITES CoP17 adopted a resolution recommending the closure of domestic elephant ivory markets around the world. Traffickers and criminal networks are losing their markets and losing their financial incentives to illegally kill Africa’s elephants for their ivory.

Artist Uses Body Paint to Transform Three Women Into Elephant

Italian artist Johannes Stoetter is famous for using body paint to transform humans into animals. Here at CITES, he teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness about the decline of elephants with a new work, “Coming Together for Elephants.” Can you spot the three women in the elephant? “While a canvas lasts…

Process for Establishing Future Ivory Trade Rejected at CITES Conference

For the last nine years, CITES parties have been negotiating a “decision-making mechanism,” (DMM), which would establish a process for a future trade in ivory. Today, the parties of CITES voted to end the long-running discussion.

Large Wildlife and the Global Carbon Cycle: Studies at the Mpala Research Center

At first glance, the relationship between large, charismatic wildlife species and comparatively invisible carbon compounds is not abundantly clear.  In terms of an ecosystem’s carbon dynamics, it’s more intuitive that soil microorganisms do a lot of the work by breaking down carbon compounds and respiring carbon dioxide; also intuitive is that plants draw carbon back…

Two Cheers on World Elephant Day 2016

Things have improved since the dark days of 2011 and 2012 when ivory poaching across Africa appeared to be spiralling out of control and conservations began to contemplate the unthinkable: the extinction of the African elephant. On World Elephant Day 2016 there are grounds for cautious optimism. Nevertheless, it is too soon to assert that Africa’s elephants are safe.

Urgent Global Action Needed to Stop Extinction of Earth’s Last Megafauna

A swift and global conservation response is needed to prevent the world’s gorillas, lions, tigers, rhinos, and other iconic terrestrial megafauna from being lost forever, an influential group of international scientists reported today in the journal BioScience.

Their analysis, entitled Saving the World’s Terrestrial Megafauna, covers the precipitous loss of large animal populations around the globe. The report included a 13-point declaration by 43 scientists and conservationists calling for acknowledgement that a “business as usual” mentality will result in massive species extinction. Read the declaration and study the maps showing the global decline of big land animals.

Cecil the Lion one Year on: An Interview with Cecil’s Researcher

A year ago, a male lion called Cecil was killed in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, by an American trophy hunter. Cecil’s death caused uproar around the world and shone a much-needed light on the decline and vulnerability of the African lion population; today, there may be no more than 20,000 remaining in the wild. To…

A New USAID-funded Community-based Conservation Initiative Launches in Northern Tanzania

Several years ago, the African People & Wildlife Fund integrated rangeland management into its four-step process towards long-term conservation success in Tanzania. Recently, a collaboration of ten organizations kicked off a five-year project to ensure that Tanzania’s rangelands, ecosystems, and the communities within those ecosystems, are protected.  By the African People & Wildlife Fund Wildlife…

Seeking an End to the Terror of Rabies in Madagascar

Though death is preventable if vaccines are received quickly, rabies still kills with terrifying frequency, and manifests itself so violently that witnesses tend to remember a single case for years.

The tribes of Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley in Photographs

    The Omo River rises on the mountainous plateau of Ethiopia’s Shewan Highlands, then flows for hundreds of kilometres through lush grasslands, acacia plains and riverine forests, until it reaches Kenya’s Lake Turkana. The river’s lower valley, in the southwest corner of the country, is a wild, beautiful, remote region.  In the mud and volcanic…

Common Land, Common Ground

By Justin Adams, Global Managing Director for Lands at The Nature Conservancy. Edward Loure and The Nature Conservancy have a common story. The story is one of reducing conflict by finding common ground—in this case both literally and metaphorically. All over the world – in fact, for 2.5 billion people – lives depend on land…

Green Warriors Honored—Continued

Good tourism should help protect a place, not destroy it. Part Two of this two-part series reports on how Edward Loure of Tanzania won the Goldman Environmental Prize for protecting indigenous Maasai land-use rights against incursions by agribusiness, hunting concessions, and, of all things, ecolodges. (Part One, a previous post, reports on the Goldman winner in Puerto Rico.)