Monday, June 29, 2015

Transboundary conservation : a systematic and integrated approach

Approximately one-third of all terrestrial high-biodiversity sites straddle national land borders, yet few man-made boundaries are fixed, and international boundaries often alter over time or disappear altogether. This publication makes the compelling case for transboundary conservation approaches and promotes an array of innovative methods based on contemporary principles. It has been developed primarily to provide transboundary conservation managers with advice on how to work more effectively and how to address the challenges that are specific to transboundary conservation.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Community-based ecotourism: a collaborative partnerships perspective

This article assesses how community-based ecotourism is perceived in terms of community participation and empowerment. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and secondary sources. Collaborative partnerships underpinnings are adopted to guide the research. Results suggest that participation in ecotourism brings mixed results on biodiversity conservation and community livelihoods due to the involvement of multiple stakeholders in the design, planning, and implementation of ecotourism projects. Due to the diversity of stakeholders, the empowerment of communities using ecotourism is complex. Nonetheless, while the study may be perceived as having attained mixed results, the case study offers a progressive example of how stakeholders approach to natural resource management are evolving. Ecotourism development in Botswana still needs improvement; more considerations have to be given to in situ settings. The Chobe Enclave Community Trust, a community living adjacent to Chobe National Park in Botswana, provides the context on which this study's discussion focuses.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

2016 African Elephant Conservation Grant Application

The International Elephant Foundation (IEF) is now accepting proposals for 2016 African Elephant in SITU Conservation Funding support.

During the 2016 grant cycle, the Foundation will specifically target five specific themes for funding. These themes, developed in close consultation with conservation and research specialists, are:
  • Human elephant conflict action;
  • Action to eliminate illegal killing and trafficking of elephants;
  • Community capacity building;
  • Conservation education; and
  •  Management of elephant populations.
 Funds will be awarded and available January 2016.

Proposals must be received at the IEF office by 11:00 pm CST on 14 August 2015.

Applications must be submitted electronically to

For more information and questions contact:
Deborah Olson
Executive Director
International Elephant Foundation
P.O. Box 366 Phone: 817-597-0956
Azle, Texas 76098 E-mail:

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Building Capacity for Conservation & Resource Management in Africa

 An exchange of ideas, opportunities & best practice

Why this conference is needed: 

Conservation organizations and agencies in Africa are faced with a growing diversity of environmental issues. Sustainable solutions to these problems will require actions to be implemented by strong organisations and communities with the skills, knowledge and data to undertake a broad range of technical and process-based activities. There are already a broad range of capacity-related initiatives in Africa that are working to tackle capacity building issues. This meeting will provide an opportunity to review existing regional initiatives, exchange ideas, develop and enhance capacity networks, and formulate effective and lasting solutions to common capacity problems.

A regional approach: in 2013, ERT Conservation organised the first international conference to discuss capacity building for conservation, held in Colombia (South America). It became clear at that meeting that there are a number of key issues that are ‘universal’ across the entire global conservation sector. However, the importance of region-specific approaches was also recognised, and the pan-African conference has been structured to address specific issues affecting sub-Saharan Africa.


Theme 1:  Protected areas
Theme 2:  Community engagement & rights-based governance
Theme 3:  Effective leadership and strong organisations
Theme 4:  Professional e-Learning

The key cross-cutting capacity issues are:
  1. Conservation in politically unstable areas and 'disabling' environments
  2. Solutions to internal organisation and community 'barriers'
  3. Supporting skilled individuals
  4. Effective pooling of resources across the conservation sector
  5. Sustainable resource management within wider economic development 
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Monday, June 22, 2015

Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change Mitigation: From Deforestation to Forest Restoration

Deforestation accounts for nearly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is also strongly linked to development issues, as healthy forests are vital in the fight against poverty. Forest and landscape restoration initiatives offer significant benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation, and are also an efficient means of generating income for local communities, improving rural livelihoods and preserving cultural traditions. They provide solutions to balancing conflicting land use interests in forest areas and can reconcile environmental concerns with economic development.

To highlight this, IUCN teamed up with UNESCO and Fairventures Worldwide to organise a session at the European Development Days on 3-4 June in Brussels entitled “Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change Mitigation: From Deforestation to Forest Restoration”. In the session, moderated by the Director of IUCN’s European Regional Office Luc Bas, speakers presented best practices in forest restoration and highlighted the benefits of nature-based solutions for sustainable development.

Wolfgang Baum, manager of Fairventures’ 1mTrees programme, which aims to establish an economically and environmentally sustainable land use practice on the island of Borneo, noted that governments generally have little interest in conservation for conservation’s sake, and that the economic value of forest restoration projects must therefore be made apparent. 1mTrees provides farmers with a way to secure an income by revitalising degraded land with trees and thereby boosting the resilience of their habitat against natural disasters.

Thomas Hirsch, general manager of Pacific Ring Europe, a timber company relying on low-density and fast-growing Albasia Falcata trees, outlined how large agroforestry projects could be made responsible, profitable and sustainable by engaging with local farmers and by creating a demand for lighter wood where customers are traditionally used to resource-heavy timber. He demonstrated ways in which the economic model of his company was contributing to the development of tree farms in Indonesia while helping to take pressure off the virgin forest reserves.

The Chief of UNESCO World Heritage Centre’s Africa Unit, Edmond Moukala N’Gouemo, stressed the fact that cultural traditions are inherently linked to natural habitats. With global deforestation progressing at an unprecedented rate, he warned that we are also putting our valuable cultural heritage at risk, reaffirming that the protection of our ecosystems must be of the highest priority.

Cristiana Pasca Palmer, Head of Unit on climate change at the European Commission’s DG DEVCO, provided a snapshot of actions taken by the EU on the issue of deforestation. Moreover, she once again stressed the inseparable link between ecosystem protection and poverty reduction as a pillar for the EU programme for development.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Conflict Resolution and Management between Local Fishers and Tour Operators in the Okavango Delta’s Panhandle, Botswana

By: K. Mosepele, G. Mmopelwa, D. L. Kgathi, O. Setswalo, B. Mosepele

Conflicts among different fisher groups are a global concern, and the Okavango Delta fishery is no exception, which is composed of commercial, subsistence and recreational fishers. Possibly due to conflicting value/use systems, and ill-defined user rights, there have been documented cases of conflict between commercial and recreational fishers, which may affect livelihoods for local fishers. Therefore, this study’s aim was to identify causes of conflict between these groups and to propose management inventions. Primary data collected in three fishing villages showed that lack of access, misconceptions about each other, and overlapping use were identified as some of the major causes of conflict. Subsequently, this paper proposes a spatial and temporal zoning of fishing grounds as a management tool towards conflict resolution. One proposal is that recreational fishers can utilize the main channel, commercial fishers the floodplains and lagoons, while basket fishers can utilize the fringes of floodplains, lagoons and river channel. Moreover, a co-management regime has also been developed in the fishery, upon which a code of conduct was developed to also reduce conflict in the fishery. It is envisaged that this approach will reduce conflict and create an enabling environment for efficient and sustainable fish utilization in the Delta.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Day of the African Child

International Day of the African Child takes place today the 16th  June , 2015. The Day of the African Child has been celebrated every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organisation of African Unity. It honors those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 on that day. It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children.

In Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, about ten thousand black school children marched in a column more than half a mile long, protesting the poor quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young students were shot, the most famous of which being Hector Peterson. More than a hundred people were killed in the protests of the following two weeks, and more than a thousand were injured. 

Where is Day of the African Child?

When is Day of the African Child?
Tuesday, the 16th of June 2015