Reports from the Field


ABCG is lucky to have representatives of member, partner and associated organizations share their field work and experiences across sectors in the African landscape:

June 24, 2014—What have the forest elephants ever done for us?

Dr. Maisels covered the following topics: Current Elephant poaching crisis; Ancient elephant distribution and elimination from much of the Old World; Elephant role in the modern ecosystem; Elephant/ megafauna past role in ecosystems; and repercussions thereof.

June 10, 2014—The Open Parks Network: An Open Knowledge and Learning Platform for Conservation

OPN is a suite of tools using cyberinfrastructure to unite protected areas managers with parks-related information. The Open Parks Network provides park professionals “one-stop shopping” for research and data management platforms to better disseminate the vast amount of knowledge existing in the broad field of park and protected area management.

June 3, 2014—WildLeaks, the First Secure & Anonymous Platform for Wildlife Crime Whistleblowers

WildLeaks is a project that receives/evaluates information on wildlife crimes & transform them into action. Sources remain anonymous & submit information in a secure, encrypted way. It seeks to prevent wildlife crime, facilitate identification, arrest & prosecution of traffickers/corrupt gov't. officials & the trafficking of wildlife products.

May 1, 2014— An Account of the Life-Changing Realities of Rhino Poaching

South Africa's rhino crisis forms a major component of the global, illegal, trade in wildlife. The poaching and the organised crime networks directing them, threaten to have a significant negative effect on conservation, crime and controlled governance in the region. 
Dr. Fowld's conservation involvement until three years ago was focused on developing multi-stakeholder protected areas and fulfilling his passion as a wildlife vet through clinical work and education. This all changed when he became intimately affected by the implications of poaching through the rhino he have been called to, and who had survived being mutilated. At the time, very little was understood about the poaching methods or the systems driving these brutal criminal acts. Dr. Fowlds recorded the first ever live footage of a poaching survivor in Feb 2011 and his personal accounts of these incidences have taken him into spaces within media, politics, environmental governance and corporate social responsibility.

April 3, 2014—Conserving a Species, while Caring about Individuals

Conservation of any species, will only be achieved when local stakeholders value and respect the targeted species.  The Jane Goodall Institiute's commitment to individuals provides an important platform for engaging local stakeholders to consider their actions and interactions with other species.  The results of JGI's public awareness campaign is indicating that a change is taking place and such efforts have not been in vain.

March 6, 2014—Saving Great Apes: Measuring Success in Changing Attitudes & Behaviors

Filmmaker and INCEF Founder Cynthia Moses discusses how the project reaches audiences with 80 to 90 percent illiteracy to change behaviors, measure retained increase of knowledge and changes in attitudes over time and gathering indications of behavioral change.

March 6, 2014—Recent Activities and Challenges facing Garoua Wildlife College in Cameroon--Training Wildlife Professionals in Central and West Africa: Garoua Wildlife College in Cameroon

Garoua Wildlife College (EFG) was created in Cameroon in 1970 to provide in-service wildlife training for francophone government agencies in sub-Saharan Africa.  Since its inception, EFG has trained over 1300 students from 24 different countries. EFG is the only regional wildlife college serving French-speaking Africa, playing a unique role in developing key competencies in wildlife management throughout the sub-region.

January 30, 2014—Empowering Communities to Conserve the Mali Elephants in Times of War and Peace

Africa's northern-most elephant herd migrates 600 kilometers or so from Mali to Burkina Faso and back each year. Drought, land degradation, and increasing human pressure endanger this last herd of the Sahel. The WILD Foundation's Mali Elephant Project (MEP) has persistently secured increasing portions of the Gourma habitat in Mali by working with local communities to establish natural resource management systems that protect the elephant migration route and avoid human-wildlife conflict. MEP trains local people in setting up pastoral and sylvo-pastoral reserves, forestry rules and operations, fire-break construction, water management, health and hygiene, and much more. MEP also fosters the inclusion of local people in decision-making and government agencies. The iconic Mali elephant population has been so far kept mostly safe throughout the recent political coup, lawlessness and conflict in Mali because of MEP efforts to empower local communities to take protective measures. MEP countered efforts by armed groups aspiring to recruit local people into the conflict because of the trust engendered by the success of the project's ongoing work with their communities. By taking an integrated view of the problem in context, the project worked with the local stakeholders to shift the system of land use to one that supports elephant conservation by first establishing a shared vision.

October 24, 2013—25 years of conservation efforts in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda: progress, challenges, lessons learned and way forward

With high human population densities around the park - up to 500 people per square kilometer- and severe poverty in the area, many threats challenge Nyungwe's future, including poaching, mining, tree cutting and fires, often inadvertently set by people smoking bees to aid honey collection.

In 1988, in partnership with the Rwandan government, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) launched the Nyungwe Forest Conservation Project (Projet de Conservation de la Foret de Nyungwe - PCFN), in southwestern Rwanda in order to secure the protection of its significant biodiversity.

The overview of the achievements, challenges and lessons learned during 25 years of partnerships built to help conserve Nyungwe, is the starting point for elaborating the way forward.

September 19, 2013—Right Under our Noses: How Detection Dogs Can Drive Conservation, from Ecological Monitoring to Combating Wildlife Trafficking

Pete Coppolillo presented an overview of the conservation detection dog field and how dogs can help wildlife conservation efforts worldwide, from monitoring cryptic or rare species, to detecting threats like wire snares, to detecting illegal bushmeat and ivory in transit. In this rich presentation, Pete discussed the circumstances under which dogs are preferable to conventional methods and some of the constraints on and concerns about using dogs in the field and the developing world.

August 28, 2013—UPDATE ON THE SANGHA TRI-NATIONAL FOUNDATION--Transboundary conservation, crime and financing

The TNS region is one of the most important conservation areas in Central Africa and is home to large populations of Central African mega fauna including forest elephants, lowland gorillas, chimpanzees and bongo, among others. Besides protecting forests rich in biodiversity, the TNS provides a wide range of ecosystems services to local and indigenous communities, and the global community through carbon storage.

TNS is increasingly threatened by wildlife criminals who are creating a climate of insecurity in the region. The situation was aggravated by the change in government and subsequent crisis since March 23rd 2013.

Against these threats, The TNS Foundation and its partners including WWF and WCS are trying to strengthen the trans-boundary cooperation process and lobby for increased filed staff for surveillance and anti-poaching operations as well as general park management in the three components of the TNS.

July 30, 2013—Transboundary Conservation of Endangered African Wild Dogs

frican wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are the most endangered large carnivore in southern Africa. Latest IUCN estimates suggest there may be as few as 660 breeding packs remaining in the wild. Wild dogs are a low density, wide ranging species, and protecting them into the future requires conservation at a scale rarely considered in terrestrial conservation. The relatively new concept of Transfrontier Parks and Transfrontier Conservation Areas provides an opportunity for implementing conservation practices at the necessary scale. But are these just paper concepts or are they working on the ground for wide ranging species like African wild dogs?

The African Wildlife Conservation Fund has been working in the Zimbabwean part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area for five years. This talk will demonstrate the importance of this globally significant conservation area and outline some of the challenges with transboundary conservation of a highly mobile carnivore.

July 18—AWF-USAID/Uganda Tourism for Biodiversity Program: Improving community opportunities through wildlife habitat conservation

Uganda's protected area system has made significant strides in strengthening its management and capacity over the last decade offering an important foundation for continued development. However, as wildlife in many parts of Uganda spends more time in unprotected lands which were traditionally dispersal areas and wildlife corridors, there is an urgent need to work with communities, private land owners and local authorities to plan, pilot, and realize effective strategies to reduce habitat loss and fragmentation and human-wildlife conflict. These strategies need to provide communities with economic opportunities built on and incentivizing wildlife conservation. Ecotourism or nature-based tourism provides an important vehicle for generating economic benefits from wildlife conservation for communities and land owners, as well as the national government.

June 24—A Holistic Approach to Conservation: WILDERNESS and Leadership for Sustainability

Environmentalist and social entrepreneur Andrew Muir presented a multi-faceted model of nature conservation implemented by the Wilderness Foundation (WF) in South Africa.

Recognizing that the protection and sustainability of South Africa's unique wilderness areas and natural heritage is dependent on socio-political and economic conditions, WF takes a holistic approach to conservation.  Through its Umzi Wethu Academies for Disadvantaged Youth, it trains AIDS orphans and child heads-of-household on the verge of adulthood to become game rangers and chefs, integrating them into the ecotourism industry of South Africa and equipping them with life skills to retain their employability as they earn sustainable income for their families.  Through wilderness trail experiences, Umzi also generates conservation leaders.

May 14, 2013—Miles to Go Before We Sleep: Wildlife Conservation in Botswana’s Okavango Delta

Rich in biodiversity and a world class destination for ecotourists, Botswana is often hailed as a conservation success story. But recent research has indicated that large mammal populations are declining, and growth in the agriculture industry threatens the long-term persistence of wildlife in community-held areas. Ms. Stoner explained why Botswana's Okavango Delta is a unique and important place for wildlife conservation, and why international attention plays an important role in its continued protection. Using research performed in 1995 and 2012, she characterized both the challenges and opportunities for conservationists in the future, with a particular focus on pastoral communities.

May 7, 2013—An Evolving Conservation Model for Africa: Enterprise Investments for Livelihoods & Conservation

At the core of AWF's landscape model is a realization that conservation gains can be made when communities that live alongside wildlife are invested in saving the wildlife resource. This forms the premise of AWF's conservation enterprise program, where AWF facilitates business development by communities in partnership with the private sector. More than 65% of these businesses have focused on tourism enterprises whose success is tied to the preservation of local wildlife and habitat. The partnership deal is brokered by AWF, rooted on equitable revenue sharing between the private investor and the local community, an approach that incentivizes communities to protect local wildlife and habitat resources and disengage from incompatible land uses like slash-and-burn agriculture, charcoal production and poaching.

In this presentation, the case of Satao Elerai Lodge in Kenya is described through detailed financial analysis. The $600,000 investment is a partnership between 250 households / community members and Satao Pvt (Ltd).

April 18, 2013—"Elephants in the Room": The Need to "Out" Conservation

Dr. Ogada talked about the challenges that "dog" African conservation and how they are perceived. He explored the origins of the sector in Kenya and look at how those origins have contributed to its current difficulties. Dr. Ogada discussed the colonial links of conservation structures and how these have persisted in conservation biology, practice, consumptive use of African wildlife, and how they are perpetuated by the media and funders of conservation. This includes the continuous foreign "hegemony" in African conservation study and practice and how the attitude of Africans perpetuates this.

April 4, 2013—WILD 10 - Bridging Wild Nature Conservation & Human Development Goals

Executive Committee Co-Chair Vance Martin presented the aims and projected outcomes of WILD10, to convene in Salamanca, Spain from October 4–10, 2013. The WWC is the world's longest-running international, public conservation program involving many thousands of people from over 100 nations since its founding in 1974. WILD10 will provide an actual and virtual global, interactive forum among political leaders, royalty, renowned scientists, NGO and business executives, and community and tribal leaders, as well as other government and NGO conservation and development professionals plus young professionals and youth, artists, photographers and writers, landowners, sportsmen, people of all faiths and more. The presentation centered on the formation of several new Coalitions driven by WILD10—on a new Nature Strategy for Sustainable Development, WILD Water, WILD Cities, CoalitionWILD and WildSpeak—designed to launch at WILD10 with an ongoing mission of capacity-building and strategic policymaking.  Key to WILD10 success is bridging the international conservation and development professions and nowhere is this more important than in Africa. Africa-based models such as The Mali Elephants Project, KAZA, the Serengeti Legacy Ecosystem, and solutions to the escalating poaching crisis will be shared. After an initial presentation, Vance described the process of how to engage and utilize WILD10 and the Coalitions in an interactive dialogue with ABCG participants.

March 7, 2013—Painted Dog: Using Science to Conserve an Endangered Predator

Dr. Rasmussen's lecture delved into the unique ecology of this enigmatic canid including pivotal research understanding; and how by understanding the painted dog in a landscape dominated by negative attitude and misconceptions lead to changing attitudes of Ranchers and the general public. He discussed steps taken to transform the fortunes of the highly endangered painted dog from perceived pest into a valued animal both within the local community and nationally; and to the birth of Painted Dog Conservation that is a conservation model for Painted Dogs.

Accompanying material:

This presentation inclues a link to the audio-visual recording here; and

the multimedia pdf slideshow here

March 5, 2013—Sustainable Pastoralism: Opportunities for nature conservation, rural and international development, and conflict resolution

Pastoralism is the most extended livelihoods in marginal lands, comprising Drylands, mountains and the world's cold areas. The relationship between healthy soils, biodiversity conservation and sustainable animal husbandry practices, invariably linked with adequate forms of governance on land use, has been well established both in developed and in developing economies. However, governments tend to ignore or negate this evidence and pastoralist lands are more prone to suffer from chronic insecurity and conflict problems (such as Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa or the Saharo-Sahelian region) or from food crises - the latter often related with hurdles to mobility. The WISP (World Initiative for Sustainable Pastoralism) programme of IUCN has reviewed the links between these factors and its consequences to facilitate global learning and better integrated understanding of pastoralist systems. Best practices have also been identified, such as allowing traditional activities in conservation areas or the establishment of Indigenous Communities Conserved Areas. The work done in networking with pastoralist collectives can also facilitate a fruitful dialogue at the local, national, regional and global level.

Accompanying material:

Find the audio-visual recording of the meeting here.

Download the summary WISP document here (Supporting Sustainable Pastoral Livelihoods - A Global Perspective on Minimum Standards and Good Practices).

Policy note: Sustainable pastoralism - moving forward with appropriate policies.

January 29, 2013—Assessing Mangrove Carbon Pools in the Zambezi Delta, Mozambique: A Pilot Baseline Assessment for REDD+ Reporting and Monitoring

Carl Trettin, Ph.D. discussed the establishment of a pilot Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) mangrove project, as part of USAID/Mozambique's Climate Change Program. Mozambique has been identified as a country that is vulnerable to negative impacts from Climate Change, and one that also holds great potential to benefit from REDD+ carbon financing programs. Mozambique holds an estimated 291,146 to 368,000ha of mangrove, with approximately 28% occurring in the Zambezi delta.

The USFS is working with WWF, the University Eduardo Mondlane, and the Government of Mozambique, to build capacity and develop replicable methodologies for determination of the carbon stocks of mangrove forests and associated land uses in the Zambezi Delta region of Mozambique. This work will also be incorporated into the national REDD+ and MRV program and help to establish baselines for REDD+ or other climate change mitigation activities in mangroves.

Accompanying this persentation are the slides, audio-visual recording, and a recent workshop held in Maputo, Mozambique, 29th–31st October 2012, titled WIO-­‐ Mangroves and Carbon Assessment Regional Workshop.

December 11, 2012—Timber Best Practice Guidelines for Protected Areas Management in Gabon

Caroline Winchester discussed the project she worked on and lessons learned with ANPN (L'Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux). Ms. Winchester assisted ANPN in the creation of best practice guidelines for timber operations conducted within the 5km buffer zones surrounding national parks.

To create these guidelines, Ms. Winchester synthesized Gabonese laws, stakeholder input, and twelve best management practice guidelines into one document. She then compared and altered the guidelines according to the realities of logging in Gabon by working extensively with Olam Timber Gabon and David Fournier, a USFS expert hired as a Technical Advisor to ANPN on buffer zone management. Upon the completion of the guidelines they will be utilized by ANPN to serve as the basis for a tool to rate timber companies' compliance with best management practices. The guidelines can be utilized by timber operators, auditors, and national park managers, and serve to ensure that the integrity of Gabon's national parks remains intact.

This task served to aid in the larger goal of establishing a system to protect Gabon's national parks from the recently expanding timber industry.

October 31, 2012 — An Innovative Approach for Community Based Natural Resources Management in the Kafue Ecosystem in Western Zambia

Patricia Mupeta-Muyamwa, The Nature Conservancy's (TNC) Zambia community conservation program officer gave an overview of TNC's is engagement with the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), the community in the Mulobezi Game Management Area (GMA), and others to help address threats including expanding human settlements, high levels of poverty and unemployment, deforestation, watershed degradation, conversion of pristine lands to agriculture, illegal hunting and unmanaged fire. She described TNC's participatory approach to CBNRM in Mulobezi GMA; assisting ZAWA rehabilitate Park infrastructure; training, equipping and deploying game scouts; improving fire management and monitoring of fire and wildlife populations; and facilitating tourism investment. Muteta-Muyamwa's presentation addressed some of the issues around fire, the challenges of dealing with fire on a large scale in a remote and inaccessible landscape, and TNC's plans for managing fire.

October 18, 2012 — The Nexus of Biodiversity Conservation and Law Enforcement: The Case of Maringa-Lopori-Wamba Landscape in DRC

Jef Dupain topic delved into the case of unsustainable bush meat hunting in the Congo Basin, and a general understanding that development of alternative livelihoods is needed to mitigate the impacts of unsustainable bush meat hunting and trade. For Central Africa, great apes and elephants are amongst the targeted species. The escalating illegal hunting and demise of key species' populations is an indication of conservation failing to meet its crucial goals.

October 4, 2012Integrating Traditional Knowledge into the PA Policies Process to Improve Conservation in Eastern DRC

Dominique Bikaba's persentation covered aspects of community forestry managment, land conflicts, alternative livelihood options particularly for former poachers, and indigenous leadership in conservation and institutions.

'Bikaba has found creative ways to conserve local and indigenous communities in the environment they inhabit. The two million trees he has grown have been used for cooking fires and school desks.  Bikaba not only brings the forest to the community, but he shows that when it comes to peacemaking, a sustainable community is also important. He is "like a light in the village" amid the deadliest war in the world.'

—Enough Project

October 3, 2012 — Bioko Island: Where the Wild Things Are... for now

Dr. Shaya Honarvar is a biologist and a conservationist who has been working on Bioko Island since 2007 as the Research Coordinator for the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program. Honarvar’s presentations highlighted the population dynamics and health assessment of leatherback sea turtles on Bioko Island, physiological and ecological aspects of gas exchange by sea turtle eggs, and involvement of local communities in wildlife conservation. She discussed primate research with graduate students at Drexel University on the impact of hunting on the primates of Bioko Island and the feeding ecology of drill and pennant's red colobus. Her recent work includes data collecting on the feeding ecology and behavior of drills through direct observation, and partnership building with local communities and government agencies.

—Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program

August 15, 2012 — Claudine Andre, Founder, Lola ya Bonobo

Protecting Bonobos—Rescue, Rehabilitation and Conservation Education in the DRC

In 1994 Claudine André created the association Friends of Animals in Congo, which later became Friends of Bonobos of Congo (les Amis des Bonobos du Congo - ABC) in 2002, when the Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary was established (with 20 orphaned bonobos under their care).

Lola ya Bonobo is the world's only bonobo sanctuary, and ABC is the only institution in the DRC that is officially authorized to receive bonobos confiscated by the Ministry of Environment or voluntarily turned over by their owners.

Originally established to help provide refuge for bonobos rescued from the bushmeat and pet trades, ABC's programs have expanded in scope and scale over the years. Today ABC has an integrated bonobo conservation program that includes the rescue and rehabilitation of orphan bonobos at the sanctuary, environmental education activities in and around Kinshasa and within targeted bonobo habitat areas, as well as the world's first ever release of bonobos into the wild.

June 7, 2012 — Jefferson Hall,Agua Salud Project, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama

The Myth and Reality of Ecosystem Services in Seasonal Tropical Froests: Lessons from the Agua Salud Project

Jefferson and his colleagues have been investigating the ecosystems services provided by tropical forests within the Panama Canal watershed and how they change with land use and climate change. His research involving developing hydrological models and land use is applicable across the tropics including African forests.

Dr. Hall's research is grounded by the fact that, despite our best efforts, we continue to lose forest annually across the tropics. Human populations continue to grow in the tropics and around the world such that an ever growing population will be forced to rely on diminishing mature forests as well as planted and naturally regenerating secondary forests for these goods and services. Dr. Hall leads both the PRORENA (Native Species Reforestation) and Agua Salud Projects in Panama. He is involved in silviculture and forest management research in Central Africa and sits on the Advisory Board of the Environmental leadership Training Imitative (ELTI).

April 12, 2012 — Dario Merlo, Project Coordinator, Jane Goodall Institute, Community Centered Conservation Program

Ensuring the Survival of Great Apes in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dario Merlo's presentation provided a brief background on the Jane Goodall Institutes Community-Centered Conservation Programs in the DRC, and focused on the more recent efforts of facilitating the development of a Conservation Action Plan (CAP) for great apes in Eastern DRC.  The CAP process brought together government and non-government organizations working on conservation and development to discuss the threats to chimpanzees and the Grauer's gorillas, and develop strategies to address them, so as to ensure their survival.

April 5, 2012Shivani Bhalla, Founder, Ewaso Lions

Securing a Future for Lions through Community Conservation in Northern Kenya

Wildlife biologist Shivani Bhalla, a Kenyan national, provided an overview on the Ewaso Lions Project she founded in northern Kenya. Ewaso Lions seeks to reduce the conflict between lions and humans and, thus, arrest the rapid decline of lion populations that have suffered a staggering population loss within the last 30 years. Her presentation gave a rare insight into lion conservation efforts within northern Kenya, including integrated cultural and ecological investigative methods; and participatory programs such as warrior watch and a ‘Running for Lions’ community marathon.


January 12, 2012Heidi Ruffler, Country Director, Equatorial Guinea, Conservation International

Equatorial Guinea's Economic Boom: Effects on Apes & Elephants

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (EG) is a small country rich in biodiversity located in western Central Africa. It has been undergoing rapid economic growth since the discovery of offshore oil in the 1990s and according to the IMF and The Economist, experienced the highest GDP per capita increase globally between 2001 and 2010. Unfortunately, the benefits of this rapid economic growth have yet to be distributed widely. The EG government is now moving at a fast pace towards national development by 2020, focusing on economic diversification and provision of basic services - including water, electricity and roads - across the country. Much could be done, however, for this development to become more sustainable and move towards a green economy paradigm that benefits both wildlife and people in EG.

Until recently, very little was known about the status of wildlife in EG, although it was clear that changes brought about by the oil boom, such as increased commercial bushmeat hunting and rapid infrastructure development, would likely have long-term negative impacts. With partners from the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the EG government and the people of EG, CI recently completed the first nationwide census for apes and elephants in EG with funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, a private donor and with ongoing support from USAID/CARPE.

CI hopes that the dissemination of information gathered during this census will serve to guide development plans towards a green economy that benefits both wildlife and people, in part by highlighting the value of healthy ecosystems in providing ongoing ecosystem services for nutrition, building supplies, medicine and income. Join us to hear the preliminary results of our ape/elephant census and to find out what CI and partners are doing on several fronts to address the threats and needs faced by wildlife and people and to work towards a green economy in EG.

December 12, 2011Dr. Tim Tear, Director of Science, The Nature Conservancy-Africa Region

Using Return-on-Investment to Identify Conservation Priorities in Africa

In the current world of diminished economic resources, environmental conservation activities must continue to become more efficient and effective.  This reality has fueled research to improve conservation priority setting, where recent advances have focused on explicitly incorporating the economic costs of conservation along with better defining the outcomes of these expenditures.   We demonstrate how new global and continental data that spans social, economic, and ecological sectors creates an opportunity to incorporate return-on-investment (ROI) principles into conservation priority setting for Africa.  We suggest that combining priorities across terrestrial, freshwater, and coastal marine environments provides a new lens for setting global conservation priorities that may identify areas of important ecosystem service benefits to society.  We illustrate how spatially explicit, yet flexible ROI analysis can help to better address uncertainty, risk, and opportunities. Given the need to improve conservation in light of decreasing resources and increasing urgency due to climate change, we propose that adopting a flexible ROI framework to set conservation priorities in Africa conservation has multiple benefits.

September 29, 2011Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld, African People & Wildlife Fund, Tanzania

A 21st Century Approach to African Wildlife Conservation: Helping Africa’s People Engage in the Conservation Arena

On 29 September 2011, ABCG held a brown bag presentation and discussion  featuring Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld from the African People & Wildlife Fund and hosted by The Nature Conservancy. A co-founder of the African People & Wildlife Fund (APW), Dr. Lichtenfeld is helping to build the capacity of rural Africans to engage in environmental conservation and sustainable livelihood strategies that promote the dual objectives of biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation. She presented examples from APW’s programs in the Maasai Steppe of northern Tanzania including the unique Living Walls project, protecting livestock, saving lions. 


May 6, 2011Dr. Bernard Kissui, African Wildlife Foundation, Tanzania

Status and Conservation of the Lion Population in the Maasai Steppe, Northern Tanzania

Dr. Bernard Kissui
Research Scientist, African Wildlife Foundation

African lions and their continued survival are among today’s major international conservation issues. Scientists believe lion populations have declined from a high of 100,000 two decades ago to just 23,000 today. With intimate knowledge of the Maasai Steppe Heartland and its carnivores, AWF is overseeing extensive lion research, under the guidance of Dr. Bernard Kissui. His research focuses on the demography of lions and human-lion conflicts in and around Tarangire National Park. Dr. Kissui will discuss the causes of livestock predation by lions, including both human and ecological factors, and the drivers, impacts and solutions related to retaliatory lion killing. Conflict mitigation strategies include reinforcement of bomas, formation of village game scouts and more.

    May 4, 2011 - Alastair McNeilage, Wildlife Conservation Society, Uganda

    Wildlife Conservation and Economic Growth in Uganda

    Alastair McNeilage
    Uganda Country Director, Wildlife Conservation Society

    The Wildlife Conservation Society has been working to protect Uganda’s rich biodiversity since 1957, and has been implementing the USAID-funded WILD program since 2007. WILD focuses on important landscapes for biodiversity in northern and western Uganda. The program works to strengthen the management of the protected areas that form the ecological core of these landscapes, while also promoting land use and livelihoods that support biodiversity conservation on surrounding land and in wildlife corridors.

    This presentation highlights the main achievements of the WILD program and lessons learned; and discusses future critical priorities to ensure that wildlife and biodiversity conservation continue to serve Uganda’s sustainable economic growth. Threats to wildlife in Uganda include burgeoning human population and resultant encroachment, human-wildlife conflict, conflict over resource use rights. Identifying ways forward through promotion of sustainable livelihoods is critical, as is implementation of environmentally sensitive oil exploration and extraction from Uganda’s newly-discovered oil reserves.  The presentation focuses on how these threats and challenges can be addressed to ensure sustainable economic benefits of tourism and conservation for local communities and the national economy.

      March 31, 2011Kame Westerman and Matthew Erdman, Blue Ventures, Madagascar

      Experiences from Coastal Madagascar: The Importance of Integrated Population, Health and Environment Programming in Achieving Conservation Results

      Kame Westerman and Matthew Erdman
      Blue Ventures Conservation, Madagascar

      Blue Ventures is an award-winning marine conservation organization dedicated to conservation, education and sustainable development in tropical coastal communities. Through its marine expeditions, volunteers from around the world join Blue Ventures on career breaks, student gap years and internships, working closely with our field research teams, in partnership with local communities. Blue Ventures has a team of dedicated researchers and volunteers who study all aspects of the marine ecosystem - from fish species and coral all the way through to local fishing techniques and ways of life. Kame Westerman and Matthew Erdman work with Blue Ventures Conservation in rural southwest Madagascar, coordinating the community-based marine conservation program and family planning/community health program respectively.

      February 22, 2011Jean-Bernard Yarissem, WWF-CARPO, Central African Republic

      Conservation in the Central African Republic: Threats and Successes

      Presented by
      Jean-Bernard Yarissem
      Country Program Officer, World Wildlife Fund-Central African Republic

      Home to an amazing amount of biodiversity, the forests of Central Africa’s Congo Basin face threats from logging, commercial bushmeat hunting and increasing investment in large-scale extractive industries. WWF is working to halt the loss of forest and freshwater biodiversity by strengthening the network of protected areas and building conservation partnerships with governments and local people, enabling the sound use of natural resources and sustainable development. Jean-Bernard Yarissem provided an overview of WWF’s Central African Republic Country Program, including national partners, challenges, key successes and a vision for the future.

      January 14, 2011Heidi Ruffler, Conservation International, Equatorial Guinea

      Equatorial Guinea: An Emerging Frontier of Conservation and Development

      Presented by Heidi Ruffler
      Country Director, Equatorial Guinea, Conservation International

      The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (EG) is only as big as the state of Maryland, but is home to the fourth highest primate species richness in all of Africa and a breathtaking array of biodiversity. With the discovery of offshore oil in the 1990s, EG has recently gone through incredibly rapid economic growth. In 2007, EG was estimated to be the third largest oil producer per capita, after Qatar and Kuwait.

      People in EG are culturally connected to the forest; with rural poverty widespread, many depend on forest ecosystem services such as bushmeat for nutrition and income. Changes brought about by the oil boom, such as increased commercial bushmeat hunting and rapid infrastructure development, are likely to have long-term negative impacts on EG’s biodiversity. Find out what CI and partners are doing on several fronts to address the threats and needs faced by wildlife and people and to work towards a green economy in EG.

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