China to Host WILD 11 in 2019

Vance Martin, President of the WILD Foundation, and leaders from the Global Times, People’s Daily, and the China Institute of Strategy and Management participate in the January 20, 2018 announcement that China will host the 11th World Wilderness Congress in Beijing 2019.

The 11th World Wilderness Congress (WILD 11) will be held in Beijing in late 2019. As China comes to terms with the high ecological cost of rapid industrialization, people around the world are also waking up to the fact that we are in the midst of the sixth great extinction. At this singular moment in Chinese and world history, China’s commitment to strengthen international leadership for the protection of wild nature through the WILD11 process promises groundbreaking opportunities for East-West and global coordination on conservation challenges.

The first World Wilderness Congress (WWC) was hosted by South Africa in 1977. Since then the WWC has inspired and facilitated the development and implementation of practical outcomes that protect wild nature while meeting the needs of human communities. A sampling of outcomes over 40 years include initiating the process leading to the creation of the World Bank’s Global Environmental Facility (GEF); founding the International League of Conservation Photographers; creating new and strengthening existing protected nature areas; and facilitating the creation of the first transboundary conservation area between Mexico and the United States (total area of some 1.5 million hectares, over 3.5 million acres); and many more. More details are available here>
As the Chinese and international Secretariats are created, details will be formulated on both the lead-up events and the exact dates, goals and programme of WILD11 itself. Preliminary information and the channel to become involved is available at>


U.S. National Public Lands Day

Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. It celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and general health. This year’s event, on September 22, 2018, will focus on restoration and resilience of our public lands.

There are many ways to participate in National Public Lands Day.

You can visit a national park for free

You can take part in a volunteer work project.If you volunteer on this day, you will receive a fee-free day coupon to be used on a future date.

You can share your favorite outdoor activity on social media channel with the hashtag #NPSVolunteer, #FindYourPark and #NPLD!

National Public Lands Day is organized annually by the National Environmental Education Foundation, in cooperation with Department of the Interior, Department of the Army, and Department of Agriculture. The National Park Service is one of the event’s largest providers of sites and volunteers. Other participating federal agencies include the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, US Forest Service, and US Army Corps of Engineers.

Residences for writers in Switzerland

Applications are now closed for 2019 session

Seven residential modules available to writers at the Jan Michalski Foundation in Switzerland.

The Jan Michalski Foundation in Montricher, Switzerland features an original group of seven residential modules that are available to writers, translators, and other creative individuals for residencies of varying lengths. Hanging from the openwork canopy surrounding the Foundation, these living spaces are called “treehouses” and offer ideal conditions to anyone looking to start, continue, or put the final touches on a writing or translating project.

Residences are open to all types of writing. Priority is given to writers and translators but the residences are open to other disciplines where writing is at the heart of the project. Residencies can be granted for individual projects or projects in pairs.

In 2019, a percentage of the residences will be dedicated to nature writing, a form of fiction or creative non-fiction that raises awareness of nature, prepares for a sustainable way of living, and helps to better understand socio-environmental interconnections and the impact of human actions on nature.

Mara River Basin in Eastern Africa

Alison Jones, ILCW member (USA) and founder of No Water No Life, has been in East Africa surveying the recent activity on the Mara River. She reports that Kenya is committed to protect 70 new “water towers” (headwater forests) of the Mara and other Kenya Rivers to stop soil erosion, illegal logging and drought from further degrading these transboundary lifelines of water. Kenya will increase its forest cover from its current 7.2% (below UN standards) to 15% by 2020 to insure clean and sufficient water flows in the Mara and other Kenya Rivers. Earlier plans were to expand forest cover to merely 10% by 2030. Kenya will give farmers incentives to increase forest cover by planting indigenous trees and high-value fruit trees, as well as retaining trees that deliver multiple ecosystem services.

Happenings at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

The Lewa-Borana area in Kenya is working with the Il Ngwesi, a community conservancy that adjoins Lewa on the north, in partnering on rhino protection. Il Ngwesi’s 22,000 acres added into a rhino conservation partnership could hold at least 150 black rhinos. This safer habitat for all wildlife is a more secure landscape for people and sustainable tourism opportunities. Lewa is also working to provide more opportunities for Women through the Lewa Micro-Credit Programme. They are partnering with two groups: Women’s Microfinance Initiative(WMI) and KIVA. Support for Education—through their Giving Tuesday campaign Lewa will engage 50 students to attend their first year of secondary school in 2018. The Big Give donations will facilitate 10 school groups of 50 children each to visit Lewa for a conservation experience. And Guest Numbers are up—the tourism arm of Lewa contributes at least one third to their operations. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since. 2013. For more information about Lewa and all they offer, click here.

Southern Plains Land Trust 20th Anniversary Celebration

The Southern Plains Land Trust (SPLT) is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a fundraising event October 19. 2018 in Denver. SPLT has protected more than 25,000 acres of prairie land in southeastern Colorado. Part of which, the Heartland Ranch Nature Preserve, is nearly 30-square miles and larger in size than any of Colorado’s state parks. To purchase tickets for the fundraiser click here.

Once Around the Sun with the Calanda Wolves

The European Wilderness Society writes in their blog about a new web documentary about the famous Swiss Wolf-pack brought to film by Peter Dettling. The Swiss filmmaker followed the wolves from 2013 to 2016 resulting in a 52-episode documentary (one episode per week) about the wolves who had been absent from the Swiss Alps for 150 years. See the European Wilderness Society blog post here for more information.

Wild Heart

We are god’s funny family talking on a big open radio line

By Michael McBride

Soul Lions hide in the dry language grasses,

Speak your poetry aloud,
Set fire to the thickets,
Drive the lions toward us.
Wade into the streams of your emotions,

Your torn shirt in tatters, some blood on your sleeve,
Wrap this new dawn around yourself without hesitation.

Claim nothing, regret but little, be one with the world,
Abandon the word struggle from your vocabulary,
Become an ember that is coaxed to flame by the breeze.

Fill your dreams with longing,
For birds and flowers and children

(apologies to Coleman Barks and Jelaluddin Rumi)

A Watershed Thankful List

By Alison M. Jones


For 12 years, NWNL has documented six case-studies in North America and Eastern Africa – as well as a Spotlight on the ongoing 7-year California Drought. Thus, this week (Nov 20) we want to share our appreciation of nature’s miracles and human stewardship in these special watersheds! NWNL says THANK YOU for the following:


  • The 700,000 Sandhill Cranes that, in the midst of their 5,000-mile, 1,000,000-year-old spring migration, still roost in Nebraska’s historic prairie on the banks and shallows of the braided The Platte River, a tributary to the Mississippi River.


  • Coordination between scientists, stewards, stakeholders and government representatives within The Mara River Basin working with transboundary colleagues to save forests and water flows for the sake of iconic wildlife, farmers and indigenous peoples.


  • Ongoing support for those in so many California Watersheds struggling with devastation fires and mudslides in that state’s Central Valley, Napa Valley, Paradise, and Coastal Communities.


  • Billions of oysters are thriving again in The Raritan Bay, filtering out hundreds of thousands of pounds of pollutants trillions of gallons of water.


  • Pacific Northwest Native American and First Nation stewards in The Columbia River Basin, leading efforts to protect and open migratory routes now blocked by dams for salmon needing access to their spawning grounds and orca whales reliant on salmon for their survival.


  • The quiet guardianship of and by gorillas in rainforests that store rains that are the fresh water supplies for the Ugandan headwaters of the White Nile River.


  • The sustainability of communities and cultures that have persevered for over 6,000 years along the banks of Ethiopia’s Omo River and the shorelines of its terminus, Kenya’s Lake Turkana, despite the harsh desert conditions of their lands.


To see the photos and for more information click here.