Tanzanian Envoy Continues US Tour

Tanzanian Envoy Continues US Tour
Meyasi Meshilieck Mollel, executive director of the Serengeti Preservation Foundation stopped by the International League of Conservation Writers headquarters in Golden, Colorado April 29 to make a presentation to raise the awareness of the Serengeti, its gifts and some of the threats that it currently faces. Meshilieck was greeted by a healthy spring snow storm, one he enjoyed, as it was his first time to be in snow, previously only seeing it from afar, on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. On his US tour Meshilieck will also be sharing the mission of his NGO, the Serengeti Preservation Foundation, that actively gets children and the community involved in environmental education. Through the Community Conservation Program hundreds of primary and secondary students have visited Tanzanian National Parks, many viewing for the first time elephants, giraffes, and other wildlife. SPF also administers radio programs that involve communities in education and dialogue around the Serengeti ecosystem and give them a platform to link traditional values with modern conservation. And through the Conservation Journalism Program SPF is creating a network of trained, passionate and knowledgeable conservation journalists (and journalism students) for both print and electronic media in Tanzania. Meshilieck, a member of ILCW, was in New York City April 23 presenting with Alison Jones, director of No Water No Life, he has also stopped in Washington, DC, and will now be off to Boise, and Berkeley raising funds and awareness along the way.


Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act introduced into Congress

The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act or NREPA was once again introduced into Congress by Rep. Carolyn Malony from New York.

NREPA would protect all the remaining roadless lands in the Northern Rockies by designation under the 1964 Wilderness Act. Conservation scientists recognize Wilderness as the “Gold Standard” for land protection. Read more here.


New Anthology

What is lost in the chatter today is a deeper understanding of the philosophy and science behind the push for a much larger, biodiverse network of protected wildlands and waters. In the last year, Rewilding Earth has greatly ramped up our output from thought leaders who tackle the issues with deeper, more thoughtful writing than what gets bandied about on this day in headlines and tweets.Our aim is to deepen the discussion around large-scale conservation efforts to restore and rewild our planet.

Introducing “Rewilding Earth Unplugged: Best of Rewilding Earth 2018”
An anthology of thirty key articles and associated graphics, addressing fundamental goals of rewilding, including restoring top carnivores, protecting landscape-scale wildways, addressing the human overpopulation crisis, and encouraging coexistence with wildlife species, particularly the big toothy ones.  It will connect readers with many of the leading wilderness and wildlife groups across North America and beyond.
Click here to hear a message about Rewilding Earth Unplugged from our Director, John Davis, about how you can grab your copy while helping to put it in front of many other readers who have yet to gain that deeper understanding.

Innovative solutions

Week after week, we see upsetting consequences of climate change such as floods contaminating our drinking water, worsening algae blooms, conflict and mass human migration. Yet, we also hear about solutions addressing issues such as toxic coal-ash waste. Such consequences demand innovative solutions and stewardship.–The NWNL Team

SOLUTION: Duke Energy Corp must now excavate coal ash from its North Carolina power plant sites, to cut the risks of toxic chemicals leaking into water supplies. Focus on secure storage for coal ash – full of mercury, lead and arsenic – became intensified after a TVA 2008 spill in a Tennessee River tributary. A 2013 NWNL onsite interview with TVA during our Eastern Mississippi Tributaries expedition occurred during their 5th year of cleanup.

CONSEQUENCE: Following historic flooding by the Missouri River and its many Great Plains tributaries this March, more than 1 million private wells now risk flood-water contamination. Due to high levels and swift currents, flood waters pick up raw sewage, animal waste, pesticides and spilled fuel – all posing major health risks. These recent floods have also exposed the weakness of the Midwest levee system.

CONSEQUENCE: The US Environmental Protection Agency says algae blooms in global lakes could rise in number and severity due to population growth and climate change; and that will increase global methane emissions by 30 to 90 percent. More people means more sewage, fertilizers and other nutrients will enter our waterways. By 2050 increased eutrophication of world lakes could rise by 200%.

CONSEQUENCE: Climate change is rendering many lands uninhabitable, thus forcing people to leave their homes. “Climate change refugees” are now found around the world. In Guatemala’s highlands, new weather patterns are wiping out crops and moving out entire communities. New studies show that droughts between 2010 and 2012 contributed to conflict and thus asylum-seekers from northern Africa and western Asia.

The First Green Village in India

By Anne Pinto-Rodrigues (ILCW, Netherlands) Khonoma village in the Indian state of Nagaland is
spearheading community-led conservation in the nation

“I’ve not hunted since 1998,” says Cayievi Zhünyü. Now in his late-70s, Zhünyü lives in Khonoma village, in the Indian state of Nagaland, near the Indo-Myanmar border. In December 1998, hunting was banned in Khonoma’s forests after a 20-square-kilometer (8-square-mile) area was demarcated by the village council as the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary (KNCTS). For Zhünyü and other members of the Angami tribe that call Khonoma home, hunting was not a source of income — it was a sacred cultural practice. “As the hunter, I can never eat what I’ve hunted,” Zhünyü says. “It’s bad luck. Instead, I feed my family and friends with it. Those occasions were some of the happiest moments of my life.” The hunting ban called for a huge shift in the lifestyle of the Khonoma people.

The inflection point came in the early-1990s, when villagers killed as many as 300 endangered Blyth’s tragopan (Tragopan blythii) in one week as part of a hunting competition. For some conservation-minded village elders like Tsilie Sakhrie, this was alarming news. “Even with an airgun, the cheapest gun available, an expert marksman can kill nearly 300 to 400 [common] birds in one day. It would’ve been a very short while before our forests were devoid of any wildlife,” Sakhrie says.

Under the guidance of Thepfulhouvi Angami, then the principal chief conservator of forests in Nagaland, and community leader Niketu Iralu, Sakhrie began to campaign for the creation of a protected area within the 125-square-kilometer (48-square-mile) village, as well as a simultaneous ban on hunting and logging. But convincing the villagers wasn’t easy.

“First, we needed to sensitize the hunters,” says Khriekhoto Mor, another village elder who served as KNCTS chairman from 2014 to 2018. “Angami folklore, an important aspect of our tribe’s culture, is replete with stories of animals, birds and forests. So we had to get [the hunters] to understand that if the hunting continued, their children may never get to see these majestic creatures.” Read more.

Annual Environmental Observances

By Sarah Kearns, NWNL Project Manager

With Earth Day coming up in April – and World Water Day observed just last week –this article will highlight a few important and unique annual observances that are included on the newly updated NWNL Annual Observances Calendar.

International Day of Action for Rivers  Sponsored by International Rivers, this day “celebrates our life-giving waters, and honors all those who have worked hard to ensure that our rivers continue flowing.” Celebrated on March 14, this year was its 22nd anniversary. International Rivers encourages actions planned by communities and stewards that coincide with the theme for the year and register them on their website.

World Water Day  This annual UN observance day highlights the importance of freshwater. The day annually advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Observed March 22, this year’s theme was “Leave No One Behind,” suggesting that as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.

Earth Day – This famous annual celebration on April 22 has included worldwide demonstrations in support of environmental protection. This year’s theme will revolve around protecting species and how the reduction of plant and wildlife populations is directly linked to the effects of human activity.

American Wetlands Month – Sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], this annual observance is celebrated during the month of May. The EPA and its partners – federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit and private sector organizations -celebrate the vital importance of wetlands to the nation’s ecological, economic and social health.

Nature Photography Day – Hosted by North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), this annual observance is celebrated June 15 every year. According to NANPA, this observance “is designated to promote the enjoyment of nature photography, and to explain how images are used to advance the cause of conservation by protecting plants, wildlife, and landscapes locally and worldwide.”

World Water Monitoring Day – Though the day is observed on September 22, the official sponsor, EarthEcho International, encourages participation from World Water Day in March through the end of December each year as part of the EarthEcho Water Challenge. The challenge builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of local waterbodies using kits provided by EarthEcho International

Given these highlights of a handful of the annual observances included on the NWNL Annual Observances Calendar, take a look at the calendar and learn about the rest! Please email us at info@nowater-nolife.org if you know of any additional observances related to water or the environment missing from our calendar. While on our site, check out our NWNL Upcoming Events Calendar to learn about upcoming lectures, exhibits and expeditions, and the new NWNL Progress page to learn about all NWNL has done in the past 13 years! Too see more blog posts click here.



South Africa Rejects Resolution to End Captive Breeding of Lions

By Louise De Waal and Blood Lions

South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) proposed that the Captive Lion Breeding (CLB) industry should continue as long as it is properly regulated and appropriate legislation introduced, at the Portfolio Committee of Environmental Affairs (PCEA) briefing on 12th March 2019 on the implementation of the Committee’s Report in respect of CLB.

This ignores the PCEA resolutions from the two-day Parliamentary Colloquium on CLB in August 2018, which included the resolution (9.1) specifying  that the “DEA should as a matter of urgency initiate a policy and legislative review of CBL for hunting and lion bone trade with a view of putting an end to this practice.” This Resolution was subsequently adopted by parliament making it a Parliamentary Resolution.Currently, South Africa is holding between 9,000-12,000 lions in captivity, in approximately 300 facilities for a number of commercial purposes, including canned hunting, breeding and the lion bone trade.

Blood Lions, a leading organisation that works to end the captive lion breeding, canned hunting and lion bone trade industries in South Africa, is deeply concerned by the outcome of the recent briefing.

To read the entire article, click here.