Historically, most African wildlife films have been produced by Westerners for Western audiences. Paula Kahumbu, a Kenyan wildlife conservationist, is working to change that. She is the CEO of the nonprofit WildlifeDirect, which produces a documentary series featuring African storytellers such as herself telling the stories of African conservation heroes.
Eastern and Southern Africa will take the next Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to another ugly argument about ivory trade. They are pitching for a big fight. Kenya and her 'friends' want to transfer all elephants to be on Appendix I, which will send a clear message - NO IVORY TRADE for anyone.
A court in Tanzania has convicted and sentenced Yang Feng Glan, infamously named ‘The Ivory Queen’ and two of her associates to 15 years in prison. This is welcomed news signaling an end to a 5 year protracted case where Ms. Yang and two Tanzanians were charged with economic crimes for trafficking in more than 706 pieces of elephant tusks in 2014.
On August 30, WildlifeDirect hosted Richard Turere and Tiassa Mutunkei, two amazing youth who represent the younger generation in Kenya that are passionate about conserving our wildlife. Over the years, WildlifeDirect has walked with these young wildlife warriors over the years and supported them in their quest to pursue conservation goals and inspire others to follow suit.
A High Court Judge set free a convicted ivory trafficker, Feisal Ali Mohammed, who was serving a 20 year sentence and a penalty fine of 20 million shillings (USD 200,000). Feisal had already served two years of his sentence after being found guilty of trafficking in 2,152 kilograms of elephant ivory before the High Court reversed his conviction and sentence.
There are three Kenyans on INTERPOL’s worlds’ most wanted criminal list. They are not terrorists with ties to Al Shabaab or ISIS, neither are they drug traffickers. They are not even human traffickers or illegal arms dealers. They are all elephant ivory traffickers.
On June 23, the Great Grevy's Rally results were released at the Great Grevy's Ball 2018 in Laikipia. Despite many challenges that faced Kenya, Grevy’s zebras have weathered the prolonged drought, increased competition with livestock and increased poaching and disease.
As the first quarter of 2018 comes to a close we reflect on the highs and the lows for conservation. Poaching is down and our court monitoring work reveals greater number of convictions and jail sentencing.
Today is International Women’s Day. We can’t keep complaining about how men treat us when we don’t treat each other fairly, with compassion and empathy. Let’s do something to make it mean something.