Archive for January, 2015

Unexpected elevation to ‘monument’ status saves African Heritage House from demolition

AFRICAN HERITAGE HOUSE WINS BATTLE WITH THE RAILWAY

(Posted 31st January 2015)

Alan Donovan and his supporters will no doubt be sleeping better after the latest Kenya Gazette of 23rd of January – the gazette is the government’s official notification organ which makes laws and public service announcements ‘legal’ – published a notice declaring the African Heritage House a national monument.

Long seen as one of Kenya’s foremost modern day architectural treasures, home to the arguably widest private collection of African art and treasures, was the house for long under threat of demolition to make way for the new standard gauge railway.

Efforts to scare and intimidate Alan Donovan went as far as some purported Chinese construction company workers (China Road and Bridges), in the presence of uniformed Kenyan policemen, tried to bully Alan at his own front door. The dual outcome of that attempt was that Alan had to be hospitalized to be treated for hypertension and dangerously high blood pressure while on the upside it helped to galvanize support to preserve his life’s work.

Numerous petitions were floated, signed and delivered and a number of highly publicized articles published in support of the African Heritage House including one here.

(The previous article from July last year, alerting a wider public about the threat to this treasure, can be accessed by clicking on the following link: https://wolfganghthome.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/the-survival-of-the-african-heritage-house-hangs-by-a-thread/)

The origins of the house go back to the early days after independence when Kenya’s first Vice President Joseph Murumbi and Alan met and teamed up to preserve the personal collection of Murumbi and give it a place in Kenya for future generations to see and enjoy.

Reactions among Kenyans was swift and overwhelmingly positive when it became more widely known earlier this week that the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Sports had elevated the African Heritage House into the ranks of national monuments, no doubt taking into account the public mood and wide support for Donovan.

This is a big win for conservation of national art and treasures. The new railway played their cards very badly in this case. Intimidation failed, nearly killed Alan through his high blood pressure but ultimately failed. If these Chinese had any sense they would have engaged with us and considered the alternative routes which bypass the house. Even now is the present railway between the house and the national park. But it is obvious they thought they had protection and could bulldoze anything in their way from buildings to the voices of reason. Well they failed. It is another PR disaster for the Chinese. They already have a sullied reputation over poaching and other bad practices. Perhaps they learn a lesson from how Kenyans can unite for a good cause and defeat bad plans’ wrote one of the sources who initially tipped this correspondent off to the woes of the African Heritage House.

Plans are reportedly now underway to secure the long term future of the house and the collections in it. The legacy of Murumbi and Donovan is clearly important for Kenya as a country and future generations and from the grapevine comes talk that Alan is in talks with, among others, the National Museums of Kenya as well as foreign NGO’s and foundations to strike a deal on how the newly bestowed status of the house can become the basis for a renewed lease of life.

Congratulations to the many individuals and organizations who helped to make this happen, among them Emma Too who fought the good fight with Alan and kudos to the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Sports. He no doubt defied a few high ranking officials in government for whom ‘progress and development’, even at the expense of destroying Kenya’s heritage – both culture and wildlife by the way – is all that matters.

Well, to those go my mega barbs and along with it my advice to hang their heads in shame and repent and perhaps learn a lesson, if at all they are capable of learning.

For more information about the African Heritage House visit http://www.africanheritagebook.com/housemain.html

Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority set to upgrade and expand domestic terminal on Mahe

NEW DOMESTIC TERMINAL RE-DEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCED FOR THE AIRPORT ON MAHE

(Posted 31st January 2015)

Details are beginning to emerge from the Seychelles that the domestic terminal at the international airport is due for some major upgrading and expansion. Work is reportedly going to commence in February when all operations, i.e. arrivals and departures, will for the time being be combined in the present departure section of the domestic terminal while a new departure section will be constructed. This part of the project is estimated to last until December this year and when complete will then, in the next phase, see the existing departure section upgraded and modernized before being turned into a dedicated arrivals lounge, expected ready by mid to late 2016. Enhanced security features will be incorporated to meet the latest international standards.

From information received will a third phase follow which will include space for commercial activities like car hire, a foreign exchange bureau, a restaurant and shops.

The domestic terminal is serving dozens of flights every day from the scheduled services of Air Seychelles between Mahe to Praslin to charters by Air Seychelles and other local airlines to the more distant islands with airstrips like Bird Island, Desroches and others.

More information about the 115 islands which make up the Seychelles archipelago can be found by clicking on www.seychelles.travel

RhiNEWS January 2015: South Africa’s poaching crisis, Indian community conservation, Javan rhino footage & Valentine’s blind date!

2015 was a sad year for the rhinos in Southern Africa with more than 1.200
killed for their horns. Have a look at
the latest news from Save the Rhino International
to stay updated about rhino conservation and
the ongoing challenges of it.

Welcome to January’s RhiNEWS bringing you updates from Save the Rhino and rhino news from around the world! Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
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RhiNEWS_Title_left.jpg JANUARY 2015
This year started with the announcement that another grim rhino poaching record was set in South Africa during 2014, for the eighth consecutive year. Read more below and also an account from the rangers on the front-line.

This month we also bring you news from Asia, including an update on the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 programme, and incredible must-watch film footage of the elusive Javan rhino.

And don’t forget with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, share the rhino love with our cute cuddly rhinos and rhino heart keyrings!

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South African poaching update

6b7f93b6-6ff2-460d-9c77-52a2db1f3bd8.jpgOne rhino was poached every eight hours for its horn in South Africa last year. The official figures show that a shocking 1,215 rhinos were illegally killed in the country in 2014.

In a press briefing, Edna Molewa (the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs) outlined steps that are being taken to put a stop to the crisis, including translocations, proactive anti-poaching initiatives, use of forensic technology, increased arrests and prosecutions and international collaboration.

But more government commitment is needed to stop the crisis, especially in terms of arrests and sentencing. Visit our website to read more about what the latest figures mean.

Donate now to support South African rhinos >

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How can piglets help conserve India’s rhinos?

3f7d0c42-fee8-4eeb-af71-6e1b5521f23a.jpg It’s not often that you associate piglets with rhino conservation! But these little creatures are being used as part of a community conservation programme to gain support for the protection of India’s Greater one-horned rhino.

The Indian Rhino Vision 2020, launched in 2005, aims to increase Assam’s rhino population to 3,000 by 2020. The programme involves rhinos being translocated to new protected areas, with the next planned reintroduction for Laokhowa-Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary early this year.

Save the Rhino is supporting two local community-based NGOs to work at the grassroots level at two sites, to implement livelihood and awareness activities through a small grants programme. For rhino conservation to be successful it is essential to work with the local communities living in the villages surrounding the rhino areas.

Read more about the programme >

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Incredible Javan rhino footage!

f68b70b2-5fbf-423d-aaa7-549936536622.jpg Last year, wildlife photographer Stephen Belcher travelled deep into the Ujung Kulon National Park on an expedition to capture the elusive Javan rhino on camera. Along with taking 14 fascinating high-quality photos, he also recorded film footage of the species which you can view in his must-watch short video.

Up until recently less than 50 Javan rhinos were thought to exist. However last year, a study using video camera traps yielded images of 58 (possibly as many as 61) individually identifiable rhinos, providing hope for the species’ recovery.

Watch the video > and find out more about Javan rhino conservation.

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The human cost of the rhino poaching crisis

1fe45379-72a8-4e48-b4fa-1eb53d3cf2e5.jpg Every day brave rangers across Africa and Asia are risking their lives to protect the world’s five rhino species. With the increasing involvement of ruthless criminal syndicates, today’s poaching gangs are armed and dangerous. The poaching crisis isn’t just affecting rhinos, it’s having a major impact on human lives also.

Click here to read an account from South Africa’s uMkhuze Reserve, where rangers encountered three armed poachers on Christmas day.

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It’s a Valentine’s blind date – rhino style!

ec8f2be1-35e0-49a5-abc6-f3d5e1036e77.jpg Our cuddly rhinos are looking for love in the run up to Valentine’s Day. Check out our ‘Rhino Blind Date‘, and help Rihanna Rhino choose between her three horned suitors.

Spread the rhino love this Valentine’s Day, order your own cuddly rhino from our online shop today!
Order now >

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We would love to hear your thoughts on all our stories and the work that we do, please comment on our website, facebook or twitter pages! Or why not get involved and become a member or help fundraise for one of our rhino conservation programmes?

Photo credits: Steve and Ann Toon, Sarah Nelson, Bill Konstant, Earth Touch News,

Events2013 - 2014

Rhino Mayday
Chester Zoo

Save the date! Calling all rhino conservation enthusiasts, this year’s Rhino Mayday is taking place at Chester Zoo on 16 June 2015.
Hear talks from rhino experts and get involved with topical debates. If you’re keen to learn more, contact emma

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ongoing events

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100
London

emma

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Featured ProgrammeFeatured programme The ”Strength of Chi” Campaign, Vietnam
During our recent grants we sent out £123,493 to field programmes we support, including £33,747 to TRAFFIC-Vietnam for a rhino horn demand reduction campaign we are collaborating on, funded by the UK’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund. You can read more about the ”The Strength of Chi” campaign on our website and how it aims to change the behaviour of rhino horn consumers.

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Partners

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Valencia Kommunikation
A huge thank you to Valencia Kommunikation! Instead of handing out Christmas gifts to their clients, the folks at Valencia Kommunikation donated 10,000 Swiss Francs in their name. You can check out their adorable Christmas greetings card where the staff’s kids have their say online.
partner1
Baxter Hoare
Thank you Baxter Hoare for supporting Save the Rhino through great fundraising activities held by the team in the office. Baxter Hoare specialises in business, event and personal travel and you can find out more online.

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footer.jpgSave the Rhino International, Unit 5 Coach House Mews, 217 Long Lane London, SE1 4PR, United Kingdom

Save the Rhino International – Registered Charity Number: 1035072 © 2015 Save the Rhino International. All rights reserved.

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Tanzanian safari camp the only winner from Africa of the UNWTO Ulysses Awards 2015

ISOITOK CAMP MANYARA’ DOES AFRICA PROUD BY CAPTURING THE UNWTO AWARD

(Posted 31st January 2015)

Isoitok Camp Manyara

As one of only two African finalists in the 2015 edition of the UNWTO’s Ulysses Innovation Awards, which were announced at FITUR in Madrid earlier in the week, did Tanzania’s Isoitok Camp take the trophy of ‘Innovation in Enterprises’ home. The success cannot be underestimated as the global publicity which goes with it, for the camp itself, for the location – the Lake Manyara National Park – and the country will go a long way in helping to promote Tanzania as a quality safari destination.

This is the 11th time UNWTO has awarded innovation and entrepreneurial spirit and Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifai, said on the occasion: ‘If innovation is the spark, then knowledge is the fuel that drives tourism. The finalists honoured tonight are outstanding examples of forward-thinking initiatives in sustainability, social inclusion and technology in the tourism sector, and are as such key contributors in turning tourism into a force for good across the globe, a goal we must all be deeply committed to’.

The UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism are the organization’s flagship awards for the global tourism industry, recognizing knowledge creation, dissemination and innovative solutions.

Says the camp about itself on their website: ‘Set in a rich wild savannah bush location with an altitude of 1075 metres above sea level. It backs onto the Losimingorti mountain range acting as a natural wildlife corridor from the Ngorongoro highlands through to Manyara conservancy and on into Tarangire National Park. Isoitok Camp Manyara offers a little more than just a place to put your head after a busy day of game drives and we do urge you to slow down as to fully appreciate the essence and importance of time relaxing and soaking in the African bush and her sounds with a few nights under canvas with us at Isoitok Camp Manyara. Time is completely on your side to forget work and recharge your internal batteries so you can actually leave Tanzania not needing another holiday once you get home. Isoitok Camp Manyara started back in 2007 and after a few name changes here and there, a makeover that begun early in 2012 has changed the profile, size and operation of this beautiful bush location into an intimate private camp for those who allow a day or two to enjoy and experience a little piece of Africa as you had always imagined and dreamed it to be. We do not offer 5 star services or an endless swimming pool but we do offer a grass root cultural experience and a true look behind the scenes into Maasai culture’.

The company’s directors Ingrid Vaes and Chris Pillay will no doubt be thrilled with their success but more even that their work in the field of sustainable tourism with close links to the communities living nearby has been recognized and has caught the eye of the global tourism powers that be. Congratulations to the entire camp staff are no doubt in order!

No 320 Wildlife Trade News 30th January 2015

Another dose of bad news about poaching and related wildlife and environmental crimes

in the spotlight today ……………………

Endangered Bonobo Chimp Imported to Armenia Goes Missing: Preliminary Investigation Drags On. (Another matter CITES will no doubt turn a blind eye to.) extract: ArturAfrikyan, first deputy to the president of the State Revenue Committee, provided us with a list of the animals imported to and exported from Armenia between 2010 and 2013 with CITES permits. According to that list, in addition to two bonobos (Pan panicus) imported to Armenia in 2011, another two were imported in 2012 and not exported. Furthermore, four Common Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) listed as “endangered” and four Diana Monkeys (Cercopithecusdiana) listed as “vulnerable” were also imported to Armenia with the same CITES 2012 permits. None of these animals have been exported.

http://hetq.am/eng/news/58255/endangered-bonobo-chimp-imported-to-armenia-goes-missing-preliminary-investigation-drags-on.html

Do you believe this illustrates the CITES secretariat and Standing Committee attitudes

towards a lot of countries breaking the convention?

How about China? Is there another country treated more leniently by CITES?

No 320 Wildlife Trade News 30th January 2015

Crying baby orangutan Budi receives loving care after suffering year of neglect. INDONESIA. (NA comment: Recommended viewing. Another victim of the palm oil industry) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wgnr_ftHhUw

Rescued Baby Orangutan Shines Light on Cruel, Illegal Pet Trade [Video] http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/2015/01/29/rescued-orangutan-cruel-pet-trade/

Commentary: Modifying Indonesia’s Conservation Methods. If conservation by the authorities alone doesn’t work well, why not develop new strategies in which the role of more competent groups is recognized?

Indonesia Celebrates Primate Day 2015 at 50 Scenes!

http://www.profauna.net/en/content/indonesia-celebrates-primate-day-2015-50-scenes#.VMovnS7JIsc

Vietnamese police find 20 dried primates after pulling over bus

Some of 20 primate carcasses confiscated from a bus in Hanoi on January 28. Photo credit: news.zing http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/vietnamese-police-find-20-dried-primates-after-pulling-over-bus-38189.html

KP govt imposes ban on partridge shooting http://nation.com.pk/national/30-Jan-2015/kp-govt-imposes-ban-on-partridge-shooting

Illegal Wood Found Near Military Police Base. CAMBODIA https://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/illegal-wood-found-near-military-police-base-77008/

Kenya: Britain Gives Sh150 Million for Wildlife Protection http://allafrica.com/stories/201501290606.html

Three NY Zoos Named Among "Worst for Elephants" http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2015-01-28/animal-welfare/three-ny-zoos-named-among-worst-for-elephants/a44233-1

India’s 1st fenced elephant sanctuary comes up near Bengaluru Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46051882.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

PETA

U.S. Poachers Contribute to the Illegal Wildlife Trade. What You Need to Know to Help Stop This http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/u-s-poachers-contribute-to-the-illegal-wildlife-trade-what-you-need-to-know-to-help-stop-this/

THAI joins campaign against illegal trade of ivory on all its flights http://www.eturbonews.com/55004/thai-joins-campaign-against-illegal-trade-ivory-all-its-flights

Corrupt Phuket officials paid B700mn for parkland, Isoc told – See more at: http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket-news/Corrupt-Phuket-officials-paid-B700mn-parkland-Isoc/48184#sthash.LQ2VhXwC.dpuf

Tanzania: Hunting Blocks Ownership to End in 2018 http://allafrica.com/stories/201501290412.html

Kenya Turns to Assisted Breeding to Save Rhino Subspecies http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-28/kenyan-park-turns-to-assisted-breeding-to-save-rhino-subspecies

Clooney Project Fights Elephant Slaughter by Christian Militia http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-29/clooney-project-fights-elephant-slaughter-by-christian-militia

Transportation and logistics sector lends support to global efforts tackling wildlife crime http://www.traffic.org/home/2015/1/28/transportation-and-logistics-sector-lends-support-to-global.html

Namibia: Rogue cops dent police image http://en.starafrica.com/news/namibia-rouge-cops-dent-police-image.html

Wild animal cubs growing trend among Turkey’s rich kids http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/wild-animal-cubs-growing-trend-among-turkeys-rich-kids-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=77431&NewsCatID=341

Captive elephant welfare panels to be set up. INDIA http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/captive-elephant-welfare-panels-to-be-set-up/article6837166.ece

Three held, 80 red sanders logs seized http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/three-held-80-red-sanders-logs-seized/article6836578.ece

Raid on wildlife panel member’s house. INDIA http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Raid-on-wildlife-panel-members-house/articleshow/46059524.cms

Sumatran community takes charge to protect its forest, attracts REDD+ attention http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0129-gfrn-bell-saturi-sumatran-community-protects-its-forest.html

Letter: Animal cruelty is not entertainment http://www.lohud.com/story/opinion/readers/2015/01/30/boycott-hanneford-circus-save-elephants/22522193/

‘Necessary’ fight for animal rights THAILAND
http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/462425/necessary-fight-for-animal-rights

Agencies curtail ivory smuggling. CHINA. (NA COMMENT: Pure fiction?) http://www.ecns.cn/2015/01-30/152926.shtml

Da Nang residents catch rare turtles to sell at high prices. VietNamNet Bridge – Hundreds of people recently began hunting rare turtles in the forests and streams in the hills of Hoa Vang District of central city of Da Nang. The search started after a rumour was spread that the turtles could be sold at sky-high prices.

http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/environment/122299/da-nang-residents-catch-rare-turtles-to-sell-at-high-prices.html

CITES: New shark fin identification tool released http://cites.org/eng/new_shark_fin_identification_tool_released

An anti-PANGOLIN poaching PSA is now airing in Vietnam because of CNN readers http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/29/opinion/sutter-pangolin-psa-vietnam/index.html?sr=fb012915pangolinpsa4pStoryVideo

MALAYSIA : It’s the CITES officials in Malaysia who won’t confiscate this orangutan. These same officials have a long and sordid history of complicity in the illegal orangutan trade. The CITES secretariat and Standing Committee have yet to punish Malaysia – for anything, which is why things go from bad to worse, isn’t it?

CITES ISN’T WORKING – IS IT?

World’s loneliest orangutan does not know how to act like a primate because she has never even SEEN another of her own kind… while zoo visitors encourage her to smoke and force her to eat junk food. MALAYSIA

· Katarina used to belong to Malaysian royal family but is now dying alone

· She is kept in a miserable zoo with no companion, toys or leafy trees

· 12-year-old doesn’t act like an orangutan because she hasn’t known others

· Her mother was murdered when she was a baby, now she is on her own

· Campaigners are desperate for her to get a mate as she is suffering so much

She was once the pet of Malaysian royalty but now the loneliest orangutan in the world pines away her days in a miserable zoo with no companion, no toys, no leafy trees and only a concrete block to sleep on.

It is believed Katarina, aged about 12 and about to grow into adulthood, has never seen another orangutan apart from her murdered mother and, says a devoted wildlife activist who is determined to find her a better life, because of her total isolation she thinks she’s the only orangutan in the world.

Alone in her squalid surroundings, she doesn’t know how to behave like an orangutan, unable to exhibit natural behaviours usually displayed in a leafy environment shared with other youngsters.

Visitors throw junk food at her and have been caught trying to force her to smoke a cigarette. She has no bedding and is forced to sit on cold concrete everyday for at least 12 hours after the zoo is closed.

Orangutans were sometimes referred to as the wild men of Borneo by British colonialists, but those days of centuries past were when the jungles were alive with healthy populations of the orange-furred ape.

Scroll down for video

Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan peers out through the bars of her night cage in Lipis Zoo, Malaysia. Her concrete sleeping quarters are behind her

Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan, peers out from the bars of her bleak night cage where she has only a concrete floor to sleep on in Lipis Zoo, Malaysia

Isolated Orangutan, Katarina, is the world’s loneliest Orangutan

Today it is estimated that only 50,000 remain in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and on Borneo, which is shared by Indonesia and Malaysia.

Their world is dying around them, as trees come down to make way for oil palm plantations and adult apes and babies are hacked to death by workers protecting the planted trees. For those people, hungry orangutans are pests which must be destroyed.

‘Katarina’s mother was without a doubt murdered because that is the only way you are going to get a baby away from an adult orangutan,’ says 33-year-old Upreshpal Singh, director of the Kuala Lumpur-based Friends of the Orangutans, a man who is totally committed to saving the apes as many other welfare groups in his country sit idly by.

Katrina is the forgotten Wild Woman of Borneo, for without Mr Singh’s work it is unlikely that anyone would even know she is in the tiny, decaying zoo, aside from the handful of visitors who call by and – as is often the case – try to throw anything at hand at her including junk food.

A campaign is growing to find her a mate and a Facebook group is calling for better conditions.

Campaigner Mr Singh says: ‘I only need to look into her eyes and I can see the loneliness there. Where is the spark that I’ve seen in other orangutans? She sits around without a soul nearby because everything has had to be fenced off to try to stop people throwing stuff at her.’

Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan who is believed to have never seen another of her species apart from her murdered mother, climbs in her bleak enclosure in Lipis Zoo, Malaysia

Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan, sits forlornly at the top of a bare tree as suburia spreads in Lipis, Malaysia. She does not exhibit normal behaviours because she has never had a mate

Mr Singh drives me across the Malaysian peninsula, a three hour journey to the town of Kuala Lipis, which was a gold mining centre before the British arrived in 1887.The state capital has since dramatically declined and the decaying, tiny zoo on a hillside overlooking the town attracts few tourists.

‘I’ve got a bit of a reputation for getting places closed down because of cruelty concerns and while I have been shocked at some of the things I’ve seen, I’m really worried about Katarina,’ he says as we step down the hillside towards the cages.

I only need to look into her eyes and I can see the loneliness there.

Campaigner Upreshpal Singh

‘She climbs a tree which has no leaves and sits there all day, doing nothing. Then during the hours of darkness she’s locked in a night cage which has nothing but a concrete floor.

‘She’s as miserable as sin – I can see that – and I’m determined to get her moved to a place where there are other orang-utans and where she can be happy for the rest of her life.’

What has infuriated Mr Singh is the fact that the government has spent at least £10 million on building an enclosure for two Chinese pandas at the Nagara Zoo, the national animal enclosure, yet not a penny has been spent on upgrading the seriously under-funded Lipis Zoo or doing anything to help the lonely orangutan.

‘While the pandas are receiving daily enrichment, Katarina receives none. She is not going to enjoy a full and healthy life is this torture continues,’ says Mr Singh.

Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan plays on a rope, her only plaything, in her enclosure in the Lipis Zoo, Malaysia. She has never had a companion

Suburbia creeps in on the miserable domain of Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan in a tiny zoo in Lipis, Malaysia, after she was kept as a pet by a royal family. She has never had a mate and pines away her days

A wildlife investigator snuck into the zoo at night to check on how Katarina was sleeping and, by torchlight, found her slumped on concrete in a corner.

That is how it has been every night for at least 12 hours for the past three years since she was handed to the zoo.

‘I’ve been told on good authority that she was a pet with one of Malaysia’s nine royal families, having come through the illegal wildlife trade. Then, when she got too big to handle, she was passed to the zoo,’ says Mr Singh.

We walk past cages with rusty bars staring in at sad animals that include a small leopard cat that was being tormented by three children who were screaming at it and laughing as it tried to hide behind its bleak, concrete home.

Katarina’s enclosure is quite large but bare of any leafy trees. She is sitting on top of a barren tree staring down at us. In the valley below her are houses that have swallowed up the forests that once covered this region.

The viewing platform into her enclosure is wrapped in wire mesh to try stop people throwing rubbish at her – but they still feed her junk food. There is not a keeper in sight – in fact the only employee to be found is an elderly lady sitting in the ticket booth at the entrance.

Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan, comes from the light into the darkness as she enters her night cage at Lipis Zoo, Malaysia

‘People still manage to toss junk food at Katarina and it doesn’t stop there – they throw lighted cigarette at her, hoping she’ll put on a show and smoke one.’

Katrina climbs down from her roost and grabs a rope that is stretched across the enclosure and pulls herself along it.

She’s putting on a harmless kind of show for us – but then she scuttles off into the darkness of her night cage.

This is her life, nothing more – and Mr Singh is determined to change it for the better. He has been pressing the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to immediately transfer Katerina to the Matang Wildlife Sanctuary in Sarawak, Borneo, where the Sarawak Forestry Corporation provides excellent care for orang-utans saved from abuse.

‘This is now very urgent. We need to take her away from her misery. She needs a mate. She needs a friend. She has probably not been with her kind since infancy after losing her mother,’ says Mr Singh.

‘Orangutans cannot be left to live alone in captivity. In Katarina’s case it is solitary confinement of the very worst kind.’

Mr Singh’s group Friends of the Orangutans, has started a petition in the hope that animal lovers around the world will join forces to have Katarina moved to the Matang Wildlife Sanctuary.

The petition can be seen at:
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2840587/World-s-loneliest-orangutan-does-not-know-act-like-primate-never-SEEN-kind-zoo-visitors-encourage-smoke-force-eat-junk-food.html#ixzz3QDPy7QeT
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Uganda Community Tourism Association E-Newsletter ~ January 2015

Enjoy the latest news from Uganda’s grass roots with the Uganda Community Tourism Association
E-Newsletter ~ January 2015

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The Uganda Community Tourism Association’s mission is to spearhead sustainable community-based tourism in collaboration with stakeholders, aiming at increasing community benefits, promoting quality standards, ownership and conservation of natural and cultural resources for better livelihoods in Uganda.
Pearls of Uganda is a UCOTA marketing initiative which aims to provide a platform for community-based tourism initiatives in Uganda.
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Tourists enjoying a walk in the village.
Black & white colubus Monkey in Bigodi Wetland
Dear Reader,

Greetings from Uganda Community Tourism Association,

We take this opportunity to salute you in the year 2015 and wish you a fruitful 12 months of lots of activities in the tourism sector.

The year has started well; a sign that there are great things to come as we endeavor to realize the full potential that Community Based Tourism has. We are hopeful, We have the zeal and most importantly We have you our dear partners who have walked this journey with us for and made the dream valid.

As we begin this year’s chapter, our first edition of UCOTA E~Newsletter will highlight on the milestones that the organization has achieved recently. It will also touch on the expected tourism activities for the present year in the calender section.

Let’s take roll together through this interesting journey.

Fabulous reading!

UCOTA News

UCOTA partners with World Travel Market Africa
Community Based Tourism is one of the key approaches that is being used to economically empower the local communities. In the continued efforts to strengthen it’s partnership with various stakeholders in the tourism industry, UCOTA has partnered with World Travel Market in promoting tourism activities.

In the partnership agreement that was signed towards the close of 2014, UCOTA is to help WTM publicize it’s upcoming events in April 15th to 17th 2015. WTM on the other part will promote UCOTA’s work by marking the organization visible to the exhibitors and it’s partners world over. This is a positive move as UCOTA strives to promote community tourism to various stakeholders in the tourism industry.

World Travel Market Africa is the leading B2B exhibition for the inbound and outbound African travel & tourism markets. Through its industry networks, global reach and regional focus, WTM Africa creates personal and business opportunities providing our customers with quality contacts, content and communities.

Only at WTM Africa can you simultaneously

Generate sales leads, launch new products, enter new markets, raise brand awareness, size up your competition, conduct market research, command press attention and develop and maintain relationships. Read more…

UCOTA partners with Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda

In yet another milestone to promote community tourism in Uganda, UCOTA has partnered with Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda (STTA).

The union which is in it’s early stages, seeks to put the country in the spotlight not only in community ventures but tourism as whole by highlighting on the sustainable tourism activities, organizations and a wide range of sustainability issues.

This will be done through stories that will be published in the East African Tourism Report to be published by STTA. The write ups will not be limited to UCOTA or it’s members but various sustainable tourism activities carried out by various stakeholders in Uganda. Read more…

Understanding Community Based Tourism

A community by definition implies individuals with some kind of collective responsibility, and the ability to make decisions by representative bodies.

Community based tourism is tourism in which local residents (often rural, poor and economically marginalized) invite tourists to visit their communities with the provision of overnight accommodation.

The residents earn income as land managers, entrepreneurs, service and produce providers, and employees. At least part of the tourist income is set aside for projects which provide benefits to the community as a whole. Read more…

Alluring Destination Experience

Bigodi Wetland ~ Community’s Goldmine

On your way from Fort portal to Kamwenge about 39kms, you will come across a wetland called Bigodi wetland sanctuary (formerly known as Magombe swamp). By a mere look you might not understand that it is a goldmine of Bigodi community.

My coming to the community was mysterious as the community was just a few kilometres from where I lived yet I didn’t know the place thanks to one George Owoyesigire who told me about them.

After lots on online research, I later managed to link up with Mr. John Tinka who introduced me to the community’s governing body Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED).Read more…

No 319 Wildlife Trade News 29th January 2015

Nature alert continues to provide updates on poaching, wildlife and environmental crimes
and with their permission I share this daily
dose of bad news with my readers …

in the spotlight today ……………………

Kasukuwere petitioned over sale of baby elephants. The Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce (ZCTF) today submitted a petition against the sale of baby elephants to the environment minister, Saviour Kasukuwere

http://www.thezimbabwean.co/travel/74696/kasukuwere-petitioned-over-sale-of.html

Current and recent news included below. From tomorrow the news will return to being all current. You will see below further and abundant evidence of China’s collusion in the illegal wildlife trade. You will also see, as in previous years, the CITES secretariat carries on holding workshops and conferences ‘talking’ about saving wildlife – which is a whole lot different to actually saving wildlife.

Do you REALLY have any confidence left in CITES and/or its secretary general?

Has CITES saved any wildlife in the last few years? Can you name any examples?

The convention itself is good. What’s lacking is its enforcement, isn’t it? And who do you hold responsible for that?

Please read on and see for yourself what the lack of sanctions against China has done for wildlife.

For as long as we can remember China has been blatantly active in the illegal wildlife and illegal logging trades. And all the CITES Secretariat has done is to give the Chinese awards for wildlife protection. http://cites.org/eng/news/pr/2012/20120509_certificate_cn.php What do you think of this?

No 319 Wildlife Trade News 29th January 2015

Indonesia takes on China. (NA comment: If only CITES would take on China instead of sucking up to it.) EXTRACT: Indonesia is taking a tough stance against China in its fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by confiscating Chinese vessels and severing recent privileges given to China to fish in Indonesian waters. After confiscating more than nine Chinese-linked vessels for alleged poaching, – See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/28/issue-day-indonesia-takes-china.html#sthash.unV0WzD4.dpuf

Chinese logging firms seek intervention over seized staff and equipment in Myanmar http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1692219/chinese-logging-firms-seek-intervention-over-seized-staff-and-equipment

More Chinese caught stealing timber in Myanmar

http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8799:more-chinese-caught-stealing-timber-in-myanmar&catid=33:business&Itemid=356

The Plunder of Myanmar. NEW YORK TIMES EXTRACT: China’s exploding appetites have unleashed a wholesale looting of Myanmar’s valuable natural resources http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/24/opinion/the-plunder-of-myanmar.html?_r=0

In Myanmar’s ‘Black Zones,’ Illicit Chinese Commerce Is Said to Thrive NEW YORK TIMES http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/22/in-myanmars-black-zones-illicit-chinese-commerce-is-said-to-thrive/

The Guilty and the Innocent: China and Illegal Logging in Myanmar

Trucks loaded with Burmese timber wait to cross a river on the Burma-China border. (Photo: EIA) http://www.irrawaddy.org/contributor/guilty-innocent-china-illegal-logging-myanmar.html

Chinese officials allegedly eat endangered animal at banquet http://www.aol.com/article/2015/01/27/chinese-officials-allegedly-eat-endangered-animal-at-banquet/21135666/

CITES Opening remarks at the workshop on demand-side strategies for curbing illegal ivory trade (NA COMMENT: Oh now. TALK, TALK, TALK, TALK, Yet another workshop. Is there no end to the talking and – no beginning to taking action against CHINA?)

Mandatory photo of the CITES Secretary General in China? Remember this: It is important to judge CITES by it actions/results, not its good intentions. Read this newsletter every day and wonder how the CITES Standing Committee have still not sanctioned China. What more does China have to do before the CITES bureaucrats pluck up courage to use sanctions?

Sanctions are there to be used. How can – why does – the CITES secretary General say this “China has been very active in supporting the implementation of CITES both domestically and internationally.”Read the news and wonder again why the secretary general would say such a thing. Is the CITES Secretariat no longer fit for purpose? Why is it always defending China? ) http://cites.org/eng/CITES_SG_remarks_China_ivory_workshop

China and CITES Secretariat to tackle the demand for illegal ivory (NA comment: Headline on the CITES web site, so designed to tell you what they want you to hear when you see all around a very different picture. How many years has the talking go on? How many workshops,? How many conferences? And in the meantime how many elephants and rhinos have been slaughtered?) http://cites.org/eng/China_ivory_workshop_release

DO YOU CONSIDER CITES

FIT FOR PURPOSE – OR NOT?

Look at all the illegal trade going on.

Look at what China alone is doing.

When did you last hear CITES talk about sanctioning a country, much less implementing sanctions?

WHEN THERE IS NO LAW ENFORCEMENT –

WHAT HAPPENS?

Imagine what would happen in your town or city if all the police ever did was to hold workshops and conferences to talk about law enforcement, instead of getting with enforcing the law.

Truck laden with cats en route to restaurants seized. extract: HANOI: Police in Hanoi have seized a truck carrying over a ton of cats smuggled from China to sell to restaurants in northern Vietnam, authorities said Wednesday.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2015/01/28/truck-laden-with-cats-en-route-to-restaurants-seized/

Attempted Smuggling of Over 7,600 Rare Baby Turtles Foiled in Indonesia. EXTRACT They were headed for Shang Hai, China, via Singapore, in boxes labeled as “mangrove crabs”. http://annamiticus.com/2015/01/27/attempted-smuggling-7600-rare-baby-turtles-foiled-indonesia/

Deforestation May Be Ramping Up in Papua, West Papua

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1226677-deforestation-may-be-ramping-up-in-papua-west-papua/?photo=2

TRAFFIC SOUTHEAST ASIA No let up in the illegal pangolin trade: Authorities in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia have seized over 260 kilos of pangolin scales destined for Hong Kong via post. Article in Bahasa Indonesia: http://tinyurl.com/k5363o9.

Half of Borneo’s Mammals Could Lose a Third of their Habitat by 2080 http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1219888-half-of-borneos-mammals-could-lose-a-third-of-their-habitat-by-2080/

Graft slows Cameroon, Malaysia fight against illegal logging – thinktank: TRFN http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKBN0KV0ID20150122

Malaysia Customs seizes ivory worth RM19,805,132 in 3 years. (NA COMMENT: Three years, one low level arrest given small fine, no big traders caught, no independent audit of ivory – probably because some has disappeared, no destruction of ivory stocks. Nothing has changed then – and we can be certain CITES will, yet again, turn a blind eye to Malaysia’s long-time involvement in the illegal wildlife trade. No change there then, either. Business as usual and no one inconvenienced by prosecutions or sanctions. http://customstoday.com.pk/malaysia-customs-seizes-ivory-worth-rm19805132-in-3-years-2/

Poaching involves paying politicians – wildlife charity. AFRICA – See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/poaching-involves-paying-politicians-wildlife-charity#sthash.R2vOBnOy.dpuf

CITES STILL ISN’T WORKING…. FOR WILDLIFE – IS IT.

Bulgarian Customs Prevent Smuggling of Two Million European Eels

Sofia Airport customs officers seized two million European baby eels which two Chinese nationals had tried to smuggle into Bulgaria, 22 January 2015. Photo BGNES – See more at: http://www.novinite.com/articles/166112/Bulgarian+Customs+Prevent+Smuggling+of+Two+Million+European+Eels#sthash.Wa5lVuHk.uxibBDtQ.dpuf

Chinese Journalists Beaten Over Salamander Dinner Probe

(Photo : Reuters) Small plastic bags holding fish, turtles and salamanders are displayed for sale at a shopping district in Beijing March 7, 2013.
Read more: http://www.chinatopix.com/articles/34516/20150128/chinese-journalists-beaten-over-salamander-dinner-probe.htm#ixzz3Q6YOsfZL

Not correct to say ‘not a proboscis monkey habitat’ SABAH/MALAYSIA http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=96688

The fight to save SA’s rhinos: What the Minister didn’t say http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2015-01-28-the-fight-to-save-sas-rhinos-what-the-minister-didnt-say/#.VMh_xS6TIsc

Ivory in Uganda seizure likely stolen from impound vault http://phys.org/news/2015-01-ivory-uganda-seizure-stolen-impound.html

China Investigates Officials in Lavish ‘Salamander Dinner Scandal
Read more: http://www.chinatopix.com/articles/34549/20150128/china-investigates-officials-lavish-salamander-dinner-scandal.htm#ixzz3Q5xApyq0

TANZANIA: Govt probing increase in tuskless elephants http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=76792

Controversy swirls around tourists hunting rare birds in Iran

http://www.payvand.com/news/15/jan/1151.html

Tighter access to forest reserves. INDIA http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=96670

Rejuvenation camp concludes, elephant safari to resume. INDIA http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/rejuvenation-camp-concludes-elephant-safari-to-resume/article6828326.ece

Fighting poaching with satellites drones, and maths http://www.biznews.com/green/2015/01/27/fighting-poaching-satellites-drones-maths/

Namibia to tighten poaching laws http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/environment/namibia-to-tighten-poaching-laws-1.1809619#.VMh-UC6TIsc

Forget Crude! Palm Can Be Nigeria’s Next Oil Cash Cow
Read more at: http://www.ventures-africa.com/2015/01/forget-crude-palm-can-be-nigerias-next-oil-cash-cow/

Turtle importer jailed for animal cruelty and having endangered species without permits. SINGAPORE

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/turtle-importer-jailed-having-endangered-species-without-permits-a#sthash.7bVn9G2c.dpuf

European Commission Clears Sime Darby To Buy New Britain Palm Oil http://www.lse.co.uk/AllNews.asp?code=muvyprr5&headline=European_Commission_Clears_Sime_Darby_To_Buy_New_Britain_Palm_Oil

Palm Oil Giant Lists Suppliers Online http://www.environmentalleader.com/2015/01/27/palm-oil-giant-lists-suppliers-online/

Call of the Orangutan: Rescuing a Crashed Drone http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/expeditions/2015/01/26/call-of-the-orangutan-rescuing-a-crashed-drone/

UK raises alarm over increase in ivory trade
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/lifestyle/article/2000149505/uk-raises-alarm-over-increase-in-ivory-trade

Six years on, Corbett yet to get its tiger force http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/Six-years-on-Corbett-yet-to-get-its-tiger-force/articleshow/46034414.cms

One more poacher arrested in Pilibhit http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/One-more-poacher-arrested-in-Pilibhit/articleshow/46033399.cms

Wildlife group discloses details of Rhino poachers. INDIA http://www.nagalandpost.com/ChannelNews/Regional/RegionalNews.aspx?news=TkVXUzEwMDA3NDM2OQ%3D%3D

Coast Guard stops Mexican poachers in Gulf of Mexico http://www.dvidshub.net/image/1736812/coast-guard-stops-mexican-poachers-gulf-mexico#.VMiBXC6TIsc

Indonesian police to sink Vietnamese vessel in Papuan waters http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2015/01/indonesian-police-to-sink-vietnamese-vessel-in-papua-waters/

Smuggling the bane of Cameron Highlands’ exotic and rare orchids. MALAYSIA

Pic credit www.ecocameron.com
Read more: http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2015/01/26/smuggling-bane-cameron-highlands-exotic-rare-orchids/#ixzz3Q6rST4pa

Ad campaign targets international turtle trade. CANADA http://www.torontosun.com/2015/01/27/ad-campaign-targets-international-turtle-trade

Tiger dies in Bandipur national park; poisoning suspected http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tiger-dies-in-bandipur-national-park-poisoning-suspected/article6822455.ece

8 poachers nabbed in Pilibhit with tiger meat, bones, teeth http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/8-poachers-nabbed-in-Pilibhit-with-tiger-meat-bones-teeth/articleshow/46014215.cms

Police seize 5 tons of timber. INDONESIAhttp://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/28/police-seize-5-tons-timber.html

China scorns NY Times on Myanmar http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2015-01/27/c_133951180.htm

Logging; G-B stripped of more than 50% forest cover. PAKISTAN http://tribune.com.pk/story/827168/logging-g-b-stripped-of-more-than-50-forest-cover/

Logging and consequences. PAKISTAN

Express:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/828538/logging-and-consequences/

Certification incentives for reducing illegal logging in Brazil may miss their mark http://blog.cifor.org/26529/timber-certification-brazil-amazon-logging-incentives#.VMiHai6TIsc

Soldiers, including one ex-con, arrested over land-clearing allegation. CAMBODIA http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/soldiers-including-one-ex-con-arrested-over-land-clearing-allegation

Appoint Kelantan Orang Asli as rangers. MALAYSIA http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/01/27/appoint-kelantan-orang-asli-as-rangers/

Cameroon Timber Trade – High Risk, Low Reward http://allafrica.com/stories/201501260445.html

A giant step in fight against illegal logging. SARAWAK/MALAYSIA
Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/01/25/a-giant-step-in-fight-against-illegal-logging/#ixzz3Q664ZyX1

Chainsaws Drive the Most Vulnerable Tribe on Earth From the Amazon http://www.ryot.org/amazonian-tribe-at-risk-of-extinction-awa/918276

Monk found with an Elephant calf. SRI LANKA

http://www.hirunews.lk/102267/monk-found-elephant-calf

Mars and Wilmar step up efforts to tackle deforestation http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/analysis/2391426/mars-and-wilmar-step-up-efforts-to-tackle-deforestation

Why is so little attention paid to Madagascar’s incredible wildlife? http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/27/why-so-little-attention-paid-madagascar-incredible-wildlife

Forests for the Future http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/tony-juniper/rainforest-preservation_b_6542618.html

Port Officials Urged to Speed Up Investigation Into Ivory Seizure. CAMBODIA https://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/port-officials-urged-to-speed-up-investigation-into-ivory-seizure-76751/

Craziest animals smuggled into Dubai. Dubai Customs committed to fight against wildlife traffickers http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/craziest-animals-smuggled-into-dubai-2015-01-26-1.578045

Second South Florida man nabbed in illegal trade of rhino horns. USA http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article7859277.html

Five ways I’ve seen attitudes to animals change in China https://www.animalsasia.org/intl/media/news/news-archive/five-ways-i%E2%80%99ve-seen-attitudes-to-animals-change-in-china.html

Kenya: Poaching Reduces By Half, New KWS Figures Show http://allafrica.com/stories/201501281456.html

Vietnamese wildlife conservationist named among world’s top ten http://www.thanhniennews.com/education-youth/vietnamese-wildlife-conservationist-named-among-worlds-top-ten-38093.html

Sariska scores over Ranthambore in tiger preservation http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/sariska-scores-over-ranthambore-in-tiger-preservation-46953.html

Ebola is killing chimps and gorillas too – now we must save them! http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2731822/ebola_is_killing_chimps_and_gorillas_too_now_we_must_save_them.html

Palm oil has the potency to replace hydrocarbons as Nigeria’s mega export earner, says Oroh – See more at: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/business/195274-palm-oil-has-the-potency-to-replace-hydrocarbons-as-nigeria-s-mega-export-earner-says-oroh#sthash.xgpibKPR.dpuf

Scientists hold emergency meeting to save endangered rhinos – See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/28/scientists-hold-emergency-meeting-save-endangered-rhinos.html#sthash.Kj9WHePK.dpuf

‘I see more carcasses than live rhino’

A ranger inspects a dead rhino found on the banks of a river in the Kruger National Park. Picture: Sapa. http://ewn.co.za/2015/01/28/I-see-more-carcasses-than-live-rhino-says-Ranger

Spread of palm oil production threatens livelihoods in Indonesia: report. INDONESIA http://www.ucanews.com/news/spread-of-palm-oil-production-threatens-livelihoods-in-indonesia-report/72884

Orangutans take the logging road http://phys.org/news/2015-01-orangutans-road.html

Kenya lost over 100 rhinos in three years http://www.siasat.com/english/news/kenya-lost-over-100-rhinos-three-years

Proposals seek to end ivory sales. Hawaii is one of the nation’s largest markets for the substance, much of which advocates of the ban argue is illegal. http://www.staradvertiser.com/s?action=login&f=y&id=290036691&id=290036691

Roads are encroaching deeper into the Amazon rainforest, study says http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/28/roads-are-encroaching-deeper-into-the-amazon-rainforest-study-says

Iraq vets tackle poachers. S. AFRICA http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2015/01/29/iraq-vets-tackle-poachers

Sea Shepherd will use multimillion dollar donation to build new ship http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2015/s4169641.htm

Zambia facing challenges in reducing deforestation http://www.lusakatimes.com/2015/01/29/zambia-facing-challenges-reducing-deforestation/

The science is clear: Forest loss behind Brazil’s drought http://blog.cifor.org/26559/the-science-is-clear-forest-loss-behind-brazils-drought#.VMnDli7JIsc

BP REDD+ officially disbanded. INDONESIA http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/29/bp-redd-officially-disbanded.html

Biodiversity heroes awarded for innovation. INDONESIA http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/29/biodiversity-heroes-awarded-innovation.html

China tries out logging ban in northeastern province (NA comment: While stealing wood from other countries) http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0128-gfrn-joshi-china-tries-out-logging-ban-in-heilongjiang.html

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