Today at WILD9 / Hoy en WILD9
Hoy en WILD9
WILD9 is a success! Over the 8 days of WILD9, we gathered together to THINK, FEEL and ACT.
WILD9 was opened by President Felipe Calderon, and attended by 1800 delegates from 50 countries, with 10,000 on-line participants from 100 countries. WILD9 conveyed an extraordinary atmosphere of hope and enthusiasm, hosted a diverse range of working session and featured a plenary program with world leaders such as Dr. Jane Goodall; Dr. Sylvia Earle; Dr Pavan Sukhdev; Chief Tashka Yawanawa; Grand Chief Samuel Gargan; numerous Ministers; the heads of land management agencies from North America and other regions; Heinz Center Director Dr. Thomas Lovejoy; Nobel laureate Mario Molina; Dr. Amory Lovins; Dr Exequiel Ezcurra; and many others.
Visit www.wild.org for more information
¡El WILD9 ha sido un éxito! Durante los ocho días del WILD9, nos reunimos para Pensar, Sentir y Actuar. Entre los muchos resultados del WILD9 están
- El Mensaje desde Mérida, una llamada internacional a la acción mediante pautas normativas específicas a fin de integrar las tierras silvestres y la conservación de la biodiversidad en una estrategia de cambio del cambio climático;
- El primer acuerdo internacional sobre conservación de tierras silvestres, elaborado y firmado conjuntamente por los gobiernos de México, Canadá y Estados Unidos;
- El grupo de fotógrafos de conservación más numeroso que se haya reunido jamás y la presentación de su trabajo;
- La creación de nuevas áreas naturales protegidas en México y otros países, la intención de crear las primeras áreas silvestres marinas de Estados Unidos y el compromiso de aumentar significativamente la cobertura de las áreas naturales protegidas de la Península de Yucatán;
- El uso extenso de las nuevas herramientas de comunicación por Internet para llegar a un grupo cada vez más grande y diverso de participantes internacionales, más allá de los delegados del WILD9; y
- La participación de líderes jóvenes en la solución de problemas cruciales relacionados con tierras silvestres, diversidad biológica y cambio climático.
Se publican las resoluciones del WILD9 > ¡Visítenos con frecuencia para acceder a más información, noticias y anuncios del WILD9!
News! - Noticas! - Nouvelles!
Why is an organization concerned with elephant conservation convening a national workshop on reconciliation, aid and reconstruction?
In short, it is because sustainable elephant conservation requires wise and equitable environmental management, and such environmental management requires united communities. By contrast, in post-conflict central Mali, the Gourma Region, communities are divided, bitterly riven by the trauma of trying to cope with the onslaught of brutal external forces – such as the arrival of foreign Islamist insurgents, the rise of drug trafficking across the Sahara, the return of mercenaries from Libya - in a time of complete lawlessness.
Aid and reconstruction activities for the Gourma will begin soon, but lessons from past experience (the rebellions and droughts of the 1980s and 1990s) show that unless these resources are deployed with an awareness of the social landscape, well-intentioned external interventions will exacerbate existing social tensions — often benefiting the wrong people and further destabilising the situation. This then sows the seeds for further environmental and social problems in the future.
The opening ceremony from left: Madame AlwataIchataSahi, Minister of the Family and for the Promotion of Women and Children; Dr. Diallo Deidia Mahamane Kattra, Minister of Work, Employment and Professional Training; Ousmane Ag Rhissa, Minister of the Environment and Sanitation; Abdourahamane Oumar Toure, Minister for Territorial Administration and Decentralisation; Dr Susan Canney, Leader of the Mali Elephant Project.
The idea for a workshop on “The Challenge of Reconciliation and Post-conflict Reconstruction” arose while we were assessing the post-conflict situation in the Gourma to determine how we were best able to target our next phase of work and resources. It was clear that rebuilding communities would be essential to continue our work, but also that sustainable resource management could be a means of strengthening community reconciliation. How best to do this? A first step is to try and understand the diversity of responses to the conflict and the crisis. Why did some people flee and others did not? Why did some young men join the jihadis (Islamist insurgents) while others did not? What caused the differences between these groups?
Preliminary discussions identified general groups of people in the Gourma in terms of the motivation that led them to particular courses of action, both during the conflict and afterwards.
During the conflict there were those who fled for fear of being targeted by the armed groups because of the colour of their skin or their association with government or westerners, while others fled because they hoped to gain financially from their refugee status. Others, already wealthy, hoped to increase their wealth and power during the post-conflict reconstruction. Some joined the jihadis because they were paid large amounts of money and given a weapon. The latter allowed some to pillage, hijack vehicles, steal, and engage in illegal trafficking, while others were employed by the armed groups as cooks and drivers and participated in or became associated with abusive acts. Finally there were those imams (Muslim priests) who allied themselves with the jihadis and, together with pupils at some koranic schools, were responsible for imposing Sharia law on their own populations.
Some of the workshop participants (front row starting 3rd from left): Mohammed Ag Amani, a previous Prime Minister and member of the National reconciliation commission, Nomba Ganame Mali Elephant Project Field Manager and WILD Foundation representative in Mali; Ousmane Ag Rhissa, Minister of the Environment and Sanitation; Dr Susan Canney, Leader of the Mali Elephant Project; Abdourahamane Oumar Toure, Minister for Territorial Administration and Decentralisation.
We then conducted informal interviews with local people and telephone interviews with Mayors and other community leaders who had retreated to safe cities but were still in contact with their communities, to test and refine our analysis. Post conflict, our sources estimate that around a third of the population is either displaced or a refugee. There are those who fled but still fear the potential lack of security, and there are those who want to obtain the maximum benefit from their status as refugee. The area is awash with firearms, while those who have committed crimes against their own communities are hiding in the forests and fear returning, because of reprisals from their community or being handed over to the military. Unless a way can be found for as many of these as possible to be reintegrated, they will be forced to flee and risk embarking on a life of crime and potential radicalization.
And yet, unless aid and reconstruction activities are well designed and targeted, past lessons show that the situation could be made worse. For example, attempting to disarm the people through offering money for the return of arms resulted in this money often being used to buy more arms. External development aid has also been monopolised by wealthy individuals and ended up in the hands of criminal elements. New settlements and infrastructure have been hastily created without thought to their environmental and social impacts, thereby decreasing the ability of the socio-ecological system to respond to environmental and socio-political impacts. A degraded environment is less able to withstand dry years and support its population. Poverty and hunger render a community more susceptible to external co-option.
We shared our findings with the Ministry for Decentralisation and Land Management and the Ministry of the Environment and Sanitation, and they requested that we help them design and implement a three-day workshop for the top levels of national and regional Malian government (with representatives from 12 Ministries), together with representatives of local communities, and from the national Reconciliation Commission to address the central question:
How can essential and urgent humanitarian assistance be quickly deployed to alleviate the present suffering, without further aggravating the social and environmental imbalances that are already posing a threat to a sustainable and peaceful future? >Read the Project Leader’s opening discourse
The question was addressed through considering each of three themes in turn:
- Sharing, structuring and learning from the information available
- The roads to reconciliation
- Planning the way forward: who needs to do what and the elaboration of an action plan
The discussion was dynamic and fascinating as perspectives from the ground met those from central government, and participants worked hard to engage with the details and nuances of the situation to create the elements of an action plan. In order to focus the discussion, Nomba Ganame, our Field Manager, presented a categorisation of the different groups of refugees and displaced persons according to their motivation in leaving their communities. >View the presentation
The final report of the meeting will be released within the next week or so, but some key conclusions included:
- Reconciliation within and between communities is a pre-requisite for aid and reconstruction activities, and
- All efforts should aim for the reconstruction of communities as they were pre-conflict
- Local communities must be involved in the design of post-conflict aid and reconstruction to ensure that these activities are correctly targeted and achieve the desired results.
The next step will be the sharing of the workshop findings with Mali’s technical and financial partners before taking the process to the communities themselves.
Read some of the coverage in Mali’s newspapers:> Read More
For Love Of All Things (FLOAT) is very excited to have partnered with The WILD Foundation for the entire week of Earth Day!
FLOAT is a Denver-based organization aimed at creating funding for the world’s best environmentally and animal-based non-profits. Needless to say, The WILD Foundation is high on our list! FLOAT partners with a new organization each week and designs a limited edition t-shirt that’s representative of a cause within that organization. The shirts are sold through our website at www.float.org for one week only and for each item sold FLOAT donates $8 to that week’s charity. Once the week is up, the shirt is gone and we donate whatever dollar amount the ‘ticker’ at the top of our site says. Simple as that!
This week for The WILD Foundation we’ve designed the Live WILD tee to represent the beauty and interconnectedness of everything on earth from the bottoms of the oceans to the tops of the trees. Loyal WILD Foundation followers can use discount code: wild at checkout to get 10% off your order!
All of us at FLOAT have been following The WILD Foundation and keeping up with the many amazing projects they sponsor for some time now. Their global initiatives are working to protect and preserve all the things we love the most, so we couldn’t be happier to support their efforts! So head on over to FLOAT Apparel this week, pick up an eco-friendly tee, ask your friends to do the same and join us in creating awareness and funding for this amazing organization. Shop now at www.float.org> Read More
All of us here at MyChelle Dermaceuticals are so excited to be partnering with The WILD Foundation for Earth Day 2013!
Here at MyChelle, we are inspired by Earth’s beauty every day – so much so, that we use only the most potent, natural ingredients Mother Nature has to offer to create products that deliver visible results without using any nasty ingredients or toxic chemicals. This inspiration, combined with a passion to create the most effective, nontoxic skin care products, has made us the #1 brand of facial skin care in natural grocers. And, to give back to the planet that has given us so much, we think it is important to support programs that help to keep her beautiful.
We were inspired by The WILD Foundation’s dedication and work to protect wilderness and wild areas both across the globe and right here in our Colorado community. Their focus on building an active relationship between people and nature reflects our own beliefs that the most beautiful solutions come from living in harmony with the planet we call home.
To celebrate the Earth on her upcoming birthday, we will be donating 5% of our online profits to The WILD Foundation this April 22nd. And, to thank our wonderful customers and The WILD Foundation supporters, all items site-wide will be 25% off. Please join us in supporting an organization whose important work will ensure we always have beautiful, wild places to be inspired by. Shop MyChelle on Earth Day, April 22nd, at mychelle.com.> Read More
Finally, we have an interactive, online identification platform for wild nature: Project Noah! How can we use it, you ask? Well, read on and I’ll tell you!
Here in beautiful Boulder, Colorado we have an abundance of wildlife just about everywhere we go. For instance, today on my daily afternoon hike in the Wonderland Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, I spotted dozens of black-tailed prairie dogs, a few mule deer grazing in the foothills, countless types of birds, insects, flora & fauna. In my own backyard we’ve had visiting squirrels, birds, the occasional wandering elk and even a black bear! I have a pretty good understanding of organism identification, but I wouldn’t quite call myself a naturalist. Unless I bring a nature book with me, I can’t always be certain that I’m determining the correct species.
That’s where Project Noah comes in. Project Noah, which stands for Networked Organisms and Habitats, is a community-based mobile platform that helps citizen scientists document the world’s organisms. Users in this community vary from amateur naturalists to professional scientists—all are welcome! Perhaps you just spotted an interesting-looking bug but can’t pinpoint the name… all you have to do is snap a quick photo, upload it to Project Noah with your GPS location and a few quick details. Someone from this online community will jump right in to help you identify this unknown organism. As a test run, I uploaded a couple of old photos of a moose I photographed this past summer in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Almost immediately, I had various members welcome me to the community and compliment my spotting. How refreshing it was to have this instant encouragement!
This is just one of the many reasons why WILD is excited to announce our new partnership with Project Noah. Like WILD, Project Noah inspires communities from all over the world to reconnect with our wild environment. Also available as a free smart phone app, this platform is mobilizing a new generation of nature explorers and helping people from around the world appreciate their local wildlife. Are you curious about what kind of critters are in your area? You can search through the online database by location—and be prepared to be amazed at the variety of plants, animals and bugs nearby!
Project Noah is also a great way to get students and teachers out of the classroom and into nature. Teachers can register online to set up their classroom and access Noah’s educational materials. Create a mission, focus on a wildlife category, set your location & region, add your classroom to the mission, and start exploring!
We’d like to invite everyone to join our new mission on Project Noah, called Mission WILD. Submit your spotting of organisms (plants, animals, insects) located in wilderness areas throughout the world. These organisms can be located in the land, water, or flying high in the sky. Try your best to identify what you find, but don’t hesitate to ask for help on your unknown spottings. Interact with this incredible online community and urge your friends to get on board. Leading up to WILD10, our 10th World Wilderness Congress, we’ll pick one of our favorite spottings to share on our social networks every week from Mission WILD.
So what are you waiting for?! Get outside and explore the wealth of nature all around you!> Read More
I’m very excited to announce that The WILD Foundation is partnering with my newly-founded Friends of the Red Wolf organization. The Friends group was officially launched in January of this year, and its main mission is to support the conservation of wild red wolves. Never heard of a red wolf? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. They are a little-known and elusive mammalian predator that is believed to have once inhabited the forests of the southeastern United States. I organized the Friends group after working for the past several years on a book that traces the natural history and modern management of reintroduced and highly endangered red wolves.
The WILD Foundation is a wonderful fit for the Friends group because of its deep commitment to conserving wildlife and working with local communities. Friends of the Red Wolf exists to support the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program which manages red wolves in their only wild population in northeastern North Carolina. The red wolf recovery area is not a wilderness. In fact, more than half of it is privately owned and the land encompasses numerous family-owned farms. The red wolf program has a long history of working with local individuals, a commitment that we see mirrored in The WILD Foundation’s values.
Today, there are fewer than 100 wild red wolves. They were reintroduced in 1987 from captive-bred animals which had been captured in the wild in the mid-1970s in southeast Texas and southwestern Louisiana. Another 200 or so live in captive breeding facilities spread across the United States. Red wolves are lightly built compared to gray wolves, but they are larger than western coyotes. Some consider them to be amongst the most endangered canids in the world. Calling them “red” is a bit of a misnomer. They are not red like a red fox, rather, the fur behind their ears and across their shoulders tends to be a burnt umber color.
Red wolves face many different conservation challenges. One of the most pressing issues is a recent proposed change to the North Carolina Wildlife Commission hunting rules that would allow the night time spotlighting of coyotes. Red wolves and coyotes can appear visually similar, and both animals are most active at night. The proposed rule potentially places red wolves at risk of being shot in cases where the hunter may think they are targeting a coyote but may actually kill a red wolf. The Southern Environmental Law Center is challenging the legality of the proposed rule.
Red wolves have an evolutionary quirk that allows them to mate with coyotes and produce fertile offspring. In fact, in the 1960s and 70s when the red wolf was first identified by scientists as going extinct, hybridization with coyotes was its greatest threat. Today, hybridization threatens red wolves once more. When red wolves were first reintroduced in North Carolina, the nearest coyotes were 500 miles to the west. But today, coyotes and red wolves are once more living side-by-side. The red wolf recovery program has devised innovative solutions to manage the red wolf against hybridization. I discuss these methods at length in my book, but they are very time consuming and demand equipment in the form of radio collars and telemetry gear, aerial flyovers, and veterinary services.
Because of their propensity to mate with coyotes, some scientists believe red wolves originated as a hybrid between gray wolves and coyotes. This leads them to think that red wolves were never a part of the southeastern fauna. However, other scientists disagree and believe that red wolves originated independently of gray wolves, perhaps as an offshoot of a unique North American canid lineage that was shared with coyotes. It’s this last interpretation that I embrace. I also believe that because the science is unsettled it provides us with all the more reason to work now to save what could be forever lost.
Friends of the Red Wolf functions solely to support the red wolf recovery team in their efforts to conserve wild red wolves. We hope to raise money to help the team buy equipment necessary for red wolf conservation, such as VHF radio collars and kennels used for transporting ill or injured wolves. We also hope, with time, to raise funds for research that could help red wolves survive into the future. We’re dreaming big. Why not?
We believe that red wolves need all the friends they can get. We hope that with The WILD Foundation’s partnership we can help spread the red wolf’s story to a wider audience. We also hope that some of you will be inspired to help us help red wolves. You can also find us on Facebook.> Read More