It is no exaggeration to say that we are facing a “wildlife crisis”, and it is a crisis exacerbated by human activities, not least criminal ones.
A surge in wildlife crime is fuelling criminal syndicates, perpetuating terrorism, and resulting in the loss of major revenues from tourism and industries dependent on iconic species while also endangering the livelihoods of the rural poor.
But this surge in wildlife crime is not only threatening iconic species, which include elephants, rhinos and tigers, but also lesser-known animals that are also on the brink of extinction.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has set a target of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2
. One way countries can meet their obligations is to switch energy production from the burning of fossil fuels to “renewables”, generally understood to include wind, wave, tidal, hydro, solar and geothermal power and biomass.
It’s beginning to sink in that our climate is changing more rapidly than at any time in recorded history and it will have profound and irreversible effects on the planet. On World Environment Day on Jun. 5, let’s stop for a moment to consider in particular the devastating impact that climate change is having on small island states and their wildlife.
Some of the Earth’s most delicate tropical paradises are being disfigured by the by-products of the modern age - marine debris: plastic bottles, carrier bags and discarded fishing gear.
There are few experiences more frustrating than a delay in travel plans caused by bad weather. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this may be something we will have to get used to in the future.
Of the endangered species listed for protection under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) a great many are forest dwellers – West African elephants, gorillas, bats and many birds.
They say religion doesn’t mix well with certain subjects, but in the case of conservation and religion this old rule of thumb doesn’t seem to apply.
Recent fatal attacks off Réunion have re-ignited demands for sharks to be hunted. But when it comes to humans and sharks, who is predator and who is prey? And what lessons need to be learned when people venture into environments where they are exposed to dangers posed by wildlife?
More civil unrest in Africa, another coup d’état, more reports of child soldiers in the front line, involvement of foreign troops, the poorest of the poor losing what little they have – and all the while the proceeds of a country’s wealth are diverted from much-needed social and economic development to financing death and destruction.