Home | About | Donate

US-Funded Conservation in African Rainforests is Resounding Failure: Report


#1

US-Funded Conservation in African Rainforests is Resounding Failure: Report

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

An international effort by the U.S., the European Union, and other donors to protect Africa's equatorial rainforests is failing and requires a radical change to conserve wildlife and protect surrounding communities, a new report has found.

Despite the high cost of the project, which received hundreds of millions from international donors, conservation efforts in the Congo Basin have not stopped biodiversity from dwindling or militaristic "guns and guards" from threatening the livelihoods of local populaces, the UK-based Rainforest Foundation (RFUK) revealed on Thursday.


#2

What is not mentioned is how much of the funding is siphoned off by the countries' officials long before it reaches the areas for which it was intended. Historically, the U S also has a tendency to back the groups that are the sources of the social and political strife in those countries in Africa as well as in Central America, and South America. U S funding is almost always tied to those nations receiving such to create "democracies" in the image set out by the US such as holding "free" elections (states in the US do all in their power to disenfranchise targeted minority groups while exhorting other countries to hold free and open elections). Starting from the ground up and working with the people and their communities is the only way to save them and their environments/ecology. Vetting the recipients consistently and following where the money goes are other requisite strategies to achieve the goals. Working for the common good is paramount...not just throwing money at them.


#3

The trunk of a cotton tree in Liberia. 600 years old. 200 feet high. So high it's damn near the sky. Estimated worth: 3,500 trillion. Maybe more.


#4

It is interesting to visit the web site of these various 'conservation' organizations just to click on their 'About' page and learn who sits on their boards, and just who provides funding. Remarkable how many venture capitalists, bankers, and 'entrepreneurial' tech billionaires turn up. Surprising, too, how many folks from the World Bank, Goldman Sachs, Citi Group,. etc. there are that seem to have such abiding interest in our plant's resources. Here's a couple of examples---note, expanding the bios generally provides for some fascinating reading:
http://www.nature.org/about-us/governance/board-of-directors/index.htm
http://www.worldwildlife.org/about/leadership
.


#5

After reading the article I had envisioned my comments, but then I read all of yours and the wind is taken from my sails. You guys have got it. I will still share this nugget though:

poaching remains persistent despite increased restrictions on protected areas

So... the law-breakers continue to break the law in spite of there being more severe laws?

WOW! Earth-shattering revelation. Perhaps the solution lies in throwing obscene amounts of bad money after bad money here. Save the gorillas, donate today.


#6

I was reading earlier this week about programs that are working with local communities in Kenya that are helping both the local population and the wildlife. I also had seen a documentary about the value of the apex predators whose cycle of hunting caused many of the herding animals to move more frequently so to not devastate the flora. Probably there are a number of effective techniques that all need to be tried or implemented to stop the poaching. And e need much more education on the consumer side to lessen the demand and price of rhino horn and ivory. Rhino horns have properties that are no more beneficial than eating fingernails but have acquired a mystic that gives it a price more than gold. And synthetic ivory is just as attractive and carves well.

Having corporations on an agency's board makes it suspect. One might hope this means the corporations will adjust their actions accordingly but this is doubtful and it might well be the other way round.

My recent trip to southern Africa was amazing and I want to believe that we are going to save these fabulous animals, and possibly ourselves in the doing so.