The International League of Conservation Writers is a forum to bring writers together from around the world who are writing to promote wilderness, nature, conservation, or using other means to protect and restore the natural areas, habitats, animals, and plants of our planet. ILCW will present periodic writing awards to authors who excel in this field.

International League of Conservation Writers

Writing to inspire the love of nature and a passion for its protection.


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CALENDAR

Now — October 3, 2015

“Following Rivers” Photography Exhibit

By conservation photographer Alison M. Jones, director of No Water No Life® at the Beacon Institute Gallery, 199 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508 USA.
More information.



June 1 — 6, 2015

The 8th Annual Literature and Landscape of the Horse Retreat

A unique writing adventure for anyone who yearns for nature, longs to reconnect with horses, and hungers for creative inspiration in an authentic western ranch setting. To be held at the Vee Bar Guest Ranch, Laramie, Wyoming.  
More information.



September 10-17, 2015

Birding Trip to Portugal,
hosted by ILCW member and Urban Birder David Lindo (UK). David and João Jara, one of Portugal’s premier birders, will explore the Lisbon area, drift around the Alentejo Region and end up in the Algarve. Watch birds as diverse as Greater Flamingo to Red-necked Nightjar, Iberian Imperial Eagle to Azure-winged Magpies.
More information



September 21— 26, 2015

On the River of Discovery with Women
of Influence

Featuring guest Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull.

On the Green River through Utah’s majestic canyons. All the comforts are included, and the women guides are fun, talented, professional and inspiring. And did we say they do all the cooking!

More information



October 818, 2015

View Pandas in China with
Pandas International

To learn more about and to view pandas around China, travel with Pandas International board member Kim Sheremeta.
More information




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Somalia Environmental Conservation Road
to Recovery

By ILCW member Daud Abdi Daud (Somalia)

It was five years ago when as a journalist/conservation writer I started to inspire my people to report our country’s environmental problems. Since that time something very important has come up through advocacy and news releases by the Somali Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (SOMESHA) which initially attracted Somali journalists, civil society organizations and the governmental institutions.

I worked to better achieve remarkable activities including, lobbying for the right to determine a Somalia Exclusive Economic Zone, (Somalia-EEZ); the formation of Somalia Climate Change Network (SCCN); after which the South Central Somalia Non State Actor Forum (SOSCENSA) and SOMESHA organized a consultation meeting with civil society representatives in which the participants developed a roadmap for achieving sustainable agricultural practices as a way to increase resilience to climate change.

I interviewed Ms. Donna Hopkins on April 22, 2013, who heads the International Contact Group of Somalia, through radio Kulmiye based in Mogadishu. At that time she described that Somalia had no internationally recognized Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The interview helped pave the way to get Somalia-EEZ regulation and later the Federal Government of Somalia responded by president H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud signing legislation on June 30, 2014. ‘So that I’ have the right to say SOMESHA is a key role model for Somalia peace and development and will be a change agent to help both the journalists who produce the news and citizens who consume it.

Starting with the state of Somalia environmental conservation, I shed light on and challenged the way Somalia peace recovery and its environmental conservation can smoothly implement UN-agencies involvement on a grass roots level, especially UNDP-Africa adaptation programme, UNEP, FAO and UNESCO, in order to open a new plan to develop and help improve the quality of journalism in Somalia by participating in a Clean Energy Forum in Mogadishu, Somalia on March 26, 2015.

Apart from my personal membership of the International League of Conservation Writers (ILCW) based in the United States of America, SOMESHA is a member of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) based in Canada, the African Federation of Environmental and Agricultural Journalists (AFEAJ) and pending member of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ). It needs to speed up its local activities and improve the quality science, environmental and agricultural journalism in Somalia as I believe without international support we cannot a achieve much of our future plans.

Daud may be contacted via email or phone: +252616439997.



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ILCW MEMBERS

If you have news, writings, video links, items that would be of interest to other ILCW members, send it to us for posting. Send to: patty@ilcwriters.org.

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MEMBER WRITINGS

Rhino Return to Samburu

Critically endangered black rhino reintroduced to a native habitat 25 years after the last individual was poached in the area

By ILCW member Wanjiku Kinuthia (Kenya)
(Isiolo - Kenya) On May 18, 2015 the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy have embarked on a relocation programme in a bid to expand black rhino habitat in the country, and boost populations of the iconic species.

At least 20 preselected rhinos will be moved from Lewa, Nakuru and Nairobi National Parks to a sanctuary within the community owned and operated Sera Community Conservancy.

Two rhino have already been successfully moved and released to their new home.

This will be the first time in East Africa a local community will be responsible for the protection and management of the highly threatened black rhino, signaling a mind shift in Kenya's conservation efforts. This pioneering move demonstrates the Government of Kenya's confidence in the local community, and materialises the promise to support community-based conservation initiatives as provided for by the new Wildlife Act, 2013.

It is expected that the presence of black rhino in Samburu County will be a significant boost to tourism in the area whilst providing new job opportunities for local communities. Parts of the Sanctuary will also be set aside for dry season grazing for local herders, and the community look forward to increased overall security in the area.

The candidates earmarked for translocation range from six and a half years to 20 years old. Candidates are meant to reflect natural demographics and encourage natural breeding conditions. All animals will be fitted with satellite-based transmitters for close monitoring. The community rangers have been trained by Lewa and KWS in data gathering, anti-poaching operations, bush craft and effective patrolling – and will have the back up of the Lewa, NRT and KWS Anti-Poaching Units.

According to International Union for the Conservation of Nature, populations of the Eastern black rhino (Diceros bicornis michaeli) plummeted by 98% between 1960 and 1995 primarily as a result of poaching and hunting.

However, conservation efforts have managed to stabilise and increase numbers in most of the black rhino’s former ranges since then. Kenya’s population has increased from 381 since 1987 to a current estimate of 640. It is projected to rise significantly in the near future, especially with growing partnerships between government, communities and conservation organisations. It is hoped that the new rhino sanctuary will benefit Kenya’s black rhino population

Sera Community Conservancy, established in 2001is a member of NRT umbrella. It is governed by a council of elders, an elected board of trustees, a management team and the residing communities which include the Samburu, Rendille and Borana.

This translocation is jointly supported by Samburu County Government, USAID, The Lundin Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, San Diego Zoo, St. Louis Zoo, Tusk Trust, The US Fish and Wildlife Service, Zurich Zoo, and several private philanthropists. Wanjiku Kinuthia may be contacted at email.

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Conservation in the Schools of Cameroon

By ILCW member Israel Bionyi (Cameroon)







Cameroon’s literacy mission and success in the education sector has spurred economic growth for West Africa at large. It is among the richest countries in the continent in terms of biodiversity and natural resources. Naturally, Cameroon shines in conservation education at different levels, and this is the key to unlock young minds to the impacts of deforestation and climate change on biodiversity. That said, out of 10,000 students graduating from Cameroonian universities every year, less than 5% qualify in conservation science.  This calls for some introspection.

There are 38 universities in Cameroon, of which 8 are State owned. Not only are the State universities rated highly, but also they have either a school or department of science that offers environmental and conservation studies. Animal biology, zoology, environmental studies and earth science are among the more popular programs. Of the 30 private Universities in Cameroon, 5 offer environmental or conservation studies  viz., The Higher Institute of Environmental Sciences (HIES); Pan African University of West Africa-Environment and Agricultural development (MSc); Catholic University of Central Africa-Geography and Environmental Studies; Bamenda University of Science and Technology; and Environment and Rural Development Foundation Environmental Programme (ERUDEF).

The Ministries of Forestry & Wildlife and Environment are tasked with running 2 schools; The National School of Waters and Forests (NSWF) and the Institute of Faune (IoF) in Garoua. These schools train managers, experts, guards, and administrators. Flavien Ngibaot is a graduate of NSWF and brigade commander for forestry control operations in the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife. He is the man behind the fight against illegal felling of the Bibinga tree and the campaign against wildlife poaching in the littoral region. Under his leadership the ministry has saved thousands of wild animals, seized guns and fined itinerant logging companies. The Ministries also support environmental campaigns by magazines every year. Examples include “Les defenseurs de L’environnement” (The Defenders of the Environment), “Le Selviculteur” (The Forester) Magazine, and “Lettre Verte” (The Green Letter) produced by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife.

A number of NGOs promote conservation education in Cameroon. They conduct awareness campaigns; competitions and events in primary, secondary and tertiary schools, sponsor youth magazines and offer conservation books to libraries, scholarships and train students in field conservation projects. WWF Central Africa Program has done yeman service for conservation education in Cameroon. They have offered 10 Cameroonians international internships and 4 higher education scholarships since 2011. A synergy between NGOs and the government could make Cameroon a hub of conservation education in West Africa.

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The Hudson: River at Risk

By ILCW Member Jon Bowermaster (USA)

For many years, the river, like so many waterways, was treated like an infinite waste barrel, a receptacle for poisonous chemicals, hazardous waste, trash of all descriptions. But in the past forty years, thanks to a committed group of environmentalists and their agencies (Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, Clearwater and more) the river has become markedly cleaner. While the river is still an under-utilized natural resource, increasingly it is used by boaters, kayakers, even swimmers as a recreational playground.

But the river, in the words of Riverkeeper’s John Lipscomb, has “had a foot on its neck” for more than one hundred years and still today, despite the efforts to clean it up, there are environmental risks and concerns.

Since it is our hometown river here at Oceans 8 Films (our headquarters are in the Hudson Valley), we decided to take a look at several of the more prominent risks:

• The boom in transportation of crude oil down the river by barge and rail car

• The always-problematic aging nuclear power plant at Indian Point

• The impacts of the largest construction project in North America (the building of a replacement to the Tappan Zee Bridge and its ultimate teardown)

On April 21st, the New York Times published an op-doc resulting from a collaboration with our production company, and using lots of footage from our upcoming documentary:

Over the last year we have been collecting video footage of the so-called “bomb trains”, the looming visage of Indian Point, and the chaos of the Tappan Zee Bridge construction, along with interviews and insights from residents and industry representatives.

On May 19th we’ll follow up by publishing a series of videos on our website, accompanied by text, photos, charts, graphs and maps illustrating these risks to our river. Stay tuned!                                            Watch the NYT Op-Doc

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FEATURED VIDEO

Wilderness in America

This is the story of four centuries of American history from the first European settlements in 1607 to the 21st century and describes a changing view of the land by the number of leaders, writers, artists, photographers, teachers and organizations. This resulted in the environmental legislation and the 110 milion acres that have been placed in wilderness status in the last half-century.





Wilerness in America trailer
This fun new video celebrates the best things about Northwest rivers. From sun, rain, to waterfalls, to wild salmon, to time with mom, it’s the rivers that make the Northwest such a special place to live



View past featured videos

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NEWS

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we are closer than ever to catastrophe

See story in The Guardian


It’s Time to Rewild the Child

George Monbiot argues that the more time children spend in the classroom, the worse they do at school because our narrow education system only rewards a particular skill set. He says that when you take failing pupils to the countryside, they often thrive – yet funding for outdoor education is being cut. Source: The Guardian



“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

Mahatma Gandhi


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MEMBER NEWS

The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
is an award-winning catalyst and model for community conservation, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features on the IUCN Green List of successful protected areas. Lewa is the heart of wildlife conservation, sustainable development and responsible tourism in northern Kenya and its successful working model has provided the framework on which many conservation organisations in the region are based. www.lewa.org



The Northern Rangelands Trust
is an umbrella organisation that aims to establish resilient community conservancies that transform lives, secure peace, and conserve natural resources. There are now 27 NRT-member community conservancies across northern and coastal Kenya, home to over 300,000 people who are managing over 31,000 square kilometres of land and safeguarding a wide range of species and habitats. NRT is now widely seen as a model of how to support community conservancies, and its success has helped shape new government regulations on establishing, registering and managing community conservancies in Kenya.
www.nrt-kenya.org



The Kenya
Wildlife Service

is a State Corporation established by the Act of Parliament, CAP 376, (now repealed by Wildlife Act, 2013) with a mandate to conserve and manage wildlife in Kenya. It also has a sole jurisdiction over 27 both terrestrial and marine National Parks and oversight role in the management of 28 national reserves and private sanctuaries.
www.kws.go.ke



Work to Start on Renovations for Rocky Mountain Land Library

Jeff Lee, ILCW member and co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Land Library, has been building the collection with his wife Ann Martin for more than twenty years. Please see The New York Times story about their land library collection and soon to be realized planned research institution with artists’ studios, dormitories and dining hall: MORE


International League of Conservation Writers * 4690 Table Mountain Dr., Suite 100 * Golden, Colorado, USA 80403 * Phone: 303-277-1623 * www.ilcwriters.org
Content copyright 2014. International League of Conservation Writers. All rights reserved
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Students at the Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC) in Cameroon. Photo credit: LWC

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