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.





November 30 — December 4, 2014
Long-eared Owl Winter Tour, Serbia

ILCW member David Lindo (UK) announces tour. See more Long-eared Owls than you can shake a stick at this winter. Join David on a tour that will literally blow your socks off. 100s of owls on every day!



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.

For more information.


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Content copyright 2014. International League of Conservation Writers. All rights reserved



Stephen Leahy
Your Water Footprint
2014, Firefly Books
Paperback, 144 pages

We know about our carbon footprint. Now environmental journalist Leahy alerts us to an even more daunting reality, our water footprint. There are no alternatives to water, and the supply of freshwater is finite. Obviously, we drink and use water in our daily routines, but we also consume massive quantities in agriculture and manufacturing. More than can be replaced. Leahy takes a uniquely clear and direct approach to revealing the magnitude of our hidden water profligacy by matching his exceptionally lucid narration with arresting, full-page infographics. We see that a pair of jeans, from cotton field to factory to you, requires 2,000 gallons of water. One measly liter of soybean-based biodiesel fuel requires 11,397 liters, or 3,010 gallons, of water. Page after page of such eye-opening calculations recalibrates our understanding of the invisible role water plays in every aspect of our lives, jarring disclosures that can help us make choices, however modest. For example, the production of one cup of tea requires 9 gallons of water; one cup of coffee, 37 gallons; two pounds of tomatoes, 56.5 gallons; two pounds of beef, 4,068 gallons.More information)

--American Library Association



Dirty Energy, Dirty Tactics
Analysis by ILCW member Stephen Leahy
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Nov 3 2014 (IPS) 

“Greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are higher than ever, and we’re seeing more and more extreme weather and climate events….We can’t prevent a large scale disaster if we don’t heed this kind of hard science.”

Question: Is that statement about the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report from Greenpeace or the U.S. State Department?

Answer: It’s by John Kerry, U.S. secretary of state, the second most powerful official in the Barack Obama administration.

Important officials in many other countries have made similar statements about the IPCC Synthesis Report released Nov. 2 in Copenhagen. Canada’s Stephen Harper government remains in denial and has been silent.

“The longer we are stuck in a debate over ideology and politics, the more the costs of inaction grow and grow,”said Kerry in a statement.



Good Twins or Evil Twins? U.S., China Could
Tip the Climate Balance

By ILCW member Stephen Leahy
BONN, Oct 27 2014 (IPS) 

China and the United States are responsible for 35 percent of global carbon emissions but could do their part to keep climate change to less than two degrees C by adopting best energy efficiency standards, a new analysis shows.

Although China’s energy use has skyrocketed over the past two decades, the average American citizen consumes four times more electricity than a Chinese citizen.

However, when it comes to energy efficiency, China’s steel industry is far less efficient than the U.S. The reverse is true when it comes to cement production, according a new Climate Action Tracker analysis of energy use and savings potential for electricity production, industry, buildings and transport in the two countries.

If China and the U.S. integrate the best efficiency policies, “they would both be on the right pathway to keep warming below two degrees C,”said Bill Hare a climate scientist at Climate Analytics in Berlin, Germany.

Both countries need to “dramatically reduce”their use of coal, Hare said.



The war on poaching: shoot to kill alternatives

By ILCW member Michael Schwartz (USA)

Previously published by Africa Geographic

I am responding to Anton Crone’s piece, “So you want to start a rhino war?”. In it, he cites several examples of compelling evidence against the idea of using of paramilitary units to combat poaching with particular emphasis on the shoot to kill policy being considered in South Africa. I would like to offer two examples of shoot to kill alternatives that underscore the importance of his argument.

I’ll preface by saying that this is a critical observation of African poachers, not the demand in Asia, which though related and extremely important to tackle, is an issue requiring a different approach as Crone highlighted.

First, while true that the killing of endangered species is endemic throughout the continent, and backed by the increased rhino horn and elephant tusk demand, it remains important to examine poachers under more regionally objective lenses. Specifically, while elephant and rhino killing in portions of East Africa is largely attributed to terrorist organisations and rebel groups as referenced in the above mentioned

more commentary, South Africa’s crisis often comes at the hands of a different type of poacher. Yet African poachers are still lumped together by the public with cutting adjectives like “heartless” and “evil.” As adamantly opposed as I am to the slaughter of Africa’s wildlife, this is simply not true and we must be careful when we use this language. Doing so will only lead to simplified solutions, which will not work on a continent so vast and complex.




LEWA Wildlife Conservancy Receives Two Global Awards in One Week

The Safari Awards in London bestowed LEWA with the Runner Up for “Best Wildlife Conservation Organization.” The award is sponsored by Good Safari Guide and taken from 15,000 nominations from over 365 safari properties, guides, and operators in Africa. LEWA also received the Silver award for “Best in Poverty Reduction” from the World Responsible Tourism Awards which is aimed at developing quality tourism products that promote cultural integrity and environmental protection. For more information on LEWA Wildlife Conservancy and their lodges click here.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya has posted their latest Newsletter. Click here to read.


Only Known Surviving Panda Triplets
Turn 100 Days Old
See the newborn pandas.

The cubs were born within four hours of each other on July 29 at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province.

Professor Zhang Hemin, director of the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas has told us that the triplets have passed the newborn "danger zone" and have an unprecedented 95-percent likelihood of survival.

The cubs' distinctive features are now showing. The mother Ju Xiao is not able to feed them all so they are swapped out each week so each can bond with mom and get the benefits of mothers milk and mothers nurturing care, a procedure developed by CCRCGP.

CCRCGP sent the Head Nursery Keeper Mr. Wei Ming to help care for the triplets, from the Bifengxia Panda Base. "The first-born appears to be a very gentle girl," said Wei Ming, an expert in charge of the newborn panda's feeding and management.

The other two are boys, both of them have grey hair between their eyes, but one is larger. "The elder brother is a naughty and energetic boy with a slim figure, while the younger brother is a quite big boy," Wei added.

The cubs in the Nursery get a special panda formula which Wei Ming brought from the Bifengxia Panda Base, and provided by Pandas International. Their daily intakes are strictly measured and carefully monitored.

Wei is one of the country's top baby panda caretakers. In his 13-year career with the Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas, he has nursed more than 100 newborns, including Yuan Zai, the first Taiwan-born panda.


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