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.





ILCW Member to host Writers' Nature Retreat

Page Lambert announced her 2014 schedule of writing and nature retreats–“connecting people with nature– connecting writers with words.”

October 3-14, 2014

PERU: WEAVING WORDS & WOMEN.  A 12-day immersion into the culture of Peru led by Page Lambert and Laura Tyson of True Nature Journeys (founder, The Women’s Wilderness Institute).  Visit the Sacred Valley, Cusco, Pisac, Ollaytantambo, and Machu Picchu, one of the 7 Wonders of the World.  Spend time with the women weavers of Patacancha and the young Quechua weavers at the Center for Traditional Textiles.  Experience a traditional Incan “despacho” ceremony of intention and letting go. Spend an evening learning to cook authentic Peruvian cuisine.  $3300US includes all meals, lodging, ground transportation, local guides, park passes, creative facilitation, and more.  $400 deposit due by April 1st.  “Watch the nimble fingers of the women weavers with their vibrant strands of wool. Open the pages of your journal and weave your own tapestry with words.”

ILCW Founding Fellow Offers a Serengeti Photo Workshop

Boyd Norton is once again leading a photo tour to the Serengeti ecosystem,

February 2-14, 2015.

This is Boyd’s 30th year of travel there, leading photo tours and working on book and magazine assignments. For ILCW members who would like to sharpen their photographic and video skills, this is a good opportunity in one of the world’s premiere wildlife environments. It’s also a chance to gather material for future articles about the battle to save the Serengeti ecosystem from destructive developments proposed in recent years. As co-founder of Serengeti Watch, Boyd has led the fight to halt a planned commercial highway across Serengeti National Park. A partial victory was announced recently when the East Africa Court of Justice ruled against the Tanzanian government’s plan for the highway. Other threats remain.

Boyd’s photo trip will include visits to the famed Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park using deluxe permanent tented camps. “This is total immersion in the photography and natural history of one of the last great wildlife places on earth. We don’t rush from place to place. Instead, there’s time to observe and absorb the wonder of it all.”

The trip is timed to coincide with the calving season that takes place in the eastern short grass plains of Serengeti. Over 2 million wildebeest and zebras congregate here in the greatest land mammal migration on earth. See Boyd’s photo gallery of the Serengeti ecosystem here.

The most recent of Boyd’s 16 published books is entitled Serengeti: The Eternal Beginning and has received high praise from Jane Goodall and Richard Engel of NBC News. The book was a finalist in the 2012 Colorado Book Awards.

Complete itinerary and photos here. Further information and registration is here. The trip is limited to 14 participants.

And take a look at this video of a friendly cheetah that visited Boyd on his 2014 trip (he says this has happened from time to time in past years).

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Climate Change Negotiations

Are you curious about the current state of the UN climate negotiations? Here is a 15 minute video that explains things in an easily understood presentation by ILCW member Stephen Leahy. Something to keep in mind as world negotiators meet in New York in September, Lima in December, and finally Paris next year for the International Climate TreatyNegotiations.

Mythical ‘Sea Serpent’ Comes into the Light

By ILCW member Cheryl Lyn Dybas

(Previously published by News Watch, National Geographic)

Williams and Murphy lift the lead-weight jar from the uppermost shelf at the end of a row in the support center’s fish collection, place it on a steel cart, and wheel it to a lab where fluorescent lights illuminate the contents. And where there are instruments for prying open the tightly shut, three-feet-high by one-foot-wide jar.

Once through the lab’s double-door entrance, Williams tries to free the jar’s top. “That lid is wedged in almost like it was superglued shut,” he says. Finally, after several twists of a wrench, open sesame. Within, an 11-feet-long fish with iridescent fins lies in repose, floating in preservative.

Read the whole post and see photos of the oarfish:


New Estimates for Keystone XL's Carbon Emissions Top 100 Million Tons a Year

By ILCW member Stephen Leahy

(Previously published by Motherboard)

The Keystone XL oil pipeline could put up to 110 million tons of additional climate-heating CO2 into the atmosphere every year for 50 years, according a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

If Keystone XL was a country, its 110 million tons of CO2 emissions would be comparable to those of the Czech Republic, Greece, and a number of other mid-sized European nations. And it could have a real shot at making the top 35 worst carbon polluting countries in the world. The study notes that 110 million tons of CO2 is four times more emissions than the US State Department’s highest estimate for the controversial pipeline, which is currently undergoing an environmental review.

Read the whole post::


The Burning Question

America’s Ongoing Debate over the Trade in Ivory

By ILCW member Michael Schwartz

(Previously published in Africa Geographic Magazine)

Every tusk costs a life. That was the ominous theme of a 30-second clip shown on a public-funded billboard in Manhattan’s Times Square. It was direct, bold and all too brief. For one month in the autumn of 2013, there was an elephant in New York City, flashing on a large screen, 24 hours a day for countless Americans and tourists to see. But like so many others fallen victim to gun, arrow and spear, this African giant was eventually taken down.

Read the whole post at:




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