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.



Nature Is Speaking

Nature Does Not Need People – People Need Nature

This week: Ian Somerhalder is Coral Reef

Conservation International has put together a series of eight short films (under 2 minutes each) that link an actor’s voice to a key component of the natural world. In each film it is evident that the natural world does not depend on people for its existence, but that people cannot survive without the natural world. Even the most self-centered among us may get the message that Nature does not need people – people need nature.

To view them all go to:

Call for Writing

City Creatures Blog is looking for creative nonfiction, personal essays, memoir or other work exploring the way cities foster opportunities for transformation, intimacy, and connection between humans and animals. City Creatures Blog publishes year-round and guidelines are here.

Landscapes is looking for critical essays, creative non-fiction, poetry, photography and artwork with the theme of "ecotones as contact zones...intersections in and of  landscapes: human and non-human, microscopic and macroscopic, virtual and embodied, ecological and cultural." Deadline is November 18 and guidelines are here. For more information (including detailed guidelines regarding possible topics or issues), contact Dr. Drew Hubbell and Dr. John Ryan here.  

Ashland Creek Press has a December 15 deadline for short stories for their next edition of
Among Animals, a book-length anthology focused on animals (including the intersection of human and animal lives). Guidelines are here.

Kenyon Review is looking for poetry, essays, fiction, and drama for a September / October 2016 special issue on the poetics of science. Deadline is December 31 and guidelines are here.

Under the Sun is looking for quality creative nonfiction and other essays. (Congratulations on so many "notable" mentions in Best American Essays 2015 and Best American Sports Writing 2015!) Deadline is January 2, 2016  and guidelines are here.

The 2016 Climate Fiction Short Story Contest is seeking fiction on the possible futures created by climate change. The first prize winner will receive $1,000 and the best submissions will be published in an online anthology. Kim Stanley Robinson, the legendary science fiction writer, will be judging the contest along with climate fiction experts from Arizona State University. Deadline is January 15, 2016 and guidelines are here.

Creative Nonfiction's fall 2016 issue will be dedicated to "learning from nature." Deadline is February 1, 2016 and there be a $5,000 prize for Best Essay and a $1,000 prize for best runner-up (there is no reading fee). Guidelines are here.

Source: Adrienne Ross Scanlan ILCW member (USA) and editor of Blue Lyra Review literary journal. For more information about the Blue Lyra Review or to subscribe.

From ILCW Members

Here is a wonderful cartoon from ILCW member, Rohan Chakravarty of India. See more of his witty drawings here.

Looking for Creative People Who Appreciate Nature

Do you have a friend or a colleague who is passionate about Nature and believes that we should protect what we have for future generations? ILCW welcomes all creative people (not just writers) who use their talent to bring awareness to the plight of our natural world. Have them apply to be an ILCW member at



November 27, 2015

London Premier of
Blood Lions—Behind the Scenes.
7 pm at the Royal Geographical Society at 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR – Exhibition Road Entrance. Sponsored by the Born Free Foundation. To purchase tickets go here.


December 2, 2015

New York showing of
Blood Lions—Behind the Scenes.

6 pm to 8:30 pm at the Explorers Club, 46 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021. Presented by Empowers Africa. This new documentary exposes the captive lion breeding and the canned lion hunting industry in South Africa. Event includes guest speakers and is a fund raiser to help regulate the captive lion industry. For more information call
1-917-328-1611. Purchase tickets here.


Sept. 30 -- Oct. 11, 2016

A 12-day Peruvian Adventure for
Woman Writers

Space is limited to 12 women

Discover the Sacred Valley, Patacancha, Cusco, and Machu Picchu. 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. Travel with ILCW member Page Lambert. To find more information about the trip click here.


Do you have news?

Let us know if you have won an award, written a new book, or launched a creative endeavor to bring awareness to conservation. Chances are the ILCW membership is not aware of these things, so be sure and tell us. Send items to:


New Conservation Filmmaker

Films by Fulcrum has announced that they have three films for sale with six more to follow in 2016. Wilderness in America, a historical look at the way Americans have treated the land over the last four centuries, from something to fear and conquer to something to protect and value. This short introduction explains why the film was made:

The Salamanca Interviews of WILD10, hear the passion of these attendees of the World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca, Spain during the fall of 2013 and why they are fighting to protect our wild areas world-wide. And the Thomas Locker Visual Biographies collection that features four of Thomas Locker’s books, all read aloud by children’s literature expert and storyteller Judy Volc. The viewer hears the story while Locker’s beautiful paintings tell the visual story with music and sound effects. For more information go to:

“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

View past featured videos



The African Elephant is in Crisis

The Great Elephant Census is a massive effort now underway to find and count elephant populations across 20 African countries. This new short film sets the stage for how this data can help develop a master plan to preserve these animals.


Film Exposing Canned-Hunting Industry of Lions

Premiers in London and New York

Photo © Pippa Hankinson

Blood Lions – Behind the Scenes is the revealing documentary that exposes the industry of canned-hunting of lions in South Africa where most are bred in captivity and hand reared to make them easier to bag. The film is being shown internationally and will premier in London on November 27 at the Royal Geographical Society and in New York on December 2 at the Explorers Club.

Lions bred for slaughter in South Africa is big business. The Blood Lions™ story is a compelling call to action to have these practices stopped. Blood Lions™ follows presenter, researcher, safari operator, and ILCW member Ian Michler, and Rick Swazey, an American hunter, on their journey to uncover the realities about the multimillion-dollar predator breeding and canned lion hunting industries in South Africa.

Andrew Venter, CEO of Wildlands and Executive Producer of the film said:  “Blood Lions™ exposes the cons of lion breeding and hunting in South Africa. Over 900 lions are hunted each year, with 99% bred for the bullet. They are hand-reared by paying volunteers that believe they are saving ‘Africa’s Lions’. 4 days after their release from a life in captivity they are considered wild and can then be shot by hunters looking for a guaranteed kill; or slaughtered for the Lion bone trade to China. We have to stop this barbaric and fraudulent practise and believe that Blood Lions™ will help us do this. Venter also added “the scale of the industry is huge, with some 4,000 lion cubs born in captive breeding facilities in South Africa each year. Unbelievably, in South Africa canned lion hunting is legal, generating some US$10 million per year.’’

The London premier is at 7 pm / cocktails at 6, November 27, at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR (Exhibition Road Entrance). Sponsored by the Born Free Foundation. For tickets and more information click here.

The New York screening is at 7 pm / cocktails at 6, December 2, at The Explorers Club, 46 E 70th Street. Sponsored by Empowers Africa. For tickets and more information click here.




ILCW now on Facebook

ILCW members, please check out the ILCW Facebook page and add content. Tell us what you are working on, what changes you see in the area of conservation (good and bad) in your area, include news from you: have you recently won any awards or accolades? Have you recently published a new book or article or perhaps finished a piece of art, performance piece, photo that glorifies the natural world? This page is for you, please enjoy and generate interest in ILCW and what we do.


Resources for ILCW Members

Forces of Nature: Environmental Elders Speak

This website is packed with informative interviews by environmental leaders. The aim is to record and share first-person accounts of key decisions, case studies and stories that can assist today’s decision makers defend our natural heritage.

Forces of Nature: Environmental Elders Speak is a project of Resource Renewal Institute (RRI), which has developed original solutions to complex environmental problems for over 25 years. RRI launched the Environmental Elders Program to tap a reservoir of human knowledge and experience within the fields of environmental policy and activism, natural resource management and human health – and provide access to a collection of best practices and case studies to affect current environmental affairs.

Borrowing from oral history and autobiography, RRI’s video project Forces of Nature: Environmental Elders Speak brings together casual anecdotes with detailed accounts, the videos jump between the personal and the universal, offering stories of environmental battles won and lost so that future generations can be better prepared for challenges ahead.  Together these stories illustrate the dynamic tapestry of nature and the common threads that unite us globally in the fight to protect our most precious natural resources and special places for future generations.

To view the site and see the interviews go here.





In Support of World Population Day

By ILCW member Prerna Singh Bindra (India)

July 11 is World Population Day, and so I thought this is as good a time to proclaim, in full possession of my faculties, that I have resolved not to add one more person to the world's 7,327,715, 901. Of course, the population clock would have ticked, the numbers jumped by the time you read this, even by the time I finish writing it.

This decision not to have a child is not an easy one for a woman, anywhere, but perhaps more so in India. We may have made strides in women's empowerment. We may have had a woman prime minister, and women manning our forests and our borders, and venturing into space. Yet, ultimately, the worth of a woman, indeed her reason de entre, is to procreate. And all the better, if she births a man.

Let me dispel some myths and do some plain talking here:

One refrain childfree people often hear is: People who don't have kids are "selfish, shallow and self-absorbed" (Read the book with the same title): Really? One reason I took this path - and there are others; more personal, and not for public consumption - is that I believe it is unselfish. At over 7.2 billion, we have no calling to perpetuate our race. The earth is groaning under our weight. Not only are there too many of us, but most of us have a dirty, greedy footprint. There is no disputing that overpopulation (and ceaseless consumption) is the single biggest cause of the hot soup - I mean global warming and its nasty consequences - we find ourselves in currently.

And any child I - part of the highly consumptive class - bring into this world, is frankly going to be this irresistible, cute little guzzler of water and nappies, food and fuel, vastly disproportionate to her/his diminutive size. As she/he grows, so will the wants - gear and gadgets, beer and burgers, car and bigger cars, home and second homes. She/he is going to consume electricity from Bhutan, coal from Australia, cotton that travels from India to Bangladesh to US, and then back. She/he will wash, wear, cook, create, travel, fly, achieve… All those things which make our hearts swell with pride, but cost the earth dear. There are enough mind-numbing statistics to support this, however this post is not about proving points.

It's widely acknowledged, even if in hushed tones, that not having children may well be the biggest contribution to limit your environmental footprint. Grist writer Lisa Hymas coins the acronym GINK: Green Inclination No Kids. Telling, though, that the dictionary defines a "gink" as a foolish or contemptible person.

I think too, of the world we bring our kids into. We prefer not to face the inconvenient truth, but there is no escaping the fact that resources crucial to our survival are shrinking, getting dirtier. Water wars are already occurring, they will only get more frequent, murkier. Our food is frankly, filth. I do not want my child gasping for air, her lungs function far below capacity, as is the fate of Delhi's (India’s capital and ranked the as the most polluted city in the world) children.

I would want my child to breathe fresh air, eat safe foods, drink clean water, swim in clear springs, marvel at rainbows, revel in lush forests, be humbled by the ocean, watch a tiger…

We are robbing our children, and their children, of nature's endowment and abundance, of wonder and beauty.

We are leaving them a vastly insipid, impoverished world.

A word here for parents, and prospective parents: I am not preaching, I do not claim a high moral ground. You love kids, yearn to nurture them? Do so. Raise them to be happy, sensitive, kind people. In fact, I love (some) of your kids too. I adore my lively little niece, and my shy, and oh-so-bright nephews. I enjoy their company. I love their unwarped view of the world. I delight in the neighbourhood kids who come to meet my dog, browse through my books, and ask me incessant questions.

Each of us have different values, circumstances, desires. I respect your choice. Respect mine, too. This isn't about you. The world, and everyone in it applauds you. Celebrates with you every step of the way: baby showers, birthdays, daughter days, weddings and then, more baby showers. Parents, grandparents, friends exult in your little bundle(s) of joy. Governments offer tax breaks. Hotels and travel agencies offer special deals (children under 12 free!). While we were left mumbling excuses for our choice; when you assume we would feel differently if “we had our own”; that we will change our mind. That we will rue this (selfish) decision, only by then, it will be too late.

There are so many things wrong with that, I do not know where to begin.

For one, it's judgmental. Patronising? What makes you think you know me better than me? Have any of us sidled up to you, asking, if you regret having that charming little brat currently shrieking the house down for the newest Barbie?

So, is a family only husband/wife, children? How about parents, siblings, pets, soul sisters, friends?

Not having children is not a selfish, lazy, shallow decision. It does mean that us childfree types have guts to stick to our choice, bucking extreme social and every kind of pressure.

It's a very tough choice to make. Bucking a norm, blessed by God and society, is never easy. And yeah, while one doesn't miss the patter of little feet, there is the occasional pang for easy companionship and love that is the gift of a well-brought-up child.

My only ask here: Think outside your worldview. Change the narrative. The idea might be radical, but why not make it the new normal?

Meanwhile, I brace myself for the trolls and the brickbats.

This article was first published in daily O on World Population Day 11 July 2015


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International League of Conservation Writers  

4690 Table Mountain Dr., Suite 100

Golden, Colorado, USA 80403

Phone: 303-277-1623

Content copyright 2010-2015

International League of Conservation Writers.

All rights reserved.

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