Longtime AWF followers might remember Nakedi Maputla, the leopard researcher working out of South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The intrepid South African recently became our Congo landscape ecologist, where he is working to protect bonobos, forest elephants, and, yes, also leopards.
To hear Craig Sholley tell it, AWF never intended to build schools. Supporting capacity building and opportunities for conservation education, sure. But physically building a school?
In Africa, getting access to a good education isn’t so easy if you live in the bush. Meanwhile, these rural areas are where you find the rich habitats and wildlife.
Through the AWF Conservation Schools (ACS) program, AWF has leveraged education as a way to encourage conservation among rural communities: In exchange for target communities agreeing to take certain conservation actions, AWF is building, or rebuilding, primary schools.
‘Climate Change Needs to be Included in Everything We Do’
Ask Zambian-born Dave Loubser about climate change, and he’ll have a lot to tell you. And well he should: As AWF’s new program director for climate change, Loubser is a trained ecologist who has more than 12 years of experience working on climate change issues, in South Africa, New Zealand, Abu Dhabi, and elsewhere. Here is just some of what he had to say about climate change in Africa.
For the first time, everyday Congolese are taking an active role in the conservation of their country’s bonobos. In the Congo landscape, AWF has trained 50 people from the Congolese wildlife authority, Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), and the local community to use CyberTracker technology units to conduct ecological monitoring in the Lomako–Yokokala Faunal Reserve.