As AWF Trustee Myma Belo-Osagie wrote in her International Women’s Day blog post at the beginning of the month, women in Africa must step up and engage in conservation on the continent. Without their involvement on today’s most pressing matters—such as sustainable development and economic growth, and how conservation fits into these contexts—she argues that Africa risks being left behind the rest of the world.
While poaching often receives more attention in the news, habitat destruction represents a more serious, persistent threat to wildlife. Species from elephants to egrets need adequate space and healthy land to thrive.
Today, March 3, is World Wildlife Day—a recognition of the need to protect the many wildlife species with whom we share the planet. This year’s theme: “Listen to the young voices.” With nearly 25 percent of the global population between the ages of 10 and 24, young people have a significant role to play in protecting endangered wildlife—now and in the future.
For the past two weeks, AWF participated in an aerial census conducted by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in the Tsavo–Mkomazi ecosystem, which straddles the border between Kenya and Tanzania. This landscape hosts about a third of Kenya’s elephant population, and serves as a habitat for all of the species that make up Africa’s “big five.”
Valued at an estimated $10–$20 billion per year, the global illegal wildlife trade is said to be the fourth-largest illegal trade in the world. To date, much attention has been focused on consumer countries in Asia, a major destination for a wide variety of wildlife contraband.