It is not common for African primatologists and conservationists to mix, much less in a small town in Japan. But earlier this December, 16 African students representing 11 different countries came to Inuyama, Japan, to do just that. The odd group convened under the auspices of the African Primatological Consortium.
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.
With the world currently experiencing many of its effects, it is a critical time for drawing attention to the threats of climate change. In Africa, prolonged droughts have been felt across the continent. Between 2007 and 2009, severe droughts in Kenya and Tanzania significantly reduced local communities’ crop yields and livestock productivity. But it also had a big effect on the region’s wildlife.
Since stepping into the role of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) president in January 2016, Kaddu Sebunya has met with heads of state and regional bodies in Africa to advocate for sustainable development that takes the continent’s natural riches—its wildlife and wild lands—into account.
You may have seen that this past Sunday, Dec. 4, was International Cheetah Day—a day the conservation community has dedicated to celebrating the world’s fastest land mammal and to raising awareness about the threats it currently faces.