(White River, South Africa.) Today, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and the Mozambique Ministry of Tourism (MITUR) signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that solidified and formalized their longstanding partnership to improve Mozambique's wildlife conservation. This is great news for Mozambique whose wildlife was decimated during the civil wars of the 1970s and 1980s and requires concerted efforts to help in its restoration and conservation.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2004 to Wangari Maathai for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace. Maathai is the first African woman to receive this prestigious award. Known both as a pioneering academic and environmental campaigner, Maathai has fought tirelessly, even against oppressive regimes, to ensure a sustainable environment and better quality of life for women and the citizens of Kenya.
For the second time, the Chobe Riverfront of Chobe National Park in Northern Botswana has been closed to tourists due to an anthrax outbreak. Since its outbreak on September 8th, more than 265 animals have died, including 248 buffalo and 12 elephants.
Reports of mass deforestation in the Southern Sector of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), habitat of the endangered mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei), were confirmed in June of this year. As a result of extensive habitat destruction and land conversion by people accompanied by Rwandan military personnel, a total of 15 km2 of natural habitat, including bamboo forest and mixed-forest (which forms the diet of mountain gorillas), was cleared for conversion to pastoral and agricultural land.
In the heart of Tanzania, an innovative and ambitious conservation business venture is built on a simple premise - women are the key to wildlife conservation. Indeed, at the Esilalei Women's Cultural Boma in AWF's Maasai Steppe Heartland, Maasai women are leading the charge for conservation and building their own economic and social capacity through this modern cultural tourism enterprise.