As global weather patterns continue to shift and human population growth rates rise, water scarcity is fast becoming one of this century’s most complex challenges. More than 4 billion people across the world face severe water scarcity due to the withdrawal of more water than is sustainably available. In Africa, this reduced access to clean water sources not only impacts human welfare in urban and rural areas, it is also claiming wildlife species, fragile ecosystems, and the communities that depend on them.
Dr. Jimmiel Mandima is responsible for African Wildlife Foundation’s work with the public sector, which means developing and managing relationships with the agencies that in 2017 funded approximately 29 percent of our work. As director of program design and partner relations, Mandima also advocates for African wildlife conservation in the United States — on Capitol Hill and to the White House and government agencies.
Compared to Africa’s other great apes, the bonobo has been relatively less studied. Its geographic range stretches 500,000 square kilometers across the Democratic Republic of Congo’s remotest tropical forests — difficult to reach areas with a history of regional political unrest. As such, research on bonobo ecological preferences, habitat use, and distribution has been mostly limited to small areas accessible by foot. However, with increased pressure from hunting and habitat degradation facing this endangered great ape, further study has become increasingly critical.
Monday, June 7, 2010 stands out clearly in my memory. I had just been appointed as a public prosecutor for wildlife crimes, and my first mission was to visit various courts and introduce myself in my new role. I started at Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi, where the Chief Magistrate kindly suggested that I sit in her courtroom for the morning session to acquaint myself — a relief, given that I had no experience in prosecution.
Forest loss and degradation take various forms across the continent’s landscapes. Industrial logging, mining, and agriculture consume forests to meet the development goals of growing economies. They contribute to climate change and further degrade the forest’s health, resilience, and the services they provide.