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Update from the field – Arrest of 8 people at an ivory crackdown in Congo
News from Ofir Drori (winner 2011) with a successful story from Congo and Guinea! There were 4 ivory operations in Brazzaville (Congo) this week and the EAGLE network (with Naf’s PALF) arrested a phenomenal 8 people at an ivory crackdown in Congo.
This arrest ended with stopping a plane from taking off to get a Chinese national arrested who attempted to board the Ethiopian Airlines flight with ivory jewelry after bribing 60.000 FCFA (About 125 USD) to get it through via a fixer. The next step is to prosecute these criminals and put them into jail, so the hard work of all of the organizations involved was not for nothing.
Next to that, Charlotte’s GALF team outsmarted an overly cautious big ivory trafficker in Guinea just a few days ago. Their investigation has allowed them to understand the new modus operandi used by ivory dealers in Guinea to avoid arrests and confiscations of ivory. Together with the help of other teams and organizations they have succeeded to make the arrest! They are very thankful and proud.
Applications FFN Award 2014
The 10 nominees for the FFN Award 2014 have all finalized their applications before the 1st of november including the required additions, well done!
We have ordered all the information and recently sent it to the International Selection Committee. After all of the hard work of the nominees it is now time for the members of the ISC to perform the special task of reading everything carefully and giving points on the base of various criteria. This committee will use the entire month of november to do this.
Update from the field – Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative
Patrícia Medici (winner 2008) is still working with the lowland tapir in Brazil for the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative, IPÊ - Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (Institute for Ecological Research). She is also a chair of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG). You can follow her You Tube channel to learn more about the tapir in Brazil.
She recently sent us an update of a 2-week expedition where they had eight capture/recapture events! Four tapirs were recaptured and released. All of them were monitored through telemetry for 2-3 years generating tons of data. They continue to be closely monitored through camera-trap photos and videos as well as regular recaptures. Every once and a while they anesthetize and manipulate them for health checks but they have no plans to give them new collars.
Patrícia went on this expedition to the Pantanal with a team consisting of herself, a field assistant ZéPS (José Maria), veterinarian Renata Santos and their darting specialist Gabriel Dmasceno. The main objective of this expedition was to capture and radio-collar (GPS telemetry) as many new individuals as possible, to recapture Nelson Chester who had been monitored for the last two years and needed to have his collar removed, and to collect more tissue samples for their genetics study. During this expedition they reached a total of 3,000 camera-trap records since 2011 and the amount of data and information on social organization and reproduction they are generating is absolutely incredible! They have purchased seven new camera-traps and their grid of cameras in the field is now covering a huge area. To read more about this and other expeditions, you can follow Patrícia and her team on facebook.
At the moment Patrícia and her team are following the development and social interactions through camera-traps of several females with offspring. They cannot wait to for them to be fully grown so that they can radio-collar and monitor this new generation of tapirs at Baía das Pedras. They are starting with a conversation with Telonics USA about the possibility of developing expandable collars or drop-off systems that could allow us to radio-collar these younger tapirs safely. They are currently interested in tapir social organization and Patrícia would love to be able to study their spatial ecology.
Our My Friend is a Tapir educational campaign in partnership with the Brazilian Association of Zoos. This campaign is going really well! They have over 30 Brazilian zoos involved, covering seven Brazilian states – which is huge! Different zoos are running different activities, creating a multitude of fantastic educational materials, and the Brazilian media in different regions is picking up on the story!
They have BIG PLANS for early 2014… Stay tuned!
Patrícia is currently in Mexico attending the annual meeting of the Steering Committee of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.
Patrícia also wanted to thank everybody for their continuous support!
Progress in the conservation of the Asiatic cheetah in Iran
Mohammad Farhadinia (winner 2009) is still actively promoting the conservation of Asiatic cheetah in Iran. His organization – the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) – initiated a comprehensive monitoring program in partnership with Iran’s Department of Environment, Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project and Panthera to understand demographic characteristics of the cheetahs in Iran between 2011 and 2013. Thanks to various donors and partners, the monitoring program (with the use of camera traps) was recently initiated to fill the gap in knowledge which is essential for improving protection. Presently the cheetahs confirmed from 17 reserves across the country, all within the eastern region of Iran.
Iran is home to the last known population of Asiatic cheetah which once roamed across vast ranges of west and south Asian countries. On the 5th of October 2013 Tehran will host the National Conference of Iranian Cheetah, organized by the ICS and Iran DoE.
Free the Bears opens new classroom
Free the Bears, the organisation Chuon Vuthy (winner 2012) is part of, has opened a brand new classroom ‘The Bear Den’ at their Cambodian sanctuary. Kids can learn here all about the bears and other Cambodian wildlife. The classroom is powered entirely by solar energy, making it friendly for the whole environment.
Future for Nature received a gift of 1.000 euro!
Last week Future for Nature received a cheque of 1.000 euro from FB Ned, the association of Dutch family companies.
126 candidates for the Future for Nature Award 2014
We would like to say a big thank you to the 126 candidates who sent us their application for the Future for Nature Award 2014. This year the candidates come from 58 different countries. Last year 98 passionate, young nature conservationists participated in the Future for Nature contest and this year even more! Thank you for your work.
The closing date for the applications was 8th September. Now the work starts for the Board of the Future for Nature Foundation and the International Future for Nature Award Selection Committee. They will review the applications and select ten nominees for the Award. After this first selection the ten nominees are asked to provide further information about their performance and projects. With that information three winners will be selected and invited to come over to the Netherlands in April 2014 to give a presentation about their work and to receive the Future for Nature Award and price.
The participants will hear more about the results around mid October 2013.
Thanks to everyone once again for the applications.
Rudi Putra reactivates research station
Rudi Putra (FFN winner 2013) and his team are working on reactivating a research station in the Aceh Tenggara district. In 2011 this station was set on fire by criminals and there has been no activity ever since. Rudi and his team bought a new boat and now they can cross the river to get to the research station and build it up again. And Rudi has more good news: In the beginning of August they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Aceh Government to continue rhino and wildlife patrol in the whole Aceh forest.
Lion trafficking arrest
Ofir Drori (FFN winner 2011) and his team from LAGA – Wild Life Enforcement successfully arrested a trafficker with a lion’s skin. This arrest is quite significant because there are only a few dozens of lions left in Cameroon. In Waza Park that was known for its lions in the past, there are now not more than 13 lions.
Some estimates indicate a drop of around 93% in Africa’s lion population in the past three decades. Lions have disappeared from 80% of their historic range and are extinct in 26 countries. These data shows how important the work of Ofir and his team is.
Snare detection by ‘Green Dogs’
Carline van Vliet (one of the FFN nominees in 2013) and Green Dogs started a new snare detection project in South Luangwa, Zambia. They were invited by Working Dogs for Conservation and the South Luangwa Conservation Society to try and see if snare detection dogs can help anti-poaching teams to find and remove more snares more effectively.
In the first week, Carline van Vliet trained her dogs on possible scenarios involving snare detection in an environment that is used by Elephants, Buffalo, Hippos and many more. During the other weeks, the team and the dogs went out with Rachel McRobb’s (SLCS) patrol teams to search for snares. They removed a large number of snares.
‘Green Dogs’ is the first one to actually try and see if dogs can detect snares. “We are confident that there is a place for dogs in snare detection so we can support rangers to remove snares even more efficiently and fewer animals will become victims.”
Educational campaign from former FFN winner adopted by Brazilian zoos
The educational campaign ‘My Friend is a Tapir’, from the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative, is adopted by the Brazilian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (SZB).
The adoption of the My Friend is a Tapir campaign aims at encouraging Brazilian zoos to include tapir conservation issues into their educational programs, distributing campaign brochures previously designed and edited by Patrícia Medici (FFN winner 2008) and environmental journalist Liana John, discussing these issues with their public, making campaign materials available through their websites and social media profiles. “Brazilian zoos receive approximately 20 million visitors per year and have, therefore, huge potential to disseminate conservation messages! We are extremely happy with this new partnership and we could not be more grateful for this amazing support provided by SZB!”, says Patricia.
The first applications FFN Award 2014 are received
We received the first application forms for the Future for Nature Award 2014! Are you a young (under 35) nature conservationist and do you want to win €50.000,-? Apply now for the Future for Nature Award. Do you know a young talented nature conservationist? Third parties may propose a candidate for nomination using the same online application form.
To participate in this contest you have to submit your application on or before September 8th 2013. You can find more information and the application form here.
MPC makes Conservation Action Plan
The Conversation Action Plan from MPC (Moroccan Primate Conservation) is ready to be implemented. In October 2011 MPC organised a meeting with the Moroccan High Commissary of Water and Forests to create this long needed plan for the Barbary macaque in Morocco. Now, the plan is an official governmental document in Morocco and the authorities have already actively started to work within the framework of the plan. Els van Lavieren (FFN winner 2010) is one of the founders of MPC and she is very proud of this achievement.
Patricia Medici new member International Selection Committee
We are very proud to announce that Patricia Medici joins our International Selection Committee. In 2008 Patricia was one of the first winners of the Future for Nature Award. She won the prize for her outstanding conservation work on the tapir in the Pantanal in Brazil. Since then she continued her work for the Tapir in Brazil and established the Lowland Conservation Initiative. We are very happy to have her in our International Selection Committee.
Resisting bribes and sex temptations
The difficult life and work of true conservationists in Central Africa. Ofir Drori (FFN winner 2011) sent us a message from one of his conservation partners in Congo. This message gives us an idea what it is like to protect wildlife in Central Africa:
“After the arrests and imprisonment of illegal loggers together with the corrupt local forestry official of Mitzic we are back for more arrests in the same area.
From the beginning of the year, the new model for Forest Law Enforcement, ALEFI, targeted 7 companies, including 3 Chinese ones. 23 forest criminals have been arrested many of them are senior managers and foreigners. 9 are still behind bars till now.
The fresh arrests in Ndjole target 3 Chinese companies and include the Chinese head of a company.
….The three companies started a coordinated effort of trying to buy out our jurist and head of our legal department.
They first proposed 10,000 USD, he resisted and documented the attempts. Then they thought raising the price will get him to abandon his activism and proposed 14,000 USD. Our jurist resisted and fought back when the criminals came again proposing 30,000 USD!
If that wasn’t enough for a crazy weekend and a test to the clash between activism and greed, a Chinese translator of another company tried to offer sex to our jurist to get the big boss released from prison.
The exemplary resistance to bribes and sex temptations of our legal department makes us proud and shows the value of fostering activism. Our jurist is an award winning aspiring author, a talented and courageous guy.”
Apply now for the Future for Nature Award 2014!
The new round for the Future for Nature Award 2014 is open now! We would like to invite you to apply for the Future for Nature Award 2014. To participate in this contest you have to submit your application on or before September 8th 2013. Please be aware that you your age is one of the criteria; you may not be older then 35 years on 30th April 2014.
You can find more information and the application form here.
Speech Prince William
Future for Nature was asked for giving input for making a film for The Royal Foundation to support the Duke of Cambridge’s speech from Prince William. The film was part of his speech on a wildlife trade conference. Prince William was stressing the importance of young local conservationists and we have provided some wonderful footage of Samia and her work with tigers. Watch the film here.
Cheetahs in NE Iran
Mohammad Farhadinia (FFN winner of 2009) shared fantastic news with us. A large group of cheetahs have been spotted again in NE Iran, not far from Turkmenistan border.
A large family of Asiatic cheetahs has been photo-trapped. During an ongoing intensive monitoring of the cheetahs by means of camera traps in Miandasht Wildlife Refuge, the group was photographed, composing of an adult female “mom with three young adolescents. At least two adolescents are male, the third needs more investigation. The animals were recorded on several occasions while coming to water sources to drink.
Read the whole story here.
Movie FFN Awards 2013 released
The movie about the Future for Nature Awards 2013 is released last week. Take a look and enjoy the Future for Nature Awards 2013 one more time!
Curious about our winners? Watch these interviews!
Become a friend of Future for Nature
Do you want to help young nature conservationists? Become a friend of Future for Nature and help us to continue our work in the future. With your help we will be able to set up a learning network for young conservationists and we will be able to reward more young nature conservationists and support the good work they are doing.
Research for FFN
Two teams of students from the Wageningen University (WUR) presented their results from the research they did for FFN today. One group did research on trend analyses in nature conservation. The other group did research on possibilities for learning networks for the group of nature conservationists. Results will be published soon.
Eight continuously patrol teams in Leuser, Indonesia
Rudi Putra (FFN winner 2013) protects the Sumatran rhino in the Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia. Thanks to the 50.000 euro’s he won during the FFN Awards 2013, he has been able to maintain eight patrol teams in the Leuser Ecosystem. The teams protect the Sumatran rhino and his habitat. “It is really amazing for me, when I see the teams work well and continuously. Thanks FFN”, said Rudi in an email.
Malapascua Arts-Science Festival in the Philippines
Anna Oposa (FFN winner 2012) organised together with her organisation Save Philippine Seas (SPS) the Malapascua Arts-Science Festival from 8-11 April. The Festival brought together over 100 students, 10 youth volunteers, and 21 teachers to celebrate the marine environment through creative forms of learning. During the Festival the students had games and activities on marine-related concepts like the ecosystem, food chain and the marine protected areas instead of regular lectures.
In three months, SPS will return to Malapascua for monitoring and evaluation the activities. SPS has also begun mobilizing resources for the Arts-Science Festival ’14.
FFN congratulates Burgers’ Zoo!
Burgers’ Zoo, our main sponsor, celebrates her 100th anniversary. Today, a 100 years ago this fabulous zoo opened her doors for the very first time. Congratulations Burgers’ Zoo!
Application process FFN Award 2014
Do you want to apply for the Future for Nature Award 2014? More information about the application process will be available from June 2013 on this website.
FFN Award event 2013 huge success
Three talented young nature conservationists, Samia Saif (Bangladesh), Rudi H. Putra (Indonesia) and Lucy King (Kenya), received the Future for Nature Award 2013 in Burgers’ Zoo, the Netherlands, on Friday 22 February. They received the Award from our guest of honour Dr. Jane Goodall. Goodall also gave an inspiring speech for more than 500 visitors. It was a very successful event and we are looking forward to receiving three new winners for the Future for Nature Award 2014. We will open the new round in June.