Elisha Thompson from the group DONET, in Dodoma, received training and equipment in early 2009. He went on to investigate street children and their fight for survival at the bottom of the social chain amid drug and sexual abuse.. The result was a moving film called ‘Dream’. EIA connected Elisha Thompson with Haki Elimu and he was subsequently funded by the organisation to produce two TV spots urging the Government to inject TZS 60 billion into improving education and build 22,000 new homes for teachers. These were shown on TV daily, helping to build public support.Elisha received funds from EIA to document forest destruction by charcoal manufacturers, and has produced several TV spots campaigning on maternal health.Several of his films screened at the Uninhibited Muse Festival in the USA, and he is now mentoring new project participants in field investigations.
PINGOS Forum, in Arusha, received training and equipment from EIA in early 2009 and went on to produce a film highlighteing the government eviction of Maasai tribesmen to protect the operations of an influential Emirati hunting company, the OBC. The film features testimony of the associated brutalities and the burning of homes, revealing how the government is failing its people in favour of lucrative deals.A screeing at the Swedish Embassy prompted the Ambassador to launch a fact-finding mission into the evictions. The film was also shared among delegates at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in Gambia, garnering international support. Maasai communities have in turn been empowered to demonstrate and give testimony in court.In addition, PINGOS received a small grant from EIA to investigate and document the impacts of raw effluence from an oil distillery on local communities. Following a media campaign, the company was pressured to construct a treatment plant. PINGOs is now helping to open a legal case against the distillery.
Maajabu conducted a field investigation in an area in Loliondo, which the central government wanted to gazette as a National Forest Reserve. The government planned to expel Maasai communities in the area, accusing them of illegally logging and destroying the forest. Maajabu’s investigation showed outsiders were responsible for the destruction.In April 2010, Maajabu showed their film ‘Our Beloved Forests’ to the Tanzanian Director of Forests,. He agreed to accompany Maajabu to Loliondo and subsequently declared the area a ‘Village Forest Reserve’ to be managed by the Maasai communities.
TGNP, a gender-based organisation, used visuals and the media to lobby for a female Speaker in Parliament. In 2011, for the first time ever, the ruling party nominated a woman as Parliamentary Speaker.
The project has also led to the creation of a strong national network. Individuals trained by EIA have begun working cooperatively; for example, in response to the proposed construction of the Serengeti Highway, NGOs have come together to produce a campaign film calling for an alternative route less disruptive to wildlife migration. The government recently announced it would support this option instead of the original route.
Thailand: Kenya tusks were court evidence, say Thai officials
Part of the massive ivory haul seized in Thailand was prosecution evidence stolen from Kenyan courts and reshipped to Bangkok.
Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dapong Rattanasuwan and Director-General of Customs Somchai Sujjapongse told the media that they had reshipped seized ivory to Kenya to be used as evidence against ivory traffickers, only for the same consignment to find its way back to the Asian country last week.
The revelations have raised questions about the role of the Judiciary, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Ports Authority officials and police officers in the international criminal enterprise that fans poaching.
“Most of them were the tusks earlier seized and sent back to their origins in Africa whereas some were those having been kept as evidence in some countries,” said Gen Dapong.
On April 25, Thailand’s Customs Department seized 511 elephant tusks that had been declared at the customs office as 11 tonnes of tea leaves from Kenya destined for Laos. Environment Secretary Judi Wakhungu promised to investigate how the ivory left Mombasa without detection.
The Sunday Nation has established that a criminal enterprise involving Kenyans and foreigners is involved in stealing and reselling ivory used as evidence against poachers in court cases. The syndicate is run from Asia and has major operations in Kenya.
Image: Thai customs official inspects some of the seized ivory from Kenya (c) Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/AFP ... See MoreSee Less
3 hours ago ·
With EIA forest campaigners in Brunei this week to push for better protection for threatened Siamese rosewood from illegal logging, learn more about what’s at stake – and why – in this short documentary produced by EIA’s in-house film unit.
Time for ASEAN to act to end illegal, violent rosewood trade
EIA forest campaigners are in Brunei this week (May 5-8) to seek better protection for endangered Siamese rosewood at the 11th ASEAN Experts Group on CITES (CITES AEG) and 10th meeting of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN).
A new EIA briefing outlining the key issues, 'Addressing ASEAN’s Regional Rosewood Crisis: An Urgent Call to Action', has been produced in English, Burmese, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese for the meetings.
The briefing makes policy recommendations on how Association of South-East Asean Nations (ASEAN) member states can maximise the protection afforded to Siamese rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) from illegal logging and international trade by removing a loophole in the CITES Appendix II listing – Annotation 5 – which exempts semi–finished and finished products from CITES protection.
The briefing also urges ASEAN member states to propose CITES Appendix II listing for two further species of rosewoods – currently under extreme and growing pressure from Chinese demand for Hongmu furniture – as replacements for Siamese rosewood, namely Burmese rosewood (Dalbergia oliveri/bariensis) and Burmese padauk (Pterocarpus macrocarpus).
As a recognised global authority on illegal timber trade, EIA has been invited to present the briefing to ASEAN member states at the CITES AEG and ASEAN-WEN meetings in Brunei, where it is expected regional consensus will be reached to put an end to the illegal, unsustainable and violent trade in these high-value species and formal proposals to CITES can be progressed prior to the CITES CoP17 in 2016 and the CITES Plants Committee in September 2015.
With no laws prohibiting illegal timber imports in China – the world’s biggest consumer of illegal wood – CITES presents the only way to engender respect for sovereign forestry and trade laws of ASEAN member states. The time to act is now.