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.
India: Organised inter-state gangs behind killings of elephants
KOCHI: Expressing concern over the recent spate of poaching of elephants in southern India, a global wildlife monitoring network has said organised inter-state poaching gangs were behind the killings of tuskers in the forests of Western Ghats.
The recent spate of poaching of elephants and seizures of ivory in southern India has brought forth a disturbing trend that after a hiatus of about 20 years, organised inter-state poaching gangs are resurfacing and are active once again in India, as per wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.
It says while domestic demand is one of the drivers for ivory in India, with certain communities of western India using it for bangles and other ornamental purposes, the lion's share was meant for international consumption mainly to countries like Japan and China via Thailand, Singapore and Philippines.
The leading non-governmental organisation working globally on trade in wild animals and plants said usage of elephant articles vary from Japanese hanko, artifacts, wedding bangles, trophies and medicines.
"Poaching for meat and other products like tail hair also pose threats to populations, especially in northeast India," it says.
Noting that the current poaching hotspots are the same as before in the elephant-rich habitat of Western Ghats, spanning the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, as well as Orissa and Assam, TRAFFIC says while the Asian elephant was facing many impediments to its survival today including habitat loss and conflict, poaching still remains a threat.
Image: Elephant family on the Kabini River bank, Karnataka, India, by Gnissah ... See MoreSee Less
6 hours ago ·
With the release today of a new EIA Oceans Campaign report on the threat to human health in Japan from eating polluted whale, dolphin and porpoise meat (ht.ly/RD6re), here's a short film on the issue from our archives ...
About 90% of seabirds have eaten plastic and are likely to retain some in their gut, a new analysis estimates.
The study concludes that matters will only get worse until action is taken to stem the flow of waste to the oceans.
Researcher Erik Van Sebille says the oceans are now filled with plastic and it is "virtually certain" that any dead seabird found in 2050 "will have a bit of plastic in its stomach".
Dr Van Sebille and his colleagues report their work in the journal PNAS.
On one level, the analysis is shocking, but on another, its findings seem depressingly familiar.
Numerous studies have now catalogued the rising mass of plastic debris being dumped, blown or simply washed out to sea; and it is having a deleterious impact on the marine environment.
To the foraging bird, a discarded plastic cigarette lighter or a shiny bottle top can look like a fish. If ingested, this litter may simply stay in the gut, unable to pass through, putting the animal's health at risk.
As more and more plastic waste finds its way into the oceans - about eight million tonnes a year in one recent estimate - so the hazards to wildlife increase.