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.
Many hunting trophies banned from import into the Netherlands
The Dutch government is further restricting hunters from importing their trophies to the Netherlands. The list of banned trophies was extended to also include the species white rhino, elephant, hippo, cheetah, polar bear and lion, according to broadcaster NOS.
The list now includes 200 species. Hunting trophies of these species are no longer allowed to be imported into the Netherlands.
State Secretary Martijn van Dam of Economic Affairs eventually wants an European wide import ban on hunting trophies of these species. He finds the hunting of protected animals for the use of trophies disgusting, he said to the broadcaster.
Between 2012 and 2015 the Netherlands received 27 requests to bring a trophy into the country. The ministry rejected 17 of these applications. Trophies included lions, bears, elephants, panthers, monkeys, wolves, deer and lynxes.
China: This restaurant can get you freshly slaughtered meat from critically endangered pangolins
At first glance, nothing stands out about the Shennongge Medical Cuisine Hot Pot restaurant in Liuzhou, southern China, but you can get the meat of endangered animals here—if you know how to ask for it.
The restaurant provides an assortment of exotic dishes, among them stewed wattle-necked softshell turtle, chopped snake with spiced salt, the endangered giant salamander, and a strange but otherwise innocuous-sounding “sliced caterpillar fungus.”
The “fungus,” coming in at a whopping 1180 yuan (about $180) per order, is no fungus at all, but meat from the nearly-extinct Chinese pangolin.
Chinese pangolins are a relative of the anteater. The animal is about two feet long and is covered in armored scales. Only a few thousand are still alive in southern China and bordering states—a fraction of populations estimated in the 1970s. Pangolins are a prime target of poachers, who hunt the animals in their inaccessible and largely unregulated habitat.
By local belief, pangolin meat is good for blood circulation, depending on one’s body type.
The sale of pangolin meat is illegal in China. Offenders, if discovered, can be sentenced to over ten years in prison, be fined, and have their property confiscated.
... Shennongge is the only restaurant in Liuzhou that sells pangolin meat, and it has a good reputation among its customers, many of whom were government officials dining on taxpayers’ money.
“Several years ago, when eating on public funding was not as well-regulated, this restaurant was filled to capacity,” one customer said.
With various anti-corruption measures having been instituted in the last few years, demand has dipped, but it’s still necessary to make reservations to get a table in the evenings.
India: Poachers killed more tigers in 2016 so far than during entire 2015
Poachers killed more tigers in the first four months of 2016 than in entire 2015, according to a latest data by the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), as reported by the Hindustan Times.
Twenty-eight tigers were killed [in the year to] April 26 as compared to 25 poached for body parts in 2015; highest for the first four months in the last decade.
Poaching across India's most protected forest areas hints at the rise in demand of the feline's body parts and a thriving network of poachers. National Parks and tiger reserves of Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chattisgarh and Karnataka have witnessed six, five, three and two deaths of the big cats so far.