The Africa Center Newsroom

President Prof. Peter Mutharika Thursday presided over the World Wildlife Day commemoration under the theme 'Time to get serious about wildlife crime' where he reiterated government's commitment to fight wild life crime.

Weighing up to two and a half tons each, rhinos aren't easy to herd, let alone pack into crates and ship across national borders in airplanes. But that's what conservationists are doing with about a hundred rhinos in South Africa, in an admittedly desperate bid to save the endangered animals from poachers and establish new populations in the wild. "Rhino conservation is a desperate situation, so we are moving rhinos from the highest poaching areas to the lowest poaching areas," says Dereck Joubert, a wildlife filmmaker and conservationist based in Botswana's Okavango Delta

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) adopted a strong and clear statement on Humanity and Climate Change on January 29, 2015. The statement, based on the final report of the Association’s Global Climate Change Task Force, reveals eight ways for anthropologists attack the problems of climate change from an anthropological perspective. 

Monrovia — Liberia's Finance Minister, Amara Konneh has highlighted that the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation has started to prove its ability to deliver on promises while at the same time accounting for funds provided by the government for capital investment projects aimed at delivering what he referred to as a "basic human rights."

The AAA Global Climate Change Task Force submitted their final report to the AAA Executive Board in May 2014 and it was approved in December 2014. A Statement on Climate Change and Humanity will be available soon as well as a synopsis report with a public rollout in the early summer.

Kathleen Galvin held an international workshop January 28-31, 2015 on Dryland Collaborative Institutions and Innovative Transformations to Sustainability. A group of academics, scholars, managers and practitioners of dryland collaboratives from Mongolia, Kenya and the US met to ‘discover, dream, design and deliver’ research for a Knowledge Network  for addressing natural resource problems in rangelands. Collaboratives/conservancies constitute a new kind of problem-solving organization for sustainable drylands.

In 2014, 1,215 rhinos were killed in South Africa for their horns, which end up in Asia as supposed cures for a variety of ailments. An estimated 30,000 African elephants were slaughtered last year for their tusks to be turned into trinkets. The world loses three rhinos a day and an elephant every 15 minutes. Simply stated, this is an unsustainable situation. Our team at the University of Maryland’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies has created a new multifaceted approach to combat poaching in Africa and Asia. We devise analytical models of how animals, poachers and rangers simultaneously move through space and time by combining high resolution satellite imagery with loads of big data – everything from moon phases, to weather, to previous poaching locations, to info from rhinos' satellite ankle trackers – and then applying our own algorithms. We can predict where the key players are likely to be, so we can get smart about where to deploy rangers to best protect animals and thwart poachers.

Africa will be able to feed itself in the next 15 years. That’s one of the big “bets on the future” that Bill and Melinda Gates have made in their foundation’s latest annual letter. Helped by other breakthroughs in health, mobile banking and education, they argue that the lives of people in poor countries “will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history”.

The International Social Science Council (ISSC) has awarded Kathleen Galvin  (Anthropology, SoGES), a Transformations to Sustainability grant of € 30,000 for 6 months  to develop a Transformative Knowledge Network on the World’s Rangelands through Social Change.  Galvin and her team will bring together researchers and practitioners from Kenya, Mongolia and the US Great Plains to CSU to develop a large three-year proposal for an internationally comparative research program on rangeland sustainability.

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