Emil Ekvardt from Great.com interviewed Big Life Foundation as part of their 'Great.com Talks With...' podcast. This series is an antidote to negative news stories that aims to shed light on organizations and experts whose work is making a positive impact on the world.
Protecting the Wilderness for the Benefit of All
Illegal poaching in Africa poses the biggest threat to endangered species such as elephants, rhinos and other majestic wildlife. If it were to continue at its current rates then we may lose these precious species within our lifetimes. Amy Baird from Big Life Foundation describes their crucial work to protect the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem in East Africa. Through creating partnerships with the local communities and employing over 500 people, Big Life protects the wilderness for the benefit of all.
‘If conservation supports people, then people are more likely to support conservation.’
After their initial focus on poaching, Big Life have realized many other emerging issues throughout their years of operation. As the population grows and urbanization spreads, we see not only less space for animals to move and migrate, but also rising tensions between humans and animals who have to cohabit the land. Baird explains that one of Big Life’s programs focuses on compensating farmers who lose their livestock and crops due to wild animals competing for scarce resources. Big Life has currently erected 100km of crop-protecting fencing and employed 24 rangers specifically working to minimize human-elephant conflicts. The community and local governments are strongly in support of these measures, and Big Life sees progress towards the peaceful co-inhabiting of these once wild lands.
Listen to the whole interview to find out how you can support East African communities and help to protect their ecosystems. You can also read more about the rangers Big Life employ and donate directly to their cause.
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