Pride of Namibia

“Pride of Namibia,” a short film by the World Wildlife Fund, recently won first place in the 2014 Adventure in Motion  film competition.  In just a few short minutes, it tells a compelling story about the resurgence of biodiversity in one of Africa’s most starkly beautiful countries. Enjoy!

Veterinarians Help Mountain Gorillas Survive

This month, a new documentary about the Gorilla Doctors – a nonprofit group of veterinarians in Rwanda who treat sick and injured mountain gorillas to ward off extinction – was released in Canada. The film is not available in the United States yet,  but you can listen to a fascinating interview with the filmmakers and the Gorilla Doctors’ head veterinarian about the risks and rewards of these efforts.

Rwanda: One of the safest countries in Africa

In the 20 years since the Rwandan genocide, the country has made a remarkable recovery. Today, Rwandans feel safer than citizens of any other African nation. Eighty-nine percent of Rwandan women say they feel safe walking alone at night. In the United States, only 62% of women do. With a commitment to universal education and healthcare, Rwanda is one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Business writer Travis Noland has started a fascinating series about Rwanda’s recovery and some of the young people who are making it happen on the business news site Triple Pundit. I highly recommend it. Start reading  at the link below.

Saving the grey crowned crane

Grey crowned cranes are one of only two species of cranes that can roost in trees. Photo courtesy of the International Crane Foundation.

Crowned cranes were once widespread through eastern and southern Africa, but poaching and habitat changes have drastically reduced their populations. The grey crowned crane is now endangered. For example, in Rwanda its numbers have gone from 1,000 about a decade ago to 500 now.

One person working to change that is Olivier Nsengimana, a Rwandan wildlife veterinarian who spent many childhood afternoons at the local marsh watching the cranes dancing.  He recently received a Rolex Award for Enterprise grant to persuade people who keep the birds as pets – which is illegal – to take advantage of an amnesty program and relinquish them to a rehabilitation center, with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into the wild. “People are already coming forward to surrender their cranes,” he says.

He is also working on a national media campaign to educate people about how they can protect endangered species. And he wants to develop a comic book to give to children who live around the marshlands where cranes breed, so that they understand the great value of these birds and other local species and grow up to play an important role in the conservation of their land.