Author Archives: themarjancentre

Bongos and bushmeat in South Sudan’s crisis

Deep in the bush on South Sudan’s western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a tropical forest marking the source of the tributaries to the White Nile and the River Congo, effectively the East-West Africa transition zone.  … Continue reading

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Peace Parks resurgens (2)

Today, the idea of ‘peace parks’ in post-conflict rebuilding has largely fallen out-of-favour after past disappointments; but given the increasing awareness of healthy eco-systems being vital to human well-being as well as the devastating escalation in wildlife trading and poaching, … Continue reading

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‘Peace Parks’ resurgens (1)

In his search for gnoseological definition, Lucretius, the ancient Roman poet and philosopher, sounded a dire warning about the connection between war and Nature in his epic poem, ‘Re Rerum Natura’ (‘On The Nature of Things’). The poem is not … Continue reading

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Ukraine’s environmental conflict

The recent upsurge in violence in eastern Ukraine has focused attention on the serious risk that the fighting between Ukrainian government forces and separatists could trigger serious environmental and humanitarian consequences. Abstract from ‘The Toxic Remnants of War Project report: … Continue reading

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Soviet space dogs

Space exploration became a key aspect of Soviet propaganda, especially as space dogs were some of the first animals to survive space flight. The most famous examples are Laika, Belka and Strelka who have been immortalised in popular culture in … Continue reading

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Kenya’s ‘killing fields’

‘Denying sanctuary’ or ‘draining the swamp’ is classic counter-insurgency strategy, which in Kenya also involves wildlife conservation as part of the ‘hearts and minds’ strategy. The Kenyan security ‘sweeps’ involve not only an escalating back-drop of brutality against indigenous Kenyans … Continue reading

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Protection plots in Stalin’s day

Abstract from: ‘Everyday Environmentalism: The Practice, Politics, and Nature of Subsidiary Farming in Stalin’s Lithuania’. By Diana Mycinte Subsidiary farms in Soviet Lithuania during the years of intense collectivization and political repressions between 1948-1953 were a locus through which local … Continue reading

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The toxic legacy of Tanzania’s ivory

The roots of Tanzania’s ivory poaching crisis are deep and historic By Professor Keith Somerville The recent staggering decline in Tanzania’s elephant numbers, down by 60% in less than ten years (please see previous blog), has horrified conservationists: it demonstrates … Continue reading

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– 60%: a figure that stains Tanzania

Tanzania’s elephants suffer a staggering decline as corruption-driven poaching bites By Professor Keith Somerville, author of Ivory. Power and Poaching in Africa (Hurst, 2016) Tanzania has one of the largest savannah elephant populations in Africa with an estimated 42,871 elephants, … Continue reading

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‘White gold’: Kenya’s black tale of greed

The three ‘C’s – commerce, colonialism and criminalisation of indigenous hunting – created the illegal poaching and smuggling networks in Kenya In the first blog on Kenya’s role in the international ivory trade, I concentrated on the current picture and … Continue reading

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