How community-led conservation can save wildlife | Moreangels Mbizah

How community-led conservation can save wildlife | Moreangels Mbizah

I’m a lion conservationist. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Some people may have no idea
what that means. But I’m sure you’ve all heard
about Cecil the lion. [Cecil the Lion (2002-2015)] (Lion roaring) He roars no more. On the second of July, 2015, his life was cut short
when he was killed by a trophy hunter. They say that you can become attached
to the animals you study. That was the case for me
with Cecil the lion, having known him and studied him
for three years in Hwange National Park. I was heartbroken at his death. But the good thing
to come out of this tragedy is the attention that the story brought towards the plight
of threatened wild animals. After Cecil’s death, I began to ask myself these questions: What if the community
that lived next to Cecil the lion was involved in protecting him? What if I had met Cecil
when I was 10 years old, instead of 29? Could I or my classmates
have changed his fate? Many people are working
to stop lions from disappearing, but very few of these people
are native to these countries or from the communities most affected. But the communities
that live with the lions are the ones best positioned
to help lions the most. Local people should be at the forefront of the solutions to the challenges
facing their wildlife. Sometimes, change can only come when the people most affected
and impacted take charge. Local communities play an important role in fighting poaching
and illegal wildlife trade, which are major threats
affecting lions and other wildlife. Being a black African woman
in the sciences, the people I meet
are always curious to know if I’ve always wanted
to be a conservationist, because they don’t meet
a lot of conservationists who look like me. When I was growing up, I didn’t even know that wildlife
conservation was a career. The first time I saw a wild animal
in my home country was when I was 25 years old, even though lions and African wild dogs lived just a few miles away from my home. This is quite common in Zimbabwe, as many people
are not exposed to wildlife, even though it’s part of our heritage. When I was growing up, I didn’t even know
that lions lived in my backyard. When I stepped into
Savé Valley Conservancy on a cold winter morning 10 years ago to study African wild dogs
for my master’s research project, I was mesmerized by the beauty
and the tranquility that surrounded me. I felt like I had found my passion
and my purpose in life. I made a commitment that day that I was going to dedicate my life
to protecting animals. I think of my childhood
school days in Zimbabwe and the other kids I was in school with. Perhaps if we had a chance
to interact with wildlife, more of my classmates
would be working alongside me now. Unless the local communities
want to protect and coexist with wildlife, all conservation efforts might be in vain. These are the communities
that live with the wild animals in the same ecosystem and bear the cost of doing so. If they don’t have a direct connection or benefit from the animals, they have no reason
to want to protect them. And if local communities
don’t protect their wildlife, no amount of outside
intervention will work. So what needs to be done? Conservationists must prioritize
environmental education and help expand the community’s skills
to conserve their wildlife. Schoolchildren and communities
must be taken to national parks, so they get a chance
to connect with the wildlife. At every effort and every level, conservation must include
the economies of the people who share the land with the wild animals. It is also critical
that local conservationists be part of every conservation effort, if we are to build trust and really embed
conservation into communities. As local conservationists,
we face many hurdles, from outright discrimination
to barriers because of cultural norms. But I will not give up my efforts to bring indigenous
communities to this fight for the survival of our planet. I’m asking you to come
and stand together with me. We must actively dismantle
the hurdles we have created, which are leaving indigenous populations
out of conservation efforts. I’ve dedicated my life
to protecting lions. And I know my neighbor would, too, if only they knew the animals
that lived next door to them. Thank you. (Applause)

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

35 thoughts on “How community-led conservation can save wildlife | Moreangels Mbizah

  1. A little more concerned about saving America and the rest of the population from leftist globalization and infringement on our GOD GIVEN rights. Maybe we can talk about wildlife later!

  2. What an inspiring speaker!! And she’s pulling that color off beautifully I could never pull off yellow bc of my pale skin!! 😍

  3. Looks like TED has given up the onslaught of SJW crap and has been releasing a number of "normal" videos. Nice change.

  4. Be thankful for all the struggles you go through. They make you stronger, wiser and humble. Don't let it break you. Let it make you.

  5. I am very sad the beautiful lion's death, I am teared, human are the dangerous animal on earth, thank you for your effort

  6. Protect indigenous Europeans from replacement in their natural habitat. (Use government statistic predictions if you're unaware)

  7. This is so true! If only the community around these wild animals tried to protect them, maybe it wouldn't have been so hard protecting our wildlife. Your efforts your thoughts it's remarkable and its a lesson to everyone watching this video.

  8. Didn't the trophy Hunter that shot Cecil pay over $50,000 USD to kill the lion? Apparently the conservationists in your community agreed that the money would benefit the conservation efforts there. They weighed the value of one lions life against the value of the $50,000 to be used for other efforts? I'm genuinely curious if people think about this.. you have to think about the issue from both sides in order to understand it fully.

  9. There's something really wrong the way that Humanity carry's it self????. At this point in humanity.. we should be pass this BARBARISM. I don't see this spices ending well..

  10. Thank you for a well balanced lecture ,trophy hunters are a cancer in any society to shoot and kill them would be more beneficial to any society we live in .

  11. You say community led, but your still preaching Agenda 21 and taking property rights from Americans.

  12. You have to make the value of a live lion greater to that community, than that of a dead one. And that is where armchair "conservationists" do more damage than good. Selling hunts to destroy animals past breeding age, who are a threat to their own species, is an absolute win for the community, and the species.

  13. The public is the biggest force in change. Billions of ideas have more force then the best ideas. How do we produce the best ideas to be followed by the most.

  14. I think this is type of conservation is key, wherever you live, and whatever type of conservation needs implementing.
    Having travelled/worked all over the uk, I was always astounded by the fact that soooo many people didn't know their own area, or give it any priority or interest in their life. I agree, that encouraging local people to be interested in their own area's wildlife and landscape, can make a very big difference in the long run.

  15. Dear Moreangels, Too little too late….all officials are on the take and the animals are finished. Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late. …Rgds Lessbullshit.

  16. Wildlife Conservation Network embodies the concept of community-based conservation. Check out their partner Painted Dog Conservation which is based in the same area as Cecil the Lion. They run a kids bush camp that gets those kids out on safari to see the animals living next door to them, an opportunity these kids wouldn't otherwise have. They also support local medical clinics, run an arts and crafts center for alternative livelihood, and through their local staff support hundreds of people.

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