Braucht Afrika noch Löwen oder Waldelefanten? (deutsch/englisch)

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Das Muster des Naturschutzes in Zentralafrika scheitert gerade”  – Bericht von einer Expertentagung in Yaoundé/Kamerun, von Eric Njono Nana

The pattern of conservation in Central Africa is failing: an analysis of the current situation“Academia Letters, Article 3349 by Eric Njono Nana(LINK; Download pdf: The_paradigm_of_conservation…..)

Mein Kommentar:  Paradigmenwechsel sähe anders aus!

Eine internationale Expertenkonferenz irgendwo (Yaundé). Vorgeschlagen wird noch mehr an Akademisierung, Zentralisierung und Ausbau des wissenschaftlichen “Monitoring” mit Planstellen bei NGOs, Universitäten und staatlichen Behörden. Die erste Seite des Textes behauptet, Artenschutz sei kein Luxus, und unterstellt pauschal, dass das Wohl (well being) der Bevölkerungen davon abhänge. Erst auf der dritten Seite ist vom Kern des Problems die Rede: der “generell fehlende(n) Unterstützung seitens der umgebenden Bevölkerungen, die bisher von den Prozessen des Naturschutzes ausgeschlossen worden sind.” Doch dann wird das bekannte Operationsbesteck der Profis ausgepackt, von “management plans” und ihrer “Implementierung” bis zu “innovativen” “delegated models under public-private partnerships”.  Vor allem mehr öffentliche Gelder sollen fließen. Erst zwei Aufsatztitel in der Literaturliste nennen kritische Stichworte wie: ““Zustrom von Hirten” und “Jagd nach ‘Buschfleisch'”.

Ein Paradigmenwechsel sähe anders aus! Ein klarer Fall von akademischem Lobbyismus!

Ich empfehle meine noch zu wenig beachtete TV-Kritik zum Feature “Gorillaschutz mit Kettensäge  (In tiefster ARTE-Nacht: Der Traum vom perfekten Tropenholz” (LINK) – eine unterhaltsame Fallstudie, die das Zeug zur Realsatire hat.

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My comment:  Paradigm shift would look different! 

The outcome of an international conference: Still more academization, centralization and expansion of scientific “monitoring” are proposed creating permanent positions at NGOs, universities and state authorities. The first page of the text claims that species protection is not a luxury, assuming that the wellbeing of the population depends on it. Only on the third page is the essence of the problem mentioned: “The general lack of support on the part of the surrounding populations who have previously been excluded from nature conservation processes.” Then the well-known surgical instruments of the professionals are unpacked, from “management plans” and their “implementation” to supposedly “innovative” “delegated models under public-private partnerships”. Above all, public money should flow. Only the titles of the literature list mention critical keywords such as: “influx of pastoralists” and “bushmeat hunting”.

Paradigm shift would look different! A clear case of academic lobbying!

I recommend my review of a German TV-feature, an entertaining case study that has what it takes to become a real satire. – Here  are the parts of the text relating to nature conservation  in revised translation:

In the deepest ARTE night: The dream of the perfect tropical wood March 11, 2019 | dvg  > (LINK to the illustrated German original)

In the ARTE 3 March 2019 night program: CONGO – GORILLA PROTECTION WITH CHAINSAW (55 ′ WDR / ARTE)

I waited a few days before I felt strong enough for the expected smear show, then it didn’t hurt at all. The one-hour feature portrays the tropical timber concession IFO in the north of Congo-Brazzaville on the border with Cameroon, on a vast forest savannah with valuable old trees, a dense population of lowland gorillas without territorial fixation and a few thousand wandering pygmies. The prosperous town of Ngombé on the Sangha River, which has arisen next to the modern sawmill, cannot be found immediately even with Google maps, but for a few thousand people it is an attractive small town in the middle of nowhere with schools, a medical station, two soccer teams and modest prosperity. 

It’s  a calm and pleasant advertising film for the concept and organizational strength of IFO, “a wholly owned subsidiary of the German-Swiss timber company Danzer”, which specializes in expensive precious woods,  ( ) and “wants to show that logging can be done differently”. The exemplary legislation of the ‘Republic of the Congo’ and the positive impact of the company on other, including Asian players in the northern Congo Basin are repeatedly addressed, even if not specified.  ( ) The area management of the forest areas is downright breathtaking. The “scientifically sound” management plan, calculated over a period of thirty years, shows thirty felling zones, of which only one is “harvested” on a rotating basis every year. ( )  It gets even better: “We carry out a one hundred percent inventory in the annual felling zone,” of all trees that can be used at some point in time, which are identified in the forest, clearly marked and drawn on digital maps for the future. Trees that are important and useful for the pygmies are also selected together with them by the Social Services of IFO and specially marked. Of course, the work with the chainsaw is improved to surgical precision and the rail is optimized for removal. The total area of ​​the timber concession is briefly mentioned. The “one million hectares” of course only result in ten thousand square kilometers, an area equivalent to ( )  three percent of the territory of Congo-Brazzaville.

As far as the protection of the lowland gorillas is concerned – “half of the remaining population lives on the concession area” – two circumstances meet the interests of the “chainsaw”: the animals do not mark any territories and like certain fruits that thrive under the pioneering renewable plants of the “harvested” primary forest. Poaching is a completely different problem. Imported beef is far too expensive for a growing population in Ngombé, and a variety of bush meat from the IFO forests is much preferred. So a total of fifteen trained and armed rangers act as hated ‘peacemakers’ and ‘thieves’ at four well-known checkpoints, but also on secret routes and in the city market. When an old saleswoman desperately clings to her small gazelle, which is “hunted during the closed season”, the general mood changes and a turmoil breaks out between the tables. The scene suddenly becomes very ugly. In the evening we see the rangers throwing a few “confiscated” small animals into the flames of a primitive charcoal production. The hungry charcoal burners protest, but they also succeed to secure their prey and run away cheering…. The film ends in the same calmly evocative tone in which it began.

The crucial information appears at the very last moment of the credits: The year of manufacture is “2011”! Now I understand why the civil war raging in the republic is not mentioned! Nothing of militias, dramatic evictions and restricted territories! (  ) The town of Ngombé and the production there still exist in 2019. A website labdoo.org complains about the lack of electricity generators in schools (“2000 students, 3 teachers” ??) and is collecting money for computers so that students from Ngombe can also qualify for the modern jobs at IFO.

Night owls and especially night-blind ARTE program planners! Rub your eyes! Stand up! It’ should rise a new morning! 

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