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LionAid to visit Zambia and Kenya to address crucial lion conservation issues - urgent funding request.
Saturday 8th June 2013
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We will travel to Zambia on June 19th to address lion conservation issues with various parties, hoping to maintain the lion trophy hunting ban until some serious issues have been sorted out, especially with the disparity between government lion numbers (over 4,500) and our estimates (maybe 850). There are a number of important lion conservation issues to be addressed especially the need for a nationwide census and the formulation of a national Lion Action Plan.
We will then travel on to Kenya (28th June – 7th July) and will conduct a number of meetings while we are there to benefit lion conservation. Kenya already has a long time ban on lion trophy hunting in place but traditionally suffers from human/lion conflicts and now, in addition, is facing a huge upsurge in lion poaching as the demand for lion bones ( Traditional Chinese Medicine market) reaches unprecedented levels. We believe Kenya has no more than 1200 lions left across the country. Our aim is to integrate outcomes of meetings with four different groups into an overall strategy to be brought forward, building on consensus to hopefully find formulas for improved lion conservation.
Who will we meet with and what are the aims of these meetings?
1. Meet with the relevant people in the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to discuss lion conservation issues
2. Meet with relevant NGOs and corporate bodies to identify funding streams to significantly address the major problems facing lion conservation in Zambia and Kenya
3. Meet with lion researchers and concerned individuals to discuss projects and relevant needs to improve lion conservation and promote collaboration and coordinated approaches
4. Meet with community representatives with an emphasis on agreeing on ways forward to decrease lion/human/livestock conflict, to increase community representation in lion conservation measures and to determine best ways forward for conservation of lions occurring outside nationally protected areas
5. With input from all the above, present outcomes agreed by all groups to Zambian and Kenyan government representatives at the highest level to encourage direct involvement in specific lion conservation measures and solutions to halt the incessant declines in populations.
In order to meet the basic costs of these meetings, we need to raise a minimum of £10,000/$15,000. This will enable us to facilitate this very important conference forum to exchange ideas with the stakeholders and develop the all essential lion conservation solutions that are desperately needed in both countries.
Lions probably speak more directly to people than any other wild species.
Through art, through literature, through symbolism and heraldry, through representations on flags and national emblems, lions have a universality that appeals regardless of culture, race, and national origin. Lions represent such a strong image to the world that words cannot but fail to express the true level of their iconic impact.
Lions represent hope and future, courage and strength, royalty and power.
But they are also so very fragile and needing of our protection. We have all failed in the past to protect lions and to do what we innovatively could have years ago. Lions are now an endangered species, and we have watched the decline from the sidelines for far too long.
It is now up to us to have the courage, fortitude, and strength to protect and conserve a species globally representative of the freedom and importance of wild animals.
It can be done, but not without your support of LionAid, a charity dedicated to lions and new visions for their conservation in the future.
We will be delighted for any help you can give to us at this crucial time and hope you will continue to follow our progress.
THE FIGHT IS ON FOR LIONS
Chris and Pieter
Posted by Chris Macsween at 20:01
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