Home | News    Sunday 21 August 2005

Biologist says natural resources plundering, not aid, are key to survival

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

Aug 21, 2005 (Washington) — One hundred thousand images, 70,000 miles and 21 countries later, conservationist J. Michael Fay thinks Bono, Live 8 and the G-8 have been misguided.

Fay, a biologist and member of the Wildlife Conservation Society and National Geographic Society, spent seven months flying at low altitudes across Africa, and he’s mapped enough of the human footprint on his trip to be disturbed, he said at a news conference Wednesday to highlight his findings.

"People aren’t connecting the dots," he said of African relief efforts. "We gotta stop talking about poverty alleviation, and we gotta start talking about sustainable development."

Fay said he believes international aid to Africa must be transformed to preserve the continent’s basic resources instead of extracting them for wealthy nations. Natural resources and conservation management should be part of the psyche of African governments and people worldwide to help make African countries more self-sustaining and so the world won’t keep seeing them as places of constant crisis, he said.

Fay said he’d seen mass graves in AIDS-ridden South Africa as well as dehydrated and dead hippos at Katavi National Park in Tanzania, which he said was a result of World Bank’s rice-development efforts, which made money but took water away from wildlife.

Fay and pilot Peter Ragg of Austria left South Africa in June 2004 to look at the "interface between humanity and what nature provides for humanity" and to find answers to questions about the origins of the land’s most troubled spots, such as Sudan and Niger.

"Darfur, in my opinion, was something we could have seen 30 years ago," Fay said, referring to the region in Sudan where more than 100,000 people have died and millions have been displaced during two years of fighting between black African tribes and Arab militias. Fay pointed to the ecological warning signs: limited habitable space, little productivity of goods and a heavy human "footprint."

It wasn’t all disheartening. Fay said he saw examples of a budding commitment to sustainable development. Namibia’s healthy soil, grass and wildlife, for example, are the result of a new "conservancy" system that grants communities control of their land with encouragement from the government to produce wisely.

Fay also was amazed to see tens of thousands of lechwe, a type of antelope, alongside humans in Zambia, offering hope that nature and humanity can coexist.

"There is no silver bullet. We can’t say we’re going to change the world overnight," he said. "Humans have a natural tendency to consume; we take that as a given. But we have to take the natural resource base as a fundamental."

In 2001, Fay walked through miles of African forests to survey wildlife. His findings there led to the creation of 13 national parks in Gabon, which preserve some of the last wild places in Africa from deforestation due to logging.

Fay will address members of Congress’ International Conservation Caucus in September about his research. He said he wouldn’t mind chatting with President Bush, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and U2 singer Bono, who has worked extensively on relief efforts for Africa.

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


s
Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


“The Nile: Shared River, Collective Action” 2018-02-22 08:06:26 By Dr. Eng. Seleshi Bekele Ethiopia is hosting the 2018 Regional Nile Day Celebration in commemoration of the establishment of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) on February 22, 1999 in Dar es (...)

James Dak’s case:: Why death sentence should be canceled 2018-02-19 14:27:34 By Peter Gai Manyuon On Monday 12th of February 2018, a South Sudan court in Juba sentenced James Gatdet Dak to death by hanging, citing several provisions in the constitution as the basis upon (...)

The Position of the SPLM-N on Relief Delivery Same Wine, Old Bottles! 2018-02-18 06:50:42 By Elwathig Kameir On January 19, 2017, I published an article titled “Armed Struggle and Civil Resistance in Sudan: Catch 22,” from which I quote the following opening paragraphs (from i to iii): (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Petition for release of Agou John Wuoi from prison 2018-02-15 20:45:31 Open letter to South Sudan President Salva Kiir Your Excellency, Kindly please permit me to take this rare opportunity to appreciate you for every effort you have made toward making South Sudan (...)

AUHIP Communiqué on Sudan & SPLM-N talks for cessation of hostilities agreement 2018-02-05 13:04:16 African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and South Sudan Joint Statement on Unilateral Ceasefire, Cessation of Hostilities and Completion of Negotiations 1) With the facilitation (...)

South Sudanese rights group call to release political detainees 2017-12-10 07:50:31 THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: 10 DECEMBER 2017: SSHURSA CALLS ON ALL TO ACTION FOR SOUTH SUDANESE The 10 December usually marks the international human rights day. SSHURSA notes with (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.