Last Monday the Journeys by Design team travelled up to the houses of parliament ready to watch the debate on the UK ivory trade. Yes, there is still a legal ivory trade in the UK. If it’s news to you, you’re not alone.
On my recent trip to Tanzania, I had a stark reminder of the close proximity in which humans live with wildlife and the potential affects this can have on the lives they lead, when we spotted a leopard heading out of a settlement and into the forest opposite. The main highway that separates Manyara National Park from the neighbouring town showcases an abrupt juxtaposition between human development alongside wilderness. Such a quick sighting and the leopard was gone.
Many communities in rural Africa lack healthcare enough to cope with disease transmission. Aside from AIDS, malaria and measles, it is often the ones that we see as fairly normal in developed countries that cause the biggest problems in rural Africa. Diarrhoea, for example, is the greatest cause of child mortality in Africa and constitutes one in nine child deaths worldwide. The lack of simple healthcare in villages can, very often, mean the difference between life and death.
Once again, my apologies. The Guardian was kind enough to publish a piece we wrote on saving the wild elephant, something I should have alerted you to back in October. As I say, my apologies - fortunately, it’s still online , so do have a look when you get a moment.
Nick Brandt, photographer and co-founder of Big Life Foundation, currently has an exhibition in Los Angeles’ Fahey-Klein Gallery, showing images of great canvases with photographs of large mammals printed on them in locations where they once roamed before urbanization took place – difficult to explain in keeping with the complexity of such a project. The pictures are highly emotive and although ecology and conservation is a great passion of mine, this struck a particularly resounding chord over anything else I have recently seen or read.