Wednesday, December 20, 2006

December e-News just out

Our most recent newsletter is just out - here's a selection of the stories:

Kilimanjaro Climb 2006
Watch pictures from the ascent and summit! Join the WF Team who climbed Kilimanjaro in support of our projects: See pictures from the ascent and summit and also hear the song that kept them going.
Also, read Jackie Cheng's inspiring diary notes from the trip here.

£21K has been raised through this effort so far - If you want to add to the total with a little Christmas thought, then we'd welcome it here.

At One TV
Leader Interviews The Wilderness Foundation is one of the founder members of At One - a coalition of youth development organisations - and we thought their new Leader Series, a set of five interviews, might inspire.
Watch At One TV Now...

Colin Prior Exhibition
The World's Wild Places Colin Prior's exhibition The World's Wild Places, already seen by thousands, is running until the 8th January 2007 at Glasgow Science Centre.
On Monday 5th February 2007 he's at the Royal Geographical Society in London and from 25th March - Monday 23rd April 2007 at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.
We are ever grateful for Colin's permission to use one of his fabulous pictures for our posters and membership leaflet - and if you're quick at one of the above exhibitions you just might be able to pick up one of our posters for your office, school or other public place where you'd like to add a bit of colour to a wall and spread the message. Full exhibition listing on Colin Prior's website...

Dr Ian Player Update
4.4m viewers on ITV and book re-issue... 'Echoing Green press' has recently re-issued Men, Rivers and Canoes, one of the books of Dr. Ian Player, the Foundation's founder. It contains forewords by Ian Player, Colonel Jack Vincent, Prof Willem van Riet, Peter Pope-Ellis, and chief Mlaba. - The original edition published in 1963/64 was sold out in two months.

The Msunduzi-Mgeni Canoe Marathon which Ian Player founded, and won 3 times, now attracts over 2000 contestants world wide.

Dr Ian Player also recently appeared on the UK terrestial broadcast 'Extinct' - a television series by ITV which attracted 4.4m viewers!
Read more about Dr. Player and the Extinct series...

Mountain Leader Training - 2007
Time to get planning for the new year Learn Mountain Leadership Skills and Wilderness Ethics in Snowdonia. The Foundation is running the fourth year of training for keen walkers who want to lead others in wild places. Taught by two of Wales' most experienced outdoor leaders, Hugo Iffla and Rob Collister, the course is one of those special opportunities to spend time with inspiring men as well as learn new skills. Contact the Foundation for details and early booking. Cost is £260 per person and the course takes place in November. Contact the Wilderness Office...

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Mountain Leader Training - 2007

2006 MLT participants in SnowdoniaLearn Mountain Leadership Training skills and Wilderness Ethics in Snowdonia.

The Foundation is running the fourth year of training for keen walkers who want to lead others in wild places.

Taught by two of Wales' most experienced outdoor leaders, Hugo Iffla and Rob Collister, the course is one of those special opportunities to spend time with inspiring men as well as learn new skills.

Contact the Foundation for details and early booking. Cost is £260 per person and the course takes place in November.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sustainable use of Biological Diversity: African Regional Workshop Summary

IISD Reporting Services Here at the Wilderness Foundation we take a particular interest in the African continent, that's where our roots are - that's where many of our journeys are. Thus we thought the workshop summary below might be of interest:

"The African Regional Workshop on Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity convened from 12-15 December 2006, in Nairobi, Kenya. Organized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP), Bioversity International, and the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the workshop was attended by 33 participants, including 13 designated representatives of CBD parties from the African region as well as representatives of UN and specialized agencies, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), indigenous and local community organizations, research institutions and farmers federations.

The Workshop was organized in response to the request of the seventh meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP-7) to the Executive Secretary to convene a series of technical expert workshops on ecosystem services assessment, financial costs and benefits associated with conservation of biodiversity, and sustainable use of biological resources, in order to initiate a process for the implementation of the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity (Addis Ababa Principles). The Workshop was also requested to explore the applicability of the Addis Ababa Principles to agricultural biodiversity.
The Workshop addressed agenda items on issues including: a review of the Addis Ababa Principles and recommendations on their application to agricultural biodiversity; ecosystem services assessment; and financial costs and benefits associated with the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. On Tuesday, participants agreed on organizational matters, and heard presentations from the CBD Secretariat, partner organizations and others. In the afternoon, participants began discussing the application of the Addis Ababa Principles to agricultural biodiversity, heard presentations, and decided on a methodology for their work during the week, including convening in informal working group (WG) sessions. On Wednesday, participants heard a presentation on Decision V/5 (Agricultural biodiversity), and worked on establishing guidelines for the agricultural sector grounded in the Addis Ababa Principles in three parallel WGs, one consisting of the francophone representatives."
- Full text on the ISSD (International Institute for Sustainable Development) website here.

This website also has a useful brief history of related processes including a section specifically on Africa:

Africa has a large heritage of biodiversity forming the region’s natural wealth on which its social and economic systems are based.
A significant proportion of these biodiversity resources are either endangered or under threat of extinction. African governments have created ministerial processes and programmes of action to ensure the sustainable development of Africa’s natural resource base, of which the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity form a significant component.

AFRICAN CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF NATURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES: The African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (the Algiers Convention) was adopted by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) at its fifth ordinary session (September 1968, Algiers, Algeria). A revised Convention text was adopted at the second Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly (July 2003, Maputo, Mozambique). The main features of the Convention include that: conservation imperatives must be considered in development plans; conservation areas must be established and maintained; endangered species must be given special protection; land resources and grasslands must be rationally utilized; and conservation education must be instituted at all levels.

The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, a permanent forum of African environment ministers, guided the development and subsequent adoption of the Environment Action Plan of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development NEPAD) at the second Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly (July 2003, Maputo, Mozambique). The action plan is organized into clusters of programmatic and project activities to be implemented over an initial period of 10 years. It includes programmes on: biodiversity, biosafety and plant genetic resources; land degradation, drought and desertification; Africa’s wetlands; invasive alien species; conservation and sustainable use of marine, coastal and freshwater resources; and cross-border conservation or management of natural resources.
- More on the ISSD site here.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Walk the Talk...

The Wilderness Foundation supports the work of the Centre for Human Ecology - we thought this new initiative might be of interest:

"CHE and Openground take the sustainability message into the wilds - A new training course gets people out of the seminar room and into the mountains to explore sustainability and social justice. 'Walk the Talk' is a journey into Scotland's wild places where participants will be inspired by the natural world and will develop practical strategies for organisational change. Designed to support organisational learning in businesses, public agencies and more-than-profit organisations, Walk the Talk is a collaboration between Sam Harrison of Openground and Osbert Lancaster of the Centre for Human Ecology. Sam is a human ecologist and outdoor educator experienced in the transformative power of wild places. Sam explains "The power of Walk the Talk is way beyond a simple outdoor team building exercise. We leave behind dry facts and prophesies of doom that are so often the staple of the training room. Actively experiencing the natural environment inspires new thinking about our relationship with the ecosystems on which we - and our organisations - all depend." Osbert is the executive director of the Centre for Human Ecology. "If sustainability is already part of your organisation's strategy, Walk the Talk will take you to the next level," explains Osbert, "and if you're just starting to explore the issues it will start you on your journey with a clear view of the landscape and the tools to starting mapping the route ahead."Walk the Talk is currently in development, with pilot courses planned from April 2007."
- Further information is available on the CHE website here.
The Wilderness Foundation knows from direct experience how powerful learning in a wild setting can be - the Wilderness Leadership School in South Africa has over the years run a host of Opinion Leader Trails, including a programme for tailor made for South African MPs.
- Read Andrew Muir's '99 article on this in the International Journal of Wilderness.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

At One TV - Leader Series

At One Foundation

The Wilderness Foundation is one of the founder members of At One - a coalition of youth development organisations - and we thought their new Leader Series, a set of five interviews might inspire. One of those is with Deji Odunlami from TeachFirst:

Why do we like this one specifically? Apart from the fact that we agree with a lot of Deji says, it is especially because TeachFirst has an initiative we think the young people taking part in our trails may be interested in:

We actively encourage the sharing of wilderness experiences through writing, talks, pictures, sound - any which way one can use to get a message across - and this competition for under 18's is an ideal opportunity to get writing!

To what what other young people have written about wilderness, see this post or click the 'diary' label below.

Watch the rest of the interviews here: - To learn more about the At One Foundation and its work, read the launch report here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Preparing the IUCN Programme 2009-2012

IUCN Situation AnalysisThe IUCN, who the Wilderness movement engages with and supports through the Wilderness Task Force, has put out a consultation on their 2009-2012 programme which we thought might be of interest:

"The draft situation analysis that is the basis for the development of the Union’s next work programme from 2009 to 2012 is now available online. We invite your comments to improve the facts, figures and trends of this overview of the state of natural resources and their contributions to human wellbeing and development before 15 January 2007".
If you wish to comment - Visit the relevant IUCN page here.

Wilderness Foundation in The Herald

The Herald

"A SANParks environmental education programme is raising awareness in an attempt to turn local communities into guardians of indigenous forests and commercial plantations.

A joint programme between Mountain to Ocean, the Wilderness Foundation and SANParks, the Khula Nam programme targets children living in communities near plantations." - Read the full story here.

Monday, December 11, 2006

International Mountain Day: Wilderness Perspective

World Conservation Union LogoToday's International Mountain Day - a celebration and opportunity to "reflect on the people who are directly affected by ecosystem degradation and climate change: mountain communities" as the IUCN says in their coverage.

The IUCN, who the Wilderness movement engages with and supports through the Wilderness Task Force, has been drumming up the debate around mountains with recent articles such as this one: 'Mountains Rise to Fight Climate Change'. The BBC's Planet Earth series also had an episode focusing on mountains. If you're in the UK you can re-view some of that content on-line here:

On a linked but separate note, the forthcoming 2007 Mountain & Wilderness Medicine World Congress - which will bring together the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) and the International Society for Mountain Medicine (ISMM) for their joint congress, migh also be of interest.

ITV Extinct Follow-up

ITV Extinct MapFurther to the screening of the first programme in ITV's new series Extinct, which also featured our founder, Dr Ian Player we thought we'd share the link to their interesting map of species under threat. Learn more by clicking on the thumbnail image or simply go here:

Friday, December 08, 2006

Wilderness Foundation Founder on ITV: 7.30 pm Sat 9th Dec

ITV are screening a new series called Extinct airing at 7.30pm this Saturday 9th December.

The first programme will feature the tremendous work that Ian Player - founder of The Wilderness Foundation UK and Wilderness Leadership School - instigated to save the White Rhino from extinction. Operation Rhino, based in the Imfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, translocated the Imfolozi White Rhino across the world to save the species.

This was what Rhodes University said about Ian Player when they conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa:

"If one were to single out one person who is single-handedly responsible for whatever wilderness not only South Africa but many other countries in the world have left, it would have to be Ian Player. A generation or more before it became fashionable, Ian Player had the vision and commitment to see that environmental and conservation issues affected all South Africans and to lobby for these concerns to be amongst our national priorities. Where there was no responsible body to take up the cause of the environment, Ian Player created one! He has been actively involved for fifty years in programmes as varied as – literally – saving the white rhino from extinction and the establishment of the world-renowned Wilderness Leadership School.

Ian Player has probably done more for environmental conservation in Southern Africa than any other individual. He is an elder statesman of conservation, both nationally and internationally and has over many years brought much credit to our country. Amongst the first of South Africans with his background to see how much we all have to gain by sitting at the feet of those who have living indigenous knowledge of the land and all its denizens – and not too proud or too imprisoned by his socialisation to seek it, Ian Player has, in his turn, been instrumental in educating and influencing generations of conservationists on three continents. He has provided an outstanding example and role model of service and dedication to a cause on which the future of the human race and indeed, the planet as a whole may depend."

To read the full citation: (Word Doc on the Rhodes University website).

Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day: What we're doing

The Wilderness Foundation is active on the AIDS front in South Africa through the programme Umzi (Xhosa for 'homestead') which provides certified vocational training and internships that qualify AIDS orphans and vulnerable youth for ecotourism jobs secured through partnerships with national and provincial parks and private game reserves. You can learn more about it here.

At a virtual level we're also doing our bit - by taking part in the At One Foundation team on the World Community Grid. Do sign up and join the team!

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