Monday, March 31, 2008

Africa’s Indigenous Peoples and Their Special Role in Adapting to Climate Change'

Our friends at Gaia have a packed events schedule this year with some amazing guest speakers. Here are details of a great talk coming up on 10th April 2008:

You are invited to a special evening on 'Africa’s Indigenous Peoples: Their Special Role in Adapting to Climate Change' with Dr. Nigel Crawhall, Director of the Secretariat for the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC). Please find a flyer with directions attached.

Thursday, 10th April 2008

6.30pm Drinks and buffet at Gaia House (18 Well Walk, London, NW3 1LD)

7.30pm Talk and discussion at Burgh House (Opposite Gaia House, New End Square, London NW3)

Nearest tube, Hampstead, Northern Line.

Africa’s indigenous peoples have been pushed ever further into marginal lands over the centuries. But over the last decade they have been linking up into what is becoming a movement of the indigenous peoples of Africa. They are engaged in struggles to protect the last remaining intact forests and other fragile ecosystems, which they have guarded despite external pressures. They have also been participating in United Nations initiatives to recognise the rights of indigenous peoples, challenging the dominant view that development is rooted in industrial agriculture, which, inevitably involves capital-intensive extraction of the Earth’s precious resources.

Dr. Nigel Crawhall will explain how they are helping to create new spaces for dialogue around the relationship between cultural and biological diversity. He will show how the vast and diverse pool of Africa’s cultural knowledge, practices and languages play an essential role in reviving Africa’s biodiversity. Recognising Africa’s rich knowledge and cultural heritage is a vital dimension for any strategy dealing with the challenge of increasing climate instability.

For more information or to book a place, please contact Sarah Nicholl on or 02074280055.

A contribution of £10 will be appreciated

Dr. Nigel Crawhall is Director of the Secretariat for the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC), a network of 120 indigenous peoples’ organisations covering 20 African countries. He is currently Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Social Anthropology at the University of Tromso, Norway. Nigel has an MPhil in Linguistics from the University of Zimbabwe and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back to Basics - a presentation by Quinton Coetzee

We are pleased to bring you news of an opportunity to hear the inspirational Quinton Coetzee speak at the South African High Commission, London, in conjunction with The Mantis Collection:

Back to Basics - San Solutions

South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, London
6:30pm for 7pm Thursday 1Oth April 2008

A 75-minute presentation by Quinton Coetzee for people who want to tap into their natural potential to improve their business skills and performance and gain a better understanding of themselves and others.

Quinton believes that every person is endowed with a deep-seated instinct to survive.. ..SURVIVE AT ALL COSTS AND AGAINST ALL ODDS! His powerful and riveting introduction leads an audience into the fascinating world of a San Bushman Tribe (the Company), their bush environment (the Marketplace), the wildlife on which they thrive (the Clients) and the predators with which they compete (the Competitors).

Using spectacular slides, he illustrates that everyone has dormant or under-utilised business skills. These skills need only to be set free or "unlocked" in order to realise maximum gain, both personally and for the company. In this regard, no-one beats the San. This is how successful business has always been done, is currently being done and will continue to be done. Everyone has the natural ability to do the same! This is the BACK TO BASICS approach.


* Thriving on teamwork
* The challenge of change
* Knowing your clients
* Creativity and innovation
* Growing your income source
* Vision, strategy and self-motivation
* Adaptability, flexibility and versatility
* Dealing with competitors
* Boosting efficiency, effectiveness and productivity
* Stress and lifestyle management
* Recognising and exploiting hidden opportunities
* Coping with setbacks and adversity
* Complacency
* Work smarter, not harder
* Time management
* The Growth Imperative
* The necessity of training and skill development
* Planning and strategy

This highly energetic, professional presentation not only inspires and
motivates, it enthralls, moves and punches home the reality of personal commitment and survival in the corporate world.

It’s very different and humorous, and its straight-forwardness is invigorating. It will be talked about, recounted and remembered as a unique and fresh approach to business essentials with huge practical value.


Quinton was born in the Namib Desert and, having spent most of his young life in the bush, he began his working career as a hunter. He later attained a university degree in the natural sciences after which he specialised in bush survival. Today he is considered one of the leading bushcraft specialists in southern Africa.

Quinton has always had a passion for expeditions. He has explored remote areas from the icy sub-Antarctic to the sweltering deserts of the Middle-East and has spent time with ‘vanishing’ tribes in Africa and in the Amazon jungles.

As a conservationist, he has managed the animal collection for one of the largest Zoological Gardens in Africa, where he was committed to the breeding of many endangered species worldwide. In this regard he is well known for his commentary in print, on air and on television as presenter of the popular South African wildlife programme “Veldfocus” on 50/50. He has
also trained as a classical pianist.

Quinton’s message has universal appeal which has been addressed to audiences worldwide.

For further information or to book your place, please RSVP to Please remember to mention WFUK when contacting them. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Earthwatch Lecture - Dolphins across the Med

WFUK is always looking for leactures and events that may be of interest to our Friends, to supplement our own Events Calendar. This week the team at Earthwatch present "Dolphins across the Med".

Earthwatch Lecture - Dolphins across the Med

Thursday 27 March 2008, 7.00pm - 8.30pm, at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR

Joan Gonzalvo Villegas & Ricardo Sagarminaga van Buiten

Two talks by leading scientists, who, with Earthwatch volunteers, are monitoring the status and health of dolphin populations in Greek and Spanish waters, and implementing plans to secure their future.

Doors open at 6.00pm (cash bar); lectures followed by a second cash bar, 8.30-9.30pm.

Entrance free to Earthwatch supporters; otherwise a small donation will be requested on the door.

For tickets and more information, please contact the Events Department on (01865) 318856; ;

Please remember to mention WFUK when making enquiries/bookings.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Events Programme 2008

We now have in place our programme of major events for 2008, but will be supplementing this with extra gatherings throughout the year, so check back regularly for updates!

9th June 2008 Art of Africa Week - WFUK Open Day at the Smithfield Gallery, London

Your chance to enjoy some of the most wonderful art coming out of Africa, as well as meet the WFUK team and learn more about the work that we are engaged in. Come along and say hello to Jo, Richard, Eddie, Sue, Carol and our new Membership and Events Secretary and Education Officer.

11th June 2008 Art of Africa Week - Dinner at the Smithfield Gallery, London

Join WFUK with guest speaker Cameron McNeish for this wonderful dining event, set in one of London's most charming galleries, surrounded by a range of works of art brought to us by some of the most dynamic talent from the continent of Africa.

6th July 2008 British London 10k Run

Join us once again to cheer on the brave souls running through the streets of London to raise money for WFUK. We're delighted to be represented by a team of three from Alladale in Scotland this year, but still have three places available under our debenture. Minimum sponsorsphip to be raised £100 per entrant. Go on - get out and make a difference!

Autumn 2008 - Tranquility Walks

In conjunction with the Stop Stansted Expansion group, we will be running a series of guided walks through the tranquil areas of Essex countryside that will be impacted by the proposed expansion of Stansted Airport.

Winter 2008 - Wilderness Youth Congress, London

Building on our Wilderness Trails Programme, we will be holding our inaugural Wilderness Youth Congress in the Winter of 2008. We will be inviting our current trails participants and alumni to join the Foundation for a day of structured workshops and seminars around the environmental and conservation issues that matter to young people. The event will be rounded off by an evening of celebration with a live band and party atmosphere.

For further information or to register your interest in any of these events, please email the events team

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nature Writing

We're pleased to bring you details of a writing workshop being presented by The Arvon Foundation in May 2008:

A passion for nature

Experienced writers and lifelong naturalists Mark Cocker and Stephen Moss will guide you through the world of nature writing – how to avoid the clich├ęs while getting across your passion for the subject. The tutors will use examples from their own and others' work and take participants out into the field to experience the subject for themselves.

Start Date:
Monday, 5th May 2008

End Date:
Saturday, 10th May 2008


Stephen Moss has produced many wildlife programmes, including BBC's Springwatch with Bill Oddie. A writer based at the BBC Natural History Unit, he has written several books, including A Bird in the Bush and This Birding Life (both Aurum Press).

Mark Cocker is one of Britain’s foremost writers on nature. His seven books, including Crow Country (Jonathan Cape) and Birds Britannica (Chatto & Windus), deal with modern responses to wilderness, whether found in landscape, human societies or in other species.

For further information please visit The Arvon Foundation website:

Please remember to mention WFUK when making your enquiry or booking. Happy writing!

Stop Stansted Expansion Update

As recently reported on our website, the Wilderness Foundation UK has pledged support to the Stop Stansted Expansion group who are working to safeguard the Essex countryside from the proposed expansion of the existing airport at Stansted, Essex. We will be featuring important information, press releases and updates on the progress of the proposal through the planning and consent stage and aim to highlight the devastating effect that such a development would have on rural Essex.

Press Release: Stop Stansted Expansion 11 March 2008

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) today described BAA’s planning application for a second runway as going beyond environmental vandalism and being tantamount to a declaration of war on the local community and global environment. The campaign has pledged to use every means at its disposal to defeat these plans.

If BAA's plans for a second runway at Stansted were to be approved it would be the UK's biggest airport development project since the Second World War. One thousand acres of unspoilt countryside and ancient woodlands would be bulldozed, cutting a swathe through the heritage-rich villages of Molehill Green and Broxted.

In a typically presumptuous move, BAA has submitted the application before the Government has even ruled on the outcome of last year's public inquiry where the airport operator was seeking permission for maximum use of the existing runway. The application for a second runway and associated development from BAA assumes that the Government has ruled in its favour on the expansion plans for the existing runway – a move which SSE described as yet another demonstration of the degree of collusion and connivance between BAA and the Department for Transport.

BAA claims that its plans would give Stansted a capacity of 68 million passengers a year (mppa) – three times its current throughput – but this is another cynically calculated understatement because its true capacity would be at least 85mppa. However, even at 68mppa Stansted would be bigger than Heathrow today whether measured in terms of passenger throughput, number of flights or land area.

If the plans were to be approved, the relative peace and tranquillity of many historic local towns and villages such as Thaxted, Great Dunmow, Saffron Walden and Finchingfield would be lost forever and the main local town, Bishop's Stortford, could become another Hounslow within a generation. The sheer scale of what is proposed for Stansted would mean that the impacts from overflying, road and rail congestion, air pollution and urbanization would also reach far and wide across the region. People living as far as 70 miles away in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk would suffer a worsening of overflying and face the prospect of new flight paths over previously tranquil areas.

Peter Sanders warned: "The application must serve as a rallying call not just for local people who seek to safeguard this unspoilt area of countryside but for all those who care about our legacy to future generations. This is a betrayal of a longstanding undertaking to the local community that there would never be a second runway at Stansted. We will fight BAA's plans tooth and nail in what will be a defining test of whether protection of our environment is more highly valued by the Government than still more cheap flights and doing BAA’s bidding."

In the past, a Royal Commission and two independent public inquiries and have all ruled out a second runway on environmental grounds and when the new terminal was approved in the mid-1980s the Government 'unreservedly' accepted the recommendation of the independent inspector that there should never be a second runway at Stansted.

It has always been Stansted's unique rural location, in unspoilt countryside on the border between North West Essex and East Herts, which has convinced previous public inquiries that a second runway would be wholly unacceptable from an environmental standpoint.

Today however there is also a much wider environmental consideration. The planning application comes at a time of mounting concerns over the impact of the rapid growth in flying upon climate change. A second runway at Stansted would add the annual equivalent of 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the UK's carbon footprint – wiping out the combined annual saving from switching every household in the nation to low-energy light bulbs and the entire output of all the wind turbines that have so far been built in the UK.

"The Government's hypocrisy on this issue is staggering," said Mr Sanders. "They cannot claim to be taking climate change seriously and at the same time promote a doubling of air travel and the biggest expansion in airport capacity that the UK has ever seen. Nor is there any sound economic rationale: Stansted is first and foremost a leisure airport providing cheap flights abroad and was one of the main contributors to last year's record £19.4bn UK trade deficit on international travel and tourism."


1. When the new Stansted terminal was approved in the mid-1980s the Government gave a commitment that there would no second runway at Stansted and 'unreservedly' accepted the recommendations of the independent inspector, Graham Eyre QC:

'Any decision that expansion should take place at Stansted up to the capacity of a single runway must be entirely contingent upon securing the position that a second runway will not be constructed and that the safeguard and protection over most of the safeguarded area will cease.' – Inspector Graham Eyre QC, Report on the 1982-83 Stansted Inquiry, Chapter 50, para 9.7.

'I would not be debasing the currency if I express my judgement that the development of an airport at Stansted, with a capacity in excess of 25mppa …would constitute nothing less than a catastrophe in environmental terms.'- Ibid, Chapter 25, para.12.12.

In its 2003 Air Transport White Paper the Government overturned this commitment without justification.

2. Source references for any of the figures quoted in this release are available from SSE upon request.

3. A timeline showing the key developments associated with Stansted Airport and opposition to expansion is accessible online at


Carol Barbone, SSE Campaign Director: M 0777 552 3091,

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Events Update from Gaia

Event News from our Friends at The Gaia Foundation:

Dear friends and colleagues

There are still a few places left for our special event with Dr. Vandana Shiva and Patrick Holden on Monday, 17th March at Hampstead Town Hall Centre.

'Agrofuels, Food Security and Climate: The Case for An Integrated Approach to Climate, Biodiversity and Livelihoods'

The large-scale growing of crops to satisfy our insatiable demand for fuel, and the surge in plantations to offset and ease guilt over the excessive amounts of carbon being produced, are some of the most alarming and false solutions to climate change. The current scenario in agriculture and agrofuels is simply feeding high consumption in some parts of the world, while raising food prices, poverty and hunger in others. What's the alternative? Vandana Shiva and Patrick Holden have convincing arguments for a return to more local economies and livelihoods. They present a workable path to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and protect our remaining biological and agri-cultural diversity, as we adapt to inevitable changes in climate.

Reserve your seat by booking online at

For more information please contact Sarah Nicholl on or 020 7428 0055.

Stop Mull of Kintyre Wind Farm

There is now a wind farm proposal for the Mull of Kintyre. For further information please visit the website:

The Wilderness Foundation UK supports the provision of energy from renewable sources, but will continue to raise awareness of schemes or proposals that may be detrimental to the environment for which they are proposed. The Foundation advocates the creation of wind farms offshore and in locales where there is established development. Each development has to be judged on its own merits and impact on the environment and as such we encourage informed debate on all issues affecting wilderness and areas of wild landscape. We believe it is our duty as an environmental educator to bring news of threats to these precious areas to a wider audience.

Jay Griffiths at Glasgow Book Festival

Renowned author Jay Griffiths will be presenting a talk for the Glasgow Book Festival this coming Saturday, 15th March 2008, on Happiness and the Wild. Jay will be sharing the platform with Oliver James, who will be speaking about affluence and happiness. The sessions is from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Mitchell Library.

Jay's book "Wild : An Elemental Journey" which we co-launched with Gaia last year, will be out for paperback in May and has been longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing. Congratulations to Jay.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

TurnAround receives High Sheriffs' Award

The TurnAround Project was in line for an Essex wide award last night. WFUK's programme for vulnerable young people in Essex had been nominated for the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service Shield, along with a small number of other youth organisations in the county.

We were all delighted that the hard work put in by members of our home community, a good many of them volunteers with their own full time occupations, was recognised by this nomination, which formed part of this year's High Sherrifs' Awards. Although we did not win the shield this year, the project was successful in winning a £1000 award from the High Sheriffs' Award Fund. This money will be put towards the cost of running the second trail programme for this year's TurnAround participants, who have chosen to spend four days at sea on a Tall Ship with the Morning Star Trust. During this time they will learn new skills, not least of which will be how to live along side one another in close quarters. We are also confident that they will graduate from the experience with their RYA Competent Crew certificate.

TurnAround Project Manager, Edward Charles, and Educational Visit Coordinator Richard Corby from the Foundation were in attendance to receive the Award and Steve Scrutton of BBC Essex who was introducing the awards ceremony opened the mic for Eddie to speak to the gathering about the project.

TurnAround takes young people out of their urban environment to a remote location, like the Isle of Mull, where they have an opportunity to reconnect with nature. Our years of experience in running wilderness trail in the UK and South Africa has shown us that their is a direct correlation between time spent in wilderness and a boost in self esteem. In that knowledge we have taken the steps to build a holistic programme of wilderness experience, reflective coaching, skills based workshops and outdoor activity days to give vulnerable young people in Essex a chance to turn their lives around. We're hugely proud of all the young people in this year's programme and the achievements they have made - each stage of the project has been a milestone in a very personal journey of growth and change for each of them and we applaud the courage they have had to take that voyage of self-discovery.

The achievements of the TurnAround participants will be recognised later this year at a Celebration event on 5th July, being held in Chelmsford, Essex. Plans for the second year of TurnAround - "TurnAround2" are already in development and we will be issuing media and information packs about the opportunities open to young people in the coming weeks.

Donation to Population & Sustainability Network

The Trustees of the Wilderness Foundation UK had pleasure in awarding a donation of £1,000 to the Population and Sustainability Network earlier this week.

The aims of PSN are:

  • to highlight the negative impact of population increase on economic development, poverty alleviation and the natural environment and to promote better understanding of these issues
  • to ensure that the population factor becomes part of the strategic and action plans of relevant NGOs and other institutions so that voluntary family planning services are adequately resourced and available.
The Principal Sponsor of the PSN for the last four years is The Margaret Pyke Trust to whom we made the award.

The grant is to be used for the establishment of a Family Planning Service in South West Madagascar, specifically the coastal communities of Andavadoaka and surrounding villages. This donation has been made possible by the work of Rona Birnie and Henry Fletcher who raised funds for WFUK at last year's WED Trust Concert on 5th June.

The connection between wilderness and population may not at first be apparent, however potentially the greatest threat to the world's last remaining wilderness areas is increasing population and hence expanding urbanisation. You can read much more about the work of the PSN on their website here.

Thanks to all concerned with raising the funds, to the Trustees of WFUK for making this award possible and good luck to everyone at PSN involved with the establishment of the family planning service in Madagascar. We will bring you regular updates on their progress as we receive them.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Unity Concert

Zac Goldsmith and Terry Waite to address joint Heathrow/Stansted event

Zac Goldsmith and Terry Waite will speak at a Unity Concert being staged by Stop Stansted Expansion and their opposite numbers at Heathrow this Thursday evening, 6 March, to demonstrate the unity between the two campaigns. The evening of words and English choral music is being held at the Grosvenor Chapel in Mayfair.

The concert comes just a week after the consultation into the proposals to expand Heathrow closed and shortly before the submission of a planning application for a second Stansted runway.

Full details of the event, which begins at 7.30pm, can be accessed online at

Tickets are available from the SSE Campaign Office or on the door (Grosvenor Chapel, 24 South Audley Street, Mayfair, London W1K 2PA) at £5 each (£3.50 concessions). SSE has also organised a coach from Takeley for those wishing to use this service (seats £10 each). Contact SSE for more details.

Stop Stansted Expansion

01279 870558 (see Coming Events)

The Wilderness Foundation UK is a member of the Stop Stansted Expansion group and is working to highlight the threat posed to wild landscapes by such developments. In conjunction with SSE, we are working towards running a number of Tranquility Walks during the Autumn, inviting our friends and members to walk in the Essex countryside and enjoy the landscape that could be potentially harmed by noise, pollution and the associated impact of the expansion of transport facilities in our home county.

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