Synthetic Ivory and Apologies

Nov 9, 2023 | News

AFRICA TALKED – October 2023 for International Distribution

“The ant constructs her home, the bee its sheltering comb,
the spider weaves her web, and the flowers breathe to them
a spirit in their sweet perfume that give them strength to
toil.” Aquarian Gospel Chapter 28

Apologies for the break in sending these newsletters out – and thanks to those who wrote saying you missed us. We have been taking a sabbatical, learning from a wide variety of people of different views and culture’s their opinions of saving the planet.

Most notable is the terrible waste of food and material objects.

Fill your plates with food, it doesn’t matter if you don’t eat it all, the rest can go in the bin. Can’t find it, buy a new one. Small repair needed, don’t waste time doing that, chuck it.

One interesting comment came from an 18 year old girl “we
take our bags to the supermarket to prevent the use of plastic shopping bags, but so much of what we buy is packed in plastic, often hard to open. Are suppliers not aware of the dangers of using so much plastic?”


That is for the rest of the world to worry about. Or if we are worried we will donate some money for ‘environmentalists’ to travel to the next exotic destination for yet another conference.

Despite media highlighting the plight of starving people, drought, floods, illegal poaching etc., the attitude was “Oh, that is in Africa, Asia, India, South America – but not where I live so what can I do about it?”

INDEED! If this reads as depressing, indeed it is – but on the other side of the coin we met so many people
doing their best to improve and help, especially amongst young people. Hats off to you all.

One young man, who against all odds is helping to share his
knowledge with other young people, is Peter Magosvongwe in
Zimbabwe. “I take eco clubs for walks to Botanical reserves,
national parks and other recreational areas where I teach about
tree conservation, birdlife, butterflies, wild animals, water,
pollution and wildlife conservation.”
He visits schools and
demonstrates the importance of the environment, all without any
official sponsorship. (Image of Citrus Swallow Tail by Arthur

On September 21, 2023, the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival
(AfRSG) reported that there are now an estimated 16,803 white
rhinos – the first increase for the species in over a decade. It is
also estimated there is a black rhino population of 6,487, a
small increases since 2021.

UGANDA: Alex Ngabarino of Bwindi Development Network – Mubare Biodiversity Conservation (Non-profit) wrote to us about the Human Wildlife Conflict in Uganda with gorillas.

“The conflict between humans and gorillas has always existed on the edges of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Mountain gorillas come out of the forest to feed in the banana plantations, destroying the local farmers’ livelihood.”

“We need to be bold in our thinking, courageous in accepting new ideas and willing to work with others. As always, my concern is about the remaining mountain gorillas and the people living close to them.”
We thank you for supporting our work, let’s continue
moving and doing something about it!”

TANZANIA: Suzan Shio, representing Friends of Serengeti Switzerland recently handed over equipment to Tarangire National Park. Thanking her, Beatrice Kessy, the Assistant Conservation Commissioner in charge of Business Development, said this will help to strengthen patrol and conservation activities.


“Despite international bans, thousands of African elephants are illegally killed each year for their tusks. Could finding a human-made alternative be the answer?” It is estimated that 20,000 African Elephants are illegally killed each year for their ivory with populations in many regions decreasing.
Thaddäa Rath, together with her team at the University of Vienna in Austria, is working towards creating a synthetic high-tech ivory alternative called Digory. This material can be 3D-printed and polished to create deceptively authentic ivory carvings. Digory is created using synthetic resin and calcium phosphates. It is hoped this will reduce the demand for genuine carved ivory ornaments, jewellery and knife handles.

SEYCHELLES has become the 18th member of the Ocean Panel, a high level initiative that allows world leaders to work towards a sustainable ocean economy in which effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand-in-hand.

Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA)
released the results of their elephant population survey 2022. KAZATFCA includes Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe which have common international borders along the Okavango and Zambezi River basins.

The estimated elephant population for the region was calculated at 227,900, indicating that the population appears stable. The survey was flown from August to October 2022 during the dry season when elephants can be more readily seen. The data captured was tracked and reviewed daily, and the full analysis was completed in early 2023.

(Photo by Solly Levi, Botswana)

For more information on this survey visit

As temperatures in northern CAMEROON heat up, elephants are migrating in search of food and water and increasingly finding themselves in face-to-face to humans. Wandering into villages and towns, where residents have never seen an elephant before so do not know how to react, a few deaths have recently been recorded and crops destroyed.

UGANDA Though dense rainforests present a problem for tracking, a unique system is being tested in the tropical forests of Kibale National Park. Recent research has shown that vertebrates leave their DNA in the environment, both as airborne particles and on vegetation. A team of researchers picked up over 50 species of mammals and birds and a frog, with swabs collected in just over an hour, on only 24 cotton buds.

Kibale, known for its population of Chimpanzees, is also home to the L’Hoest’s Monkey and the Ashy Red Colobus.

DID YOU KNOW THE HUMBLE EARTHWORM contributes towards helping keep the planet healthy?

They break down and aerate soils, and keep them moist through their feeding habits and movement. A
recent study estimates that if an average loaf of bread is made up of 15 slices, one slice per loaf depends on worm’s activity to be produced. This is of great contribution to grain harvests in Africa where farmers use fewer fertilizers and pesticides tending to rely more on manure and organic matter. Fighting climate change often means looking to existing natural systems.

Go Well and be faithful to Nature
Lesley & Ian Thomson, Africa Talked

AFRICA TALKED is actively looking for support to help us grow our community and bring the news of Africa to more people.

Please consider a gift/donation or become a FEATURED SPONSOR to our Artists and Authors and promote a Selected Destination .

Whilst great care is taken to check all facts AFRICA TALKED does not hold itself responsible for any information that may be deemed incorrect. Opinions quoted are those of the person/people submitting them and are not necessarily those of AFRICA TALKED.