Plants do not suffer in silence

Jul 4, 2023 | News, Uncategorized

AFRICA TALKED – May 2023 for International Distribution

“If you stand for a reason be
prepared to stand alone like a
tree, and if you fall on the
ground, fall like a seed that
grows back to fight again.”
(Unknown author)
(Photo by Mathew Sterne)

It was three years ago, in the month of May 2020, that we published our first newsletter. It is so gratifying to see how the readership worldwide has grown. We have learned so much from our contributors who have such a great passion for everything African – and been honoured to share personal experiences and opinions on a wide range of matters affecting Africa and its people.

THIS WAS OUR FIRST HEADER “Africa is extraordinary. Its people and their fascinating cultures, art, exceptional wildlife and amazing scenery are a never ending source of surprises. We bring you Africa through our monthly newsletter – join us in the journey of discovery, memories, news and views.

MOZAMBIQUE. Vasco Galante, Director of Communications, Gorongosa National Park, sent us some fascinating information on the history of the park, the amazing work that has been down
for both the wildlife and its people. There is too much to share here, so please feel free to email him directly or WhatsApp +258 822970010

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. Despite its problems, a concentrated effort by dedicated people are caring for the wildlife and environment. Briefly this is what Alain Mukiranya, Deputy Director of GORILLA AMBASSADORS, and his colleagues are doing in Kibumba, North Kivu, including training of young school children on the protection
of the gorilla and its habitat
- Community awareness raising against deforestation and poaching
 – Reforestation of deforested areas in and around the parks
 – Protection, conservation and promotion of heritage
 – Cultural promotion through storytelling
- Recreational games
 – Art on Mountain Gorilla conservation
 – Advocacy
Alain is so often in the field, but can be contacted by email AND LinkedIn: Alain mukiranya

GUINEA. A study shows that 1.1 million acres of habitat will be destroyed by mining activity over the next two decades. Guinea has some of the largest reserves of bauxite, a mineral used in aluminium.

A SIMPLE THING TO DO: It is likely that you can recognise at least 30 company logos. Can you recognise as many trees, birds and plants in your environment? It would be simple to learn some and become more aware of nature around you – the more you are aware, the more able you will be to connect with the living world.

Celebrated artist and evolutionary biologist Jonathan Kingdon looks at Africa’s geological history, geography, biology and climate, defining how most of human evolution could have occurred in Africa. Full of illustrations and colourful art by the author, there is much to discover and consider in this perceptive portrayal of Africa.
ISBN 978 0 00 842300 1 Published by HarperCollins UK/ JonathanBall
Publishers SA

WINNIE & NELSON Portrait of a Marriage
by Jonny Steinberg

This biography is absorbing in not only its historical value, but in the moving portrait of a marriage of love and politics in a turbulent and difficult era. Jonny Steinberg’s meticulously researched account of how two leaders, always in the public eye, went about their personal lives as well as political ambitions. Winnie & Nelson is an absorbing read by one of South Africa’s foremost nonfiction authors and historians.
ISBN 978 1 77619 016 4 Published by JonathanBall Publishers.

Professor Lilach Handy and colleagues at Tel-Aviv University, Israel, are studying the sounds that plants make. They have discovered that pants that are de-hydrated or having their stems cut make stress noises. While humans cannot naturally hear them, these sound scan probably be heard by animals such as bats, mice and insects as this would be in keeping with their foraging for food. How do vegetarians and vegans feel about this when they eat their tomatoes and corn? Is it a similar cry of distress, but less intensive than killing animals for food?

How are private philanthropists investing in nature?

Mongabay reports that the Protecting Our Planet campaign, the largest ever private biodiversity fund, has allocated about a quarter of the pledged $5 billion to conservation projects. Critics however are calling for greater spending transparency and say that the plan entrenches “fortress conservation” at the expense of
indigenous peoples’ rights. (Picture from Zimbabwean Field Guide)

The problems of human/wildlife are not going to go away in a hurry.

Media gave a lot of attention to the six lions that were speared to death when nine lions
broke into a livestock enclosure in Mbirikani, within Mbirikani Ranch, a wildlife conservancy in the greater Amboseli eco-system, Kenya.

We continually hear of crop raiding elephants, jackals, lions, and leopards attacking livestock, of monkeys, baboons and root-digging animals attacking harvests.
There are many organisations who are attempting to find a solution for this problem – but historically it was handled before interfered – and here we include the self-opinionated ‘Animal Rightist’ who tend to put the welfare of animals before people.
Investigations into media reports have proved that some journalists are being paid by Animal Rights Groups to only present their version of what is actually happening on the ground and to attempt to persuade public opinion on matters that could benefit both humans and wildlife.

This reminds us of the time when a group of people released injured birds of prey from the security of a sanctuary to give them ‘freedom.’ They all died within a few hours.

Bruce in Zambia, who writes in regularly (thank you Bruce), made this interesting observation: “Jane Wiltshire, a Post-Doctoral Fellow of the African Wildlife Economics Institute at the University of Stellenbosch, argues that the population of Rhino has declined badly during the period of the rhino ban, put in place in 1977. She argues that, by allowing a controlled trade in rhino horn, various people who own rhino populations (like John Hume), would be able to make his operation economically viable and this would be beneficial for the two species (Black and White) in the wild.”
“I feel that Science has given us an excellent way of answering this question: Would allowing a trade in rhino horn from privately owned conservation enterprises be good or bad for wild rhino populations? To answer any question that doesn’t already have a clear cut answer, Science would say “Run an experiment”.

From Carol in Florida USA “Keep ’em coming, what a wonderful Magazine – delivered by email. Yes, here to Florida.
Being a bush kid from the early days of Rhodesia, I miss everything bush.
My first home, from the day in 1944, I was born near the Chewore, I hunger for those the experiences of yesteryear.
My brother and only sibling, Glenn Tatham, was Chief Warden National Parks for several years. No doubt you will know of The Lost Stronghold by Silvana Olivo. ( I salute her commitment to the rhinos, to see them protected and most of all, written about in her book.
Carole Pearce aka Carole Tatham
“South Africa loses between 1,000 and 2,000 pangolins each year to fence electrocutions. This far overshadows the number of individuals that are illegally poached and trafficked,” says Dr Darren Pietersen, one of South Africa’s leading pangolin researchers.

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