TIME Zimbabwe

If You Got Mad Over Cecil the Lion, Here Are 5 Ways You Can Bring About Change

Zimbabwe Lion Killed cecil
Andy Loveridge—AP In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe.

Don't just tweet your rage. Do something

The death of Cecil the lion at the hands of American dentist Walter Palmer in July may have sparked a worldwide groundswell of rage, but Cecil’s death represents a larger problem with deep roots. Hwange National Park, where Cecil lived for 13 years, was the site of what the Telegraph called the “the worst single massacre in southern Africa for 25 years” in 2013 when poachers poisoned the water supply, killing 300 elephants; a recent study estimates that 33,000 are killed per year on the African continent.

The situation is just as grim for lions and rhinos: Teresa Telecky, director of wildlife at Humane Society International (HSI), estimated to TIME that, as of early August, 49 lions had been killed throughout Africa just this year. And the World Wildlife Fund estimates that 60% of the rhino population in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe was killed between 2003 and 2005.

If you want to make a difference to these statistics, here are some suggested ways.

1. Become Informed

“What we’ve found is a lot of the consumers are not aware that animals die for this,” said Mark Witney, whose company, Singita, employs 250 anti-poaching scouts within the nature parks it owns or manages throughout southern Africa. He was referring to countries like Vietnam and China, but the same is often true in the U.S., where ivory consumers may not realize the material in their trinkets, firearm embellishments and even piano keys was harvested from a dead elephant.

Witney points to the South African Peace Parks Foundation as one organization doing powerful work on awareness. The foundation recently ran an essay competition in Vietnamese schools, with the winning students flown to wilderness reserves in southern Africa to learn about conservation issues. By many estimates, the U.S. is the second biggest consumer of ivory in the world. Educating yourself and helping friends and family gain that same perspective is key to long-term change, Telecky said.

2. Make Your Voice Heard

As part of the anti-poaching fight, HSI and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have teamed up on a petition supporting a policy proposed by President Obama earlier this summer that would ban the interstate sale of most ivory, as well as ivory imports. That rule would align with a proposal by the U.S. Department of the Interior to name the African elephant a “threatened species,” severely restricting imports of materials associated with the animal’s hunting.

The department is now holding a 60-day comment period during which members of the public can make arguments to sway the results of its final ruling on the subject. The HSI-WCS petition will be presented in September to support the bid to make the “threatened” designation permanent. Care about ivory trade and elephant poaching? Your signature has weight.

HSI is also circulating a petition to support endangered-species status for the African lion, which would result in similar restrictions for lion trophies as those suggested for ivory. Telecky told TIME she hopes the designation would “drastically curtail” lion trophy hunting.

3. Visit

“This is the frontline where the war is being fought and tourists who get here are like eyes and ears against the enemy,” ex-ranger and eco-travel promoter Mark Butcher told the Guardian in 2014. Many safari companies participate in anti-poaching efforts, both out of vested interest in a continuing local animal population and out of moral obligation, anti-poaching activists say.

Some lodges allow guests to help with day-to-day activities and put a portion of proceeds toward their anti-poaching work. If you’re going on vacation, spending your money with such organizations is one way to contribute indirectly to the cause. But Witney, whose organization puts what he says is “quite a large portion” of their proceeds into the trust used for the parks it cares for, stresses the importance of common sense and careful selection, as some groups might misrepresent their intentions.

4. Volunteer

Hundreds of organizations work on all sides of the poaching crisis, and some accept volunteers. For example, the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), one of the most extensive anti-poaching initiatives in southern Africa, allows volunteers to undergo training and spend a minimum of two weeks with IAPF rangers going on patrol. It’s not an experience free of risk, but if you’re looking for a hands-on way to help, CEO and founder Damien Mander told TIME that his organization particularly looks especially for volunteers with special skills, like paramedics and teachers.

5. Donate

Some anti-poaching organizations accept material donations. IAPF’s wish list, for example, includes camera equipment, Leatherman multi-tools, first-aid supplies and handheld GPS devices, among other items.

Still, Mander said that old-fashioned monetary donations are most useful for organizations like his. Both he and Witney encourage would-be philanthropists to research organizations carefully. But in the right hands, money can go far, funding what activists say is the most effective method of fighting poaching: people.

“Anti-poaching is 90% managing people,” Mander told TIME, because the most effective anti-poaching organizations tap into local expertise. Your donations mean hiring more rangers who can, as Mander put it, “follow tracks of a poacher at running speed the same way you would read an article in a newspaper.”

MONEY mutual funds

Dar es Salaam Is the New Brewery Hot Spot

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Tom Cockrem—Getty Images Street scene in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Roughly 45% of Tanzanians are between the ages of 15 and 45, prime ages for drinking beer.

Lagos and Dar es Salaam are the new brewery hot spots, according to U.S. mutual fund managers as they tap Africa’s emerging beer companies in pursuit of long-term returns on investment.

U.S. fund managers who originally entered the African market by investing in infrastructure said the continent’s youthful demographics – large swaths of the continent are at prime beer-drinking age – and favorable economics brought by local production are a recipe for a profitable outlook.

“It would cost four or five times more for Tanzanians to import beer than to make it domestically,” said Babatunde Ojo, portfolio manager for Harding Loevner’s $600 million Frontier Emerging Markets strategy.

His fund has added in recent months 730,000 shares of Tanzania Breweries Limited and 900,000 shares of East African Breweries, also a Tanzanian company, according to Lipper data.

The Templeton Frontier Markets Fund noted that it added $3.58 million to East African Breweries and $11.80 million to Nigerian Breweries.

Roughly 45% of Tanzanians are between the ages of 15 and 45, prime ages for drinking beer, said Ojo.

Those demographics are reflected elsewhere in the continent. Cities including Dar-es-Salaam and Lagos, hubs for young professionals, are expected to experience rapid growth of their young populations, according to a 2015 trends report by Ernst and Young.

Africa is expected to see the largest increase in the legal drinking age population by 2018, while in western Europe and North America, the cumulative decline in beer volumes since 1998 has been between 5% and 10%, according to Rabobank Research.

Mark Mobius, executive chairman of the Templeton Emerging Markets Group, is particularly enthusiastic about Nigerian Breweries Plc, which is majority owned by Heineken Holding NV. Templeton Asset Management Ltd. holds 0.83% of the company.

“Relative to its competitors, the company (Nigerian Breweries) imports considerably fewer raw materials – reducing its exposure to the depreciating naira, and lessening the impact on profit margins and turnover – and also has the strongest distribution capability among its peers,” Mobius wrote in an email to Reuters last week.

To be sure, share prices in Nigerian Breweries and other African peers have been falling this year as some countries suffer from decreased revenue and other commodities and in part because of uncertainty among minority investors about how and whether large global liquor companies Heineken and Diageo PLC will take their interests in Africa.

Should they choose to deemphasize beer at the expense of spirits, that could hurt the brewers.

Furthermore, some of these stocks are thinly traded and investing in Africa is still considered risky by many.

“If you invest in Africa, it will be a rocky ride between the possibility of economic and political instability, but if you look at the long-term potential, the rewards you can reap are very interesting and worthwhile,” said Francois Sonneville, Director in Food and Agribusiness Research at Rabobank International, a Dutch banking company.

Sonneville also said governments could impose tough taxes on beer companies if economic growth remains low this year.

Furthermore, not all of Africa may be equally ripe for beer sales. North African countries with large Muslim populations have some of the highest abstention rates in the world, according to the World Health Organization’s 2014 global status report on alcohol and health.

TIME tanzania

The Grim Reason Tanzania Has Decided to Ban Witchdoctors

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY JEAN-MARC MOJON
Tony Karumba—AFP/Getty Images Albino children study on January 28, 2009 at the Mitindo Primary School for the blind, which has become a rare sanctuary for albino children.

Around 70 albinos have been murdered in the past three years in order to harvest their body parts

Tanzania instituted a nationwide ban on witchdoctors this week in a move to protect albino citizens.

Witchdoctors commonly believe that body parts of people with albinism — a condition that represents the lack of a particular pigment in the skin — bring good luck and wealth, prompting several attacks on albinos recently.

The country’s Home Affairs Minister Mathias Chikawe said any practicing witchdoctors will henceforth be arrested and taken to court, the BBC reports.

Around 70 albinos have been murdered in the past three years, but only 10 people have been convicted over the killings.

[BBC]

TIME HIV/AIDS

African Countries Should Spend More in AIDS Response, Study Says

A mother holds the hand of her Aids stricken son in Rakai, Ugand
Getty Images

To meet AIDS eradication goals, study says funding should be re-allocated

Twelve African countries with the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS are currently the largest recipients of international AIDS funding. But it’s now possible for many of them to make domestic spending on the disease a priority, a new study says.

As countries in sub-Saharan Africa gain better financial footing, funds from donor countries are tightening. Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and the Results for Development Institute decided to test a couple of scenarios to see whether funding for the AIDS response could be re-allocated so African countries would finance a greater share.

Their results, published in the journal The Lancet Global Health, show that overall, the 12 countries—Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia—could provide a greater share of the costs of AIDS programs in their countries over the next five years. However, several countries will still need support from donors, even if they were to provide their maximum funds.

MORE: The End of AIDS

By looking at factors like expected growth and total government spending, and then comparing them to the countries’ AIDS needs, the researchers found that in most scenarios, AIDS expenditures for three of the upper-middle-income countries (Botswana, Namibia and South Africa) exceed their needs. In many cases, they found, these three countries could actually fund their needs solely from domestic resources. Other low-income countries like Mozambique and Ethiopia would still need to largely rely on donors.

Currently, the dozen countries are home to more than 50% of AIDS cases worldwide, as well as 56% of financial aid for the disease. They also account for 83% of funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which makes up one of the largest shares of international donations. In 2014, the United Nations program UNAIDS estimated that a “fast-tracked” response to ending the AIDS epidemic would mean we’d need $35 billion each year by 202o, but in 2012, only $19 billion was available and almost half came from international sources. To meet such goals, the researchers suggest their new funding strategy.

Almost none of the 12 countries meet possible financing benchmarks that the study authors believe to be reasonable. If the countries spent more domestically, researchers say that self-funding could increase 2.5 times and could cover 64% of future needs. That would still leave a gap of about $7.9 billion.

“Coupled with improved resource tracking, such metrics could enhance transparency and accountability for efficient use of money and maximize the effect of available funding to prevent HIV infections and save lives,” the study authors conclude. Sharing the financial burden of AIDS more equitably may be one strategy for eradicating the disease faster.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: December 5

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Peak gas: According to some forecasts, the fracking boom could be a bust.

By Mason Inman in Nature

2. To end the conflict with Boko Haram, Nigeria needs to address the alienation of its Muslims.

By John Campbell at the Council on Foreign Relations

3. “Protecting our coal workers is critical to successfully solving the climate problem.”

By Jeremy Richardson in the Union of Concerned Scientists

4. Tanzania can fight child marriage and protect the next generation of women by keeping girls in schools.

By Agnes Odhiambo in Human Rights Watch

5. When the last baby boomers move into retirement around 2030, today’s youth will carry the weight of our economy. They need support now.

By Melody Barnes in the World Economic Forum Blog

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Photojournalism Links

Photojournalism Daily: Nov. 4, 2014

Today’s daily Photojournalism Links collection highlights Marcus Bleasdale’s work on child marriage in Tanzania, East Africa, where four out of 10 girls marry before their 18th birthday. The photographs, made on assignment for Human Rights Watch, draw attention to young girls and women who have been pressured or forced to marry as adolescents and undergo female genital mutilation. It’s a blunt, compelling look at the hardships these girls face.


Marcus Bleasdale: Child Marriage in Tanzania (Human Right Watch)

Lynsey Addario: Amid Record Waves of Refugees, Italy Finding Limits to Its Compassion (National Geographic News) These photographs from Sicily show how the island has become the entry point for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea.

Tanya Habjouqa: Widows of Syrian ‘Freedom Fighters’ (The New York Times Lens) These pictures document the poverty and uncertainty faced by Syrian widows and their families in Jordan.

Luca Locatelli: Where Ferraris Are Born (Wired Raw File) Inside the famed car factory in Maranello, Italy.

Twelve Views on Israel (Le Monde) Pictures from a project, This Place, for which 12 international photographers were invited to document Israel. NB The post is in French. Also published on TIME LightBox in April 2014.


Photojournalism Links is a compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen, Associate Photo Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.


TIME tanzania

Rats Sniff Out Danger: 15 Years of Land Mine Progress

In Tanzania Giant African Pouched Rat rats are being used to identify and sniff out land mines.

Correction appended, June 23

Fifteen years after the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention gathered for the first time with a signed treaty in Mozambique, its leaders met again Monday to asses the progress that has been made. In the past 15 years, 161 countries have signed on. The meeting, which will last through Friday, will evaluate the advancements that have been made banning the use of land mine weapons, helping land mine victims, and clearing minefields.

In the bordering country of Tanzania, Giant African Pouched Rat rats are being used to identify and sniff out land mines. These enormous rodents are bred and trained by a Belgian NGO called APOPO, which has it’s headquarters based in Tanzania. Once the rats have undergone the six-step training process to become experts at sniffing out TNT and detecting mines they are known as HeroRATs. These photo show what the training process is like for these life-saving rodents.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated when the meeting of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention will end and when members first met as signatories to the treaty.

TIME Out There

Portraits of the Authentics: Photographing Ancient Cultures Before They Pass Away

Photographer Jimmy Nelson spent three-and-a-half years documenting the vanishing cultures of the world. His new book, Before They Pass Away, serves as visual record of what is — and what was — as the world continues evolving in 2013.

Jimmy Nelson spent his early days in Nigeria—his father was a geologist for Shell—and his adolescence at a Jesuit boarding school in northern England. He was 16 when he contracted cerebral malaria while visiting his parents in Africa, but when he returned to school he was “treated” with the wrong medicine. The next morning, his hair had fallen out. Two years later, tired of living like an outcast—he’d had enough of being judged by his appearance—he fled to where bald heads were not only accepted, but seemingly the norm. By then, he had also found photography.

Nelson landed in Tibet and began eking out a living by shooting editorial work, mainly in warzones and poverty-stricken corners of the world. Five years later, he had switched to commercial photography—advertising was a specialty—to support a wife and three kids. That was all well and good until five years ago, when the one-two punch of the global financial meltdown and the industry’s preference of digital photography over film put a dent in his ability to provide for his family.

Friends and colleagues began to offer advice. You have to go back to the source, they’d say. You have to go back to your passion.

Fast-forward to today. At 45, Nelson is about to release Before They Pass Away, a massive book—both physically and thematically—that’s the result of three-and-a-half years spent documenting vanishing cultures. In what is perhaps the most comprehensive contemporary look at some of the world’s last remaining tribes, the book chronicles Nelson’s experiences photographing 35 populations that have neither adapted to the modern world, nor shown a desire to join it.

Spending up to two weeks with each culture, Nelson would locate, meet, connect with and photograph these “last of the untouched.” After a guide or translator made an initial introduction, Nelson would step in to begin forming a bond and eventually get people to pose—in the jungle, on a mountaintop, in a river. Using the 4×5 plate camera, always in soft light, didn’t just slow him down and focus his concentration; it enabled him to directly confront his subjects. He would always be positioned lower than they were, and they would be seated or standing higher, above him, like icons. Getting them to remain still for a four-to-five-second shutter was a feat in itself. And stripping himself of his own modern-day arrogance and colonialist nature came with time.

His experience in Ethiopia with the Banna is a good example. The tribesmen were high on khat, he recalls, and holding Kalashnikovs. His way of getting close was by getting small.

“You become inferior and you let them push you around; you do not show fear, but you show vulnerability and insecurity,” he says. After that, he would befriend who he felt was the most empathetic one, warm up to him, praise him, bank on his vanity. Once that tribesman had his picture taken, making him feel good and big and strong, everyone wanted their picture taken.

And on it went with, among others, the Samburu in Kenya and the Maasai in Tanzania, the Gauchos in Argentina and the Huaorani in Ecuador, the Nenets of Russia and the Tsaatan of Mongolia. Each location was picked for its geographic remoteness and each tribe selected for its authenticity, rather than its anthropologic vulnerability. (Three regions were purposefully not included: Australia, due to ingrained cultural problems between modern citizens and the aborigines; West Africa, since al-Qaeda-linked militants were running rampant in Mali; and North America where, Nelson says, the tribes haven’t fully retained their heritage the way others have.)

The idea of the book, meanwhile, isn’t just to show photography, but to create a discussion about the imbalance Nelson sees in the world.

“We’re out of context,” he says. That doesn’t mean we should reset to tribal living, but instead create a dialog with the last of the authentics to see where we went wrong; to learn from the purest source what they’re doing right and to take that with us into the future. Nelson doesn’t want them to end up as we have, and so he plans to revisit each tribe to start that conversation.


Jimmy Nelson is an Amsterdam-based photographer focused on disappearing cultures. See more of his project at BeforeThey.com.

Andrew Katz is a reporter with TIME covering international affairs. Follow him on Twitter @katz.


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