Posts Tagged ‘Namibia’

Humans vs. Cheetahs-Mediators Needed

It’s a gray, soggy morning here in the Northeast, and I’m not moving too quickly. It would be a perfect day to just laze around in bed all day watching the rain. The antidote to this kind of day may just be this great wildlife conservation/volunteer trip from Biosphere Expeditions—you couldn’t get much more opposite: dry, hot Namibia and focused on cheetahs, the fastest land animals on earth.

85% of our world’s cheetahs are in Namibia, and that fact is lamented by the ranchers in that area who lose domesticated herd animals to hunting cheetahs. The meal of choice of the cheetahs is not necessarily ranch livestock, but optimal food sources are growing ever more scarce as the delicate balance tips even further away from natural order. The result is that farmers and ranchers see cheetahs as enemies, and shoot to kill to eradicate the threat to their livelihood. Humans are the biggest threat to the survival of these magnificent cats.

Your role as a conservation volunteer would include collecting data in the Khomas Hochland region (being fully trained by scientific research staff) to help Biosphere continue their good work resolving human/predator conflict.

“We believe there is enough space in this region for farmers and cheetahs to easily tolerate one another; cheetahs only attack valuable livestock and game species if there are not enough smaller, wild prey animals present,” said Kathy Wilden, Strategy Director of Biosphere Expeditions.

“Our new expedition aims to provide scientific proof and guidelines for farm management to address the issue. The results of our work will be used to create ways in which there can be peaceful co-existence between humans and big cat predators. This in turn will support a sustainable future for all in central Namibia.”

The 12-night expeditions run in November and December or between January and March.

For more information  visit www.biosphere-expeditions.org

DIG

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Cary Norton/Uganda

DIG (Development in Gardening) is a charitable organization dedicated to improving health and well-being for HIV-positive and at-risk individuals in developing nations. They teach skills and develop infrastructure for sustainable community gardens, thereby improving nutrition, wellness, and earning potential.

The garden projects (currently there are several DIG gardens in Uganda, Senegal, the Dominican Republic, and Namibia) are built and maintained by healthy HIV-affected workers, sometimes on hospital grounds. In addition to helping provide important, vitamin-rich fresh foods, the gardens also provide some income for the community as well as a welcoming gathering space. An offshoot of the program is HUG (Home Urban Garden) where individuals take the skills they have learned in hospital community gardens, and establish their own micro-gardens in previously unused spaces at or near their homes. This supplements the nutrition of entire families as well as a harvest of enough to sell fresh fruits and vegetables and help stabilize income.

Malnutrition in HIV/AIDS patients is a very real threat and almost constant condition in many economically challenged communities. This program not only nourishes individuals, but families and communities, and the skills shared by volunteers and staff can be passed on for generations to follow, potentially raising the level of health and nutrition for entire regions.

Want to get involved? Short term volunteers spend vacations at DIG projects, and longer-term volunteers work as interns taking stewardship of a program. Find out how to pitch in here.

http://www.developmentingardening.org