A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

The lion's share.....

Alex Kirby's latest BBC Online report, 'Africa's 'shocking' lion loss', yet again points the finger at conservation and ecotourist colonialism. Ever since the establishment of Kruger National Park at the end of the 19th century, far too little attention has been paid to the needs of local peoples. Ecotourism and hunting organisers, not to mention the big game, by contrast, always get the lion's share. The treatment of the Masai, for example, has, in some instances, bordered on the shocking. But it doesn't work, even for the lions! As Professor David Macdonald, Director of WildCRU, Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, rightly reminds us (as quoted in the report): "Local communities get very little benefit from it [ecotourism], but they must. The herders don't see the link between lions and tourists, because they don't see the money." I am frankly fed up with ever-moralistic conservationists putting fauna above people, especially when it isn't even their country or landscape. As old Foucault would have mumbled, let's hear it for the excluded voices. Not a bad little roar, Alex. I must give up this lionising! Nearly lunch. Philip.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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