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From 19-27 October 2013, IMARES Wageningen UR, organised a research expedition to the Saba Bank, to investigate the ecological functioning of the Bank. For the past week Chelsea Clinton and her father President Clinton have been touring Clinton Foundation projects across Africa.
Elephant populations have held steady or even increased in several areas of Africa where park management, support from communities, and income from tourism have been strong.
In Tarangire, where WCS has worked in collaboration with the government, park officials and local people, elephant numbers have rebounded from the last poaching crisis of the 1980s by 7 percent per year.
In addition to Tarangire, Clinton Foundation staff had the opportunity on that 2013 trip to visit the Sekute Conservation Area in the Kazungula Landscape – comprising parts of Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Angola – and to meet with members of a community trust working with the African Wildlife Foundation to maintain a primary school built among other reasons as an incentive to support a community-protected wildlife area. The Clinton Foundation visited Tarangire and Sekute in part to learn about and publicize the dreadful ongoing slaughter of Africa’s elephants. Chelsea and President Clinton are back because they understand that Tarangire and Sekute don’t have to be the exception.
In the fall of 2013, WCS joined leaders of elephant range countries, NGO partners, and the Clinton Global Initiative in a commitment to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand for elephant ivory. In the wake of Chelsea’s first trip, the Clinton Global Initiative, or CGI, joined WCS and more than two dozen other international conservation NGO’s, along with the leaders of nine African elephant range countries, to support a commitment to stop the appalling killing of African elephants, stop the trafficking of their tusks by increasingly well-organized criminal syndicates, and stop the demand for ivory in Asia, the United States, and elsewhere. The CGI commitment, among other complementary efforts, helped galvanize a global movement for the protection of elephants before they are lost forever from Africa’s forests and savannahs.
It is vital now to focus that enforcement and prosecutorial attention on traffickers, middlemen, and kingpins.
One new interdiction tool is the use of so-called sniffer dogs, trained to detect small amounts of ivory and other wildlife parts. To stop the trafficking, interdiction efforts have been expanded both in Africa, where ivory is shipped from airports and seaports, and in destination countries in Asia and the west.
Most important, however, are intelligence-led efforts to enhance the enforcement operations that result in the successful arrest, prosecution, and conviction of targeted wildlife criminals along the trade chains – thus degrading, disrupting, and dismantling the organized trafficking networks and reducing poaching pressure on elephants, rhinos, and other targeted species.
WCS launched the 96 Elephants campaign in September 2013 to educate consumers about the link between ivory purchases and the elephant crisis and affect policy change in the United States and abroad.
Through a series of social media mini-campaigns developed in China, more than 8,000 Chinese have taken pictures documenting their pledge to “Bring No Ivory Home” on shouhudaxiang.org. One area where that effort has been particularly effective is China, the world’s largest ivory market. Finally, at the national level, President Obama launched a Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking and the Administration followed up with an important Implementation plan and significant actions across multiple Federal departments and agencies. A 2012 seizure of illicit ivory with a retail value of more than $2 million by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office suggests why more states must join New York and New Jersey shutting down their commercial ivory trade.
The fight to save Africa’s elephants, parks, and tourism industries has just begun, but the global mobilization since Chelsea Clinton’s last visit to Africa convinces me that it will be won, just as it was in the early 1990s.
James Deutsch is Vice President for Conservation Strategy at WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society). A Voice for Elephants & RhinosElephants and rhinoceroses may be large, heavy and thick-skinned, but they are being threatened with extinction in the wild by poaching for their ivory or horn, and by human impact on their habitats. How Killing Elephants Finances Terror in AfricaArmed groups help fund operations by smuggling elephant ivory. New York, 10 April 2013 – David Haslingden’s new stable of production houses—NHNZ, Beach House Pictures and Northern Pictures—got plenty of booty at the New York Festivals Television and Film Awards this year, gaining four gold, and two silver awards. Northern Pictures, with co-producer Fredbird Entertainment, won two prizes for its Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta series for SBS TV: the Silver World Medal and the United Nations Department of Public Information Gold Award in the Community Portraits category. Script to Screen and Nga Aho Whakaari present two special events with internationally acclaimed Palawanon-Filipino director Auraeus Solito.
Join us for a NZ Film Archive hosted discussion with Auraeus Solito including clips from his latest feature film, Busong.


Join us for an evening with Auraeus Solito including a screening of his latest feature film, Busong, and a filmmaker discussion. Thank you to the Warioa Maori Film Festival who has brought Auraeus Solito to Aotearoa, and to AUT’s Te Ara Poutama and the NZ Film Archive for hosting these events. Accommodation dealsWe've pulled together a number of deals from some of Wellington's best hotels. Top notch reasons to work in WellingtonWellington makes it possible to enjoy life while getting the job done.
Life in WellingtonEnergetic and creative, Wellington has been called the world’s ‘coolest little capital’.
AFAC case studyIn September 2014, Wellington hosted The 21st Annual Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC).
Top reasons to do business in WellingtonWellington is a region of innovation, diversity and creativity. InnovationKiwi entrepreneurs are known around the world for generating ideas that challenge the expected and Wellington leads the charge.
Enjoy a wide range of comfortable accommodation, from share ensuite rooms to deluxe private ensuite rooms. This is everything an urban hostel should be - National Geographic 2014Ultra clean, modern, bright, fun and friendly. Thirty-three 50m long transects resulted in more than 2000 images of the reef, and over 5000 fish counts of almost 100 fish species. There were fewer algae on the bank than in 2011, possibly indicating a healthier reef, though there appeared to be a gradient in increased algae cover towards the island of Saba.
In August 2013, as Executive Director of the Africa Program for WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), I had the great privilege of introducing Chelsea and her team from the Clinton Foundation to my WCS colleague Charles Foley and the work he and the rest of his staff based in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park were, and still are, doing to protect elephants. Driven by a seemingly insatiable demand for ivory across the globe (and make no mistake – this is an international crisis), elephants have been killed in Africa at the rate of approximately 35,000 per year.
With sufficient resources and political will, they can be repeated across the continent where elephants, rhinos, and other threatened species continue to be poached. To stop the killing, more governments in Africa are committing funds and action to wildlife enforcement efforts – both in the field and in the courts, where poachers are increasingly prosecuted and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Through a series of social media mini-campaigns developed in China more than 8,000 Chinese have taken pictures documenting their pledge to “Bring No Ivory Home” on shouhudaxiang.org. Because illicit ivory sales continue right here in the Unites States, with new ivory masquerading as old, just as in China and other parts of Asia, the campaign has fought for bans on sales and trade of ivory within states. The European Parliament likewise passed a ground-breaking resolution calling for a new EU Action Plan against wildlife crime and trafficking.
The Clinton Foundation has the power to bear witness and focus attention, vital first steps. Bloggers and commenters are required to observe National Geographic's community rules and other terms of service. YHA Wellington City is centrally located just off Courtenay Place; close to the waterfront, Te Papa museum, Embassy Cinema, cafes, bars, shops, theatres and handy to Parliament, Space Place Carter Observatory and transport to Zealandia and the Wellington Zoo. Fill out the listing form now.Please note as information changes regularly, this information should be used as a guide only. It is unclear if this is related to anthropogenic activities on the island or to natural causes.Lots of data to be analysedThe international team of marine biologists investigated the coral reef structure as well as the spatial variation in species assemblages and population genetic connectivity of corals, fish, and sponges on the Saba Bank.
Indeed, with her return to Africa, Chelsea Clinton and her father are reminding us that bearing witness can sometimes bear rich fruit.
Through social media and traditional media, the 96 Elephants campaign has generated close to 235 million exposures in China on elephants and ivory-related issues.
A new European strategy on wildlife conservation in Africa, including wildlife trafficking, is being developed.


Journalists Bryan Christy and Aidan Hartley take viewers undercover as they investigate the criminal network behind ivory’s supply and demand. We aim to provide accurate and up to date information on our website, but recommend contacting the provider to confirm any details and to ensure they comply with all Health and Safety and regulatory requirements. It houses an expansive coral reef ecosystem with a rich diversity of species and as such is also an important source of commercial fish for the nearby islands. The Saba Bank furthermore forms the largest protected area of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, after the Dutch part of the Wadden Sea in Europe. As there are no large land masses nearby, the Saba Bank can be considered as relatively pristine. Safe and secure, all rooms are lockable and there is no bar on-site. A dedicated group reservations team are available to help you plan your entire Wellington experience.
Environmental threats such as climate change, sea surface temperature increase and acidification, however, also threaten the Banka€™s coral reefs.The second ExpeditionThe expedition is a follow up of a survey of the Bank in 2011 and is part of the a€?The Saba Bank Research Program 2011-2016a€? initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ). The groups team also provide a free booking service for all domestic travel and activities.
The Saba Bank is a Marine Protected Area and by the CBD (the Convention of Biological Diversity) acknowledged as an Ecological and Biological Significant Area. This includes Interislander and Bluebridge ferries, Intercity coach travel, local shuttle services and Tranzalpine, Tranzscenic and Overlander trains.YHA Wellington City is proud to have been a sustainable living centre for 15 years. The research is part of the implementation of the Exclusive Economic Zone management plan for the Dutch Caribbean.
Together they create and maintain the coral reef ecosystem which forms the Saba Bank, one of the major hotspots of biodiversity in the Caribbean.Coral-reefs connectedAn important factor for coral-reef resilience is the connectivity between and within coral reefs in different regions. A key question is how populations of reef organisms on the Saba Bank are connected with populations in the region and in the Wider Caribbean. In order to answer this, Lisa Becking (IMARES and Naturalis Biodiversity Center) and Didier de Bakker (University of Amsterdam) investigated the population genetic structure of two common benthic species (barrel sponge and great star coral), an invasive species in the Caribbean (lionfish) and two commercially relevant fish (silk snapper and red hind). Geographical surveys of genetic variation provide an indirect means of tracing movements made between marine populations by larvae and other propagules. Video monitoring of pelagic and benthic fishIngrid van Beek (IMARES), Steve Pointek (STENAPA St. Eustatius), and Fleur Holtrop (Van Hall Larenstein) assessed the pelagic and benthic fish communities by underwater visual census and video monitoring.
Great numbers of fish species inhabit the reefs and algal plains of the Saba Bank and these fish communities provide important information on the status of the ecosystem. The topographic complexity of the reef has direct consequences for the biomass and diversity of fish living on a reef. Phillipson assessed the complexity at the sites using a variety of methods.Sponges as vacuum cleanersSponges are essential, yet often neglected, components of the reef as vacuum cleaners of pathogens from the water and as producers of food and nutrients for other reef organisms. Fleur van Duyl and Ben Mueller (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), The Netherlands) have examined water quality and the diet of dominant sponges in the Saba Bank to obtain insight into nutrient and carbon processes. Simply put, they would like to find out what the sponges are eating.Interaction algae and coralsMaggy Nugues (CRIOBE France) studied competitive interactions between algae and corals and will identify the macroalgae on the Bank that are the most damaging to corals, as well as the most susceptible coral species. Algae form an important component of the Bank, however, under adverse conditions they may outcompete corals in terms of growth and thus cause coral mortality by overgrowing neighbouring coral colonies.Filmed by National Geographic TVThe work of the researchers, both above and under water, was recorded on film by Willem Mouissie (Mouissie Corporation) and Javier Boezem, as part of the series Marine Life for National Geographic TV.



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