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  • I'm a lion conservationist.

  • Sounds cool, doesn't it?

  • Some people may have no idea what that means.

  • But I'm sure you've all heard about Cecil the lion.

  • [Cecil the Lion (2002-2015)]

  • (Lion roaring)

  • He roars no more.

  • On the second of July, 2015,

  • his life was cut short when he was killed by a trophy hunter.

  • They say that you can become attached to the animals you study.

  • That was the case for me with Cecil the lion,

  • having known him and studied him for three years

  • in Hwange National Park.

  • I was heartbroken at his death.

  • But the good thing to come out of this tragedy

  • is the attention that the story brought

  • towards the plight of threatened wild animals.

  • After Cecil's death,

  • I began to ask myself these questions:

  • What if the community that lived next to Cecil the lion

  • was involved in protecting him?

  • What if I had met Cecil when I was 10 years old, instead of 29?

  • Could I or my classmates have changed his fate?

  • Many people are working to stop lions from disappearing,

  • but very few of these people are native to these countries

  • or from the communities most affected.

  • But the communities that live with the lions

  • are the ones best positioned to help lions the most.

  • Local people should be at the forefront

  • of the solutions to the challenges facing their wildlife.

  • Sometimes, change can only come

  • when the people most affected and impacted take charge.

  • Local communities play an important role

  • in fighting poaching and illegal wildlife trade,

  • which are major threats affecting lions and other wildlife.

  • Being a black African woman in the sciences,

  • the people I meet are always curious to know

  • if I've always wanted to be a conservationist,

  • because they don't meet a lot of conservationists

  • who look like me.

  • When I was growing up,

  • I didn't even know that wildlife conservation was a career.

  • The first time I saw a wild animal in my home country

  • was when I was 25 years old,

  • even though lions and African wild dogs

  • lived just a few miles away from my home.

  • This is quite common in Zimbabwe,

  • as many people are not exposed to wildlife,

  • even though it's part of our heritage.

  • When I was growing up,

  • I didn't even know that lions lived in my backyard.

  • When I stepped into Savé Valley Conservancy

  • on a cold winter morning 10 years ago

  • to study African wild dogs for my master's research project,

  • I was mesmerized by the beauty and the tranquility that surrounded me.

  • I felt like I had found my passion and my purpose in life.

  • I made a commitment that day

  • that I was going to dedicate my life to protecting animals.

  • I think of my childhood school days in Zimbabwe

  • and the other kids I was in school with.

  • Perhaps if we had a chance to interact with wildlife,

  • more of my classmates would be working alongside me now.

  • Unless the local communities want to protect and coexist with wildlife,

  • all conservation efforts might be in vain.

  • These are the communities that live with the wild animals

  • in the same ecosystem

  • and bear the cost of doing so.

  • If they don't have a direct connection

  • or benefit from the animals,

  • they have no reason to want to protect them.

  • And if local communities don't protect their wildlife,

  • no amount of outside intervention will work.

  • So what needs to be done?

  • Conservationists must prioritize environmental education

  • and help expand the community's skills to conserve their wildlife.

  • Schoolchildren and communities must be taken to national parks,

  • so they get a chance to connect with the wildlife.

  • At every effort and every level,

  • conservation must include the economies of the people

  • who share the land with the wild animals.

  • It is also critical that local conservationists

  • be part of every conservation effort,

  • if we are to build trust and really embed conservation into communities.

  • As local conservationists, we face many hurdles,

  • from outright discrimination to barriers because of cultural norms.

  • But I will not give up my efforts

  • to bring indigenous communities to this fight

  • for the survival of our planet.

  • I'm asking you to come and stand together with me.

  • We must actively dismantle the hurdles we have created,

  • which are leaving indigenous populations out of conservation efforts.

  • I've dedicated my life to protecting lions.

  • And I know my neighbor would, too,

  • if only they knew the animals that lived next door to them.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I'm a lion conservationist.

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TED】Moreangels Mbizah: How community-led conservation can save wildlife (How community-led conservation can save wildlife | Moreangels Mbizah) (【TED】Moreangels Mbizah: How community-led conservation can save wildlife (How community-led conservation can sa

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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