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   xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Dec 3 12:04 AM

Dec 3rd, 2019 : Akashinga

Quote:
Akashinga is a community-driven conservation model, empowering disadvantaged women to restore and manage large networks of wilderness areas as an alternate economic model to trophy hunting.
KEY POINTS
• A growing body of evidence suggests that empowering women is the single biggest force for positive change in the world today
• Trophy hunting areas across Africa take up one-sixth of all landmass across participating countries. An expanse greater than all of France
• The hunting industry is rapidly declining, leaving these wilderness areas and communities without sufficient income to incentivise conservation – Unless an alternative source of income is provided, these areas will be lost, along with their rich biodiversity
• Akashinga employs the most marginalized women from rural communities; educates and trains them to be rangers and biodiversity managers – protecting the large landscapes previously reserved for and financed by trophy hunting
• A woman with a salary in rural Africa invests up to 3 times more than a male into their family
• 62% of operational costs of the Akashinga model go directly back to the local community, with up to 80% of that at household level, into the hands of women – turning conservation into a community project
• These factors equal a better financial return for the local community than what trophy hunting provided
• This is an efficient, effective and scalable model which inspires and empowers women and gives them the opportunity to secure their own destiny, whilst safeguarding biodiversity
• It prepares women for the worst-case scenario in their roles, but fosters a harmonious relationship with local communities as the best defence against illegal wildlife crime.

Quote:
“The fate of humanity is inseparable from our willingness to conserve biodiversity”
In early 2017 the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) was approached to assist with conservation efforts in Zimbabwe’s Lower Zambezi ecosystem. Due to poaching, elephant numbers in the region had declined by 40% since 2001.
Inspired by the progress of women and driven by the need for evolution in the conservation industry, the IAPF set out to deploy an all women team to restore and manage a reserve that was historically used for elephant hunting. This formed the Akashinga model.
Their mission would be to establish the first team of 32, then expand east and west to secure an area of almost a million acres, cutting off access for poachers into one of Africa’s largest remaining elephant populations.
Selection was opened exclusively to unemployed single mothers, abandoned wives, survivors of sexual and physical abuse, wives of poachers in prison, widows and orphans. By doing so, opportunity was created for the most vulnerable women in rural society. Having never received a secure form of income, they dealt with adversity and poverty within the marginalised areas of rural Zimbabwe every day of their life. Challenging ridicule and stereotype, they would seize the opportunity and return home as rangers.
Nothing builds dedicated, motivated workers like desperation.



The whole organization has a military bearing because the guy that started it is a former Aussie special forces sniper.

Quote:
The women who have graduated into this program received the same law enforcement training and fulfill the same role as a male ranger, learning skills such as leadership, unarmed combat, patrolling, camouflage and concealment, first aid, dangerous wildlife awareness, democratic policing, search and arrest, human rights, crime scene preservation, crisis management, firearm safety and use, information gathering and conservation ethics.
Their duties are to work with the community in order to stop illegal wildlife crime. They patrol within and around the reserve, interact with the community, liaise with local authorities, conduct regular training and maintain a high conservation ethic. The armed unit working inside the wilderness area is supported by an unarmed and far less arduous village scout program working outside in the communities. The village scouts operate from their own homes each day. This gives flexibility for women to rotate around, spending more time working from home when required.
The team is exposed to danger in their role, as are all male rangers – an unfortunate reality of conservation work. Women however are much better at deescalating situations as opposed to antagonizing them. The women in this program are working towards prevention, rather than cure. They are prepared to deal with the escalation of threat against them, but trained to democratically police the area as opposed to ruling it with force.


The poachers have been dumping Cyanide in the waterholes to kill the whole herd of Elephants plus the animals that eat the
carcasses left behind, after they steal the Ivory.

You Go, Girl.

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