From Poachers to Caretakers
By John Kasaona | TED, Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation | June 8, 2010
In this TED talk, conservationist John Kasaona explains his work with Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation, a Namibian NGO dedicated to sustainable development projects that protect wildlife. Poachers with their intimate knowledge of the bush were the obvious but counterintuitive choice when the IRDNC set out to pay locals to look after wildlife. Kasaona's father was one.
The project has since grown from community rangers into large nature conservancies legally instituted by the government and run for community benefit. The conservancies cover 13 million hectares and wildlife populations have rebounded significantly. Some $5.7 million in revenue was generated in 2008 and applied to education, infrastructure, and other priorities. It is Kasaona's hope that this strategy can be globalized to preserve nature in all fragile areas where humans interact with the landscape.
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