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Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Goes Annual For Impact: A New Name & Mission
from Jackson Wild
13 March 2019

The need for public action to influence policy-making has never been more crucial. Media engages public audiences as well as core influencers with important living science and conservation stories to protect and restore our planet while the window of opportunity to succeed still exists.

Evolving from its founding mission to celebrate and amplify excellence in nature filmmaking, the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival has now become Jackson Wild. Jackson Wild provides a dynamic platform for cross-sector collaborations in global conservation and high impact storytelling. The organization will direct its resources to ignite original voices, create and enhance innovative alliances between science, conservation, corporate, public policy and storytellers who share this urgency of purpose.

Staying true to its core mission, the Jackson Wild Board of Directors specifically identified the importance of convening the Jackson Wild Summit, (formerly the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival & Conservation Summit), annually rather than biennially. Two years between convenings is simply too long when media technology, distribution platforms and programming priorities shift so rapidly.

Board Chairperson Ellen Windemuth elaborated, “We unanimously decided that now is the time to concentrate on four pillars of engagement. These impact strategies will be evident at the Jackson Wild Summit each year and will be woven into several partner summits throughout the globe.”

Jackson Wild’s four pillars of engagement include:

1) Summits

The Jackson Wild Summit is an extraordinary annual convening where collaboration and innovation thrive, and new ideas are launched. Cross-disciplinary conversations on the critical issues facing our planet set the stage for strategic partnerships that happen nowhere else, as participants work together to address conservation and environmental challenges. In 2019, the conservation focus will be Living Oceans. Partner summits around the world will echo this conservation theme, broadening reach and deepening global impact.

2) Awards

Media today deepens understanding of the world around us, inspires commitment to protect and restore the natural systems upon which all life depends and empowers the radical changes that will be required. The nature equivalent to the Oscars®, the Jackson Wild Media Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in science and nature storytelling. In addition to media, the Jackson Wild Legacy Awards recognize visionary filmmakers, conservationists, scientists and thought leaders.

3) New Frontiers

Stories connect us to the planet and to each other. It’s critical to bring diverse voices that bear witness to the world through unique and authentic stories. The Jackson Wild Media Lab will train and mentor emerging conservation media leaders in unique programs that directly engage them with the most influential content creators from around the globe. Beginning in Southern Africa and Latin America, Jackson Wild is working with local organizers to globalize the voices of young filmmakers.

4) Global Impact

Jackson Wild works with UN agencies and global partners to empower locally-driven engagement that inspires action. The annual World Wildlife Day Film Showcase creates a portfolio of programs selected from 250+ entries, that are presented globally at special screening events through Jackson Wild on Tour. Working closely with CITES, the UN Environment and UN Development Programme Jackson Wild furthers deep-impact media strands at a series of high level global convenings in 2019-20 where world leaders address critical environmental, social and economic challenges.

“Taking Jackson Wild to a global stage helps us do what we do best as we elevate conservation issues and the critical work being done to restore and protect our planet through the power of innovative storytelling” described Executive Director Lisa Samford.

About Jackson Wild

Jackson Wild believes in the power of media to inspire wonder for our living planet and action to restore and protect it through high-impact collaborations. Since 1991, Jackson’s Summits have drawn together international leaders in science, conservation and cross-platform media. Through its initiatives, Jackson Wild catalyzes original voices and amplifies innovative global collaborations between science, conservation, corporate, public policy and storytelling partners who share its urgency of purpose.

Visit: www.jacksonwild.org


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UN celebrates marine species for World Wildlife Day with moving pictures ... Winners of Living Oceans Showcase announced at UN Headquarters
1 March 2019

Jackson Hole WILD, the CITES Secretariat and UNDP announced today the winners of the World Wildlife Day 2019 Living Oceans Showcase. Captivating stories about marine species will now hit the big screen and your mobile devices as the world celebrates World Wildlife Day 2019 under the theme “Life below water: for people and planet”.

Ocean and marine wildlife have captured the imagination of humans almost since the beginning of civilization – and the rich bounty the ocean provides has sustained human development throughout the ages. Despite their importance for sustainable development, marine species are facing many threats and need our immediate attention if we want to ensure that they can continue to fulfill their important and multiple roles during our lifetimes and for future generations.

To emphasize the importance of this issue, Jackson Hole Wild, the CITES Secretariat and UNDP have come together once again to organize a film showcase for World Wildlife Day. This year, they put the world’s marine species under the spotlight to highlight the problems we are facing and the ideas we can use to tackle them.

These stories went beyond simply being visually mesmerizing and engaging. They show the challenges facing these iconic species, including destructive fishing practices, climate change   and pollution, and they feature the front-line heroes and the solutions that are necessary if we are going to be able to reduce the threats to the species and the oceans where they live.

The film showcase attracted more than 235 entries, and they were reviewed by 65 preliminary judges to determine the 25 finalists. The short list then was passed on to the final judging panel, which selected the winners from among the 25 finalists.

CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said: “We are immensely grateful to all the filmmakers for submitting their wonderful works of cinematography. By using the power of media, we can catalyze deeper understanding of the importance of life below water and the chances to ensure the sustainable use of marine species. CITES provides a safety net for our threatened marine life and it has a long history of regulating international trade in marine species to ensure that this trade does not threaten their survival.  On this World Wildlife Day, let’s recognize the positive contributions that life below water makes to our everyday lives and – no matter who we are or where we are – make conscious decisions to ensure that it can continue to do so for generations to come.”

Jackson Hole WILD Executive Director Lisa Samford said: "It is not enough to just care about nature. Our aim is to inspire action necessary to restore and protect the planet's essential resources. These films do precisely that."

Andrew Hudson, Head of UNDP Water and Ocean Governance Programme, said: “Global efforts to increase awareness and catalyze new investments in marine conservation depend on powerful, evidence-based advocacy campaigns. This year’s winners of the Living Oceans Film Showcase demonstrate the power of film to touch our hearts and minds and move us to greater action.”

Winners of the Living Oceans Film Showcase in the 6 categories are:

Ocean Heroes:

Mission Blue- A Netflix Original Documentary-Insurgent Media-True Blue Films-Diamond Docs

A Feather to Kill - BlueVoice in association with Mundo Azul and OceanCare
Chasing The Thunder - Brick City TV and Vulcan Productions, Discovery
SHARK GIRL - Kaufmann Productions Pty Ltd

People and Oceans:

Ghost Fleet- Seahorse Productions, Vulcan Productions

Humpback Whales: A Detective Story - Tom Mustill/Gripping Filmsfor BBC Natural World and PBS Nature
Jago: A Life Underwater - Produced by James Reed for Underdog Films. In association with James Morgan Films, Fantomline Films and Vistaar Productions.

Ocean Issues and Solutions:

Sonic Sea- Discovery Channel presents a film by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Imaginary Forces in association with the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Diamond Docs

Huntwatch - Produced by IFAW
Racing Extinction - Okeanos – Foundation for the Sea and Discovery Channel present an Oceanic Preservation Society Film In association with Vulcan Productions, the Li Ka Shing Foundation, Earth Day Texas, JP's Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation, Diamond Docs, and Insurgent Docs

Marine Life:

Blue Planet II - One Ocean- BBC Studios Natural History Unit

My Octopus Teacher - Sea Change Project & Off the Fence - A ZDFE company
SHARK-Episode 1 - BBC, BBC Worldwide, Discovery
Whale Wisdom - A TERRA MATER FACTUAL STUDIOS production in co-production with DOCLIGHTS / NDR NATURFILM in association with ARTE FRANCE / Unite Decouverte et Connaissance produced by WILD LOGIC

Ocean Short (Tie - Two Winners):

A Voice Above Nature- Annie Moir in association with the University of the West of England

The Southern Right Whale- Lyra Films

The Secret Life of Plankton - Parafilms, Tara Expeditions Foundation, TEDed
A Place For Penguins - Tom Parry in association with the University of the West of England
Treasures From The Tides - Catherine Brookes in association with the University of the West of England

Ocean Micro-Movie (under five minutes):

The Deepest Dive in Antarctica Reveals a Sea Floor Teeming With Life- OceanX, BBC Earth

Into the Deep Unknown - Novus Select /bioGraphic
Our Underwater States of America - OceanX, Bloomberg Philanthropies
Radio Free Orca - Great Big Story
The Edge - Steer Films / 333 Productions
The Snail-Smashing, Fish-Spearing, Eye-Popping Mantis Shrimp | Deep Look - KQED, PBS Digital Studios

Both winners and finalist films will be subsequently showcased extensively to raise global awareness of the importance of marine species and the critical challenges they face at community screening events presented by partners throughout the world, including free educational screening events for students as well as for local communities around the world to take action to protect and restore our planet’s oceans.

This video is produced by Taegen Yardley, a student at Stowe High School (Vermont, USA) to support the celebration of World Wildlife Day 2019 and to raise awareness of the benefits of marines species and the various threats facing them.


With 183 Parties (182 countries + the European Union), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) remains one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of trade. Thousands of species are internationally traded and used by people in their daily lives for food, health care, housing, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics or fashion. CITES regulates international trade in over 36,000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, to ensure their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment. The CITES permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable. CITES was signed in Washington D.C. on 3 March 1973 and entered into force on 1 July 1975.

About Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

Jackson Hole Wild programs promote public awareness and stewardship of wildlife and wildlife habitat through the innovative use of media. Since 1991, its annual conferences draw together international leaders in science, conservation, broadcasting and media. For three days in 2017, committed wild cats advocates convened for the Jackson Hole Conservation Summit (21-27 September), to share resources and strategies, address critical challenges and brainstorm innovative approaches for collaboration. They will join 650+ of the world’s most influential filmmakers and commissioners at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival to celebrate the world’s finest nature programming and explore innovative ways to integrate media centrally into the battle against global wildlife crime.

About UNDP

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, UNDP offers global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. www.undp.org

About the United Nations World Wildlife Day

On 20 December 2013, the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3 March as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The date is the day of the signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. World Wildlife Day has quickly become the most prominent global annual event dedicated to wildlife. It is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the various challenges faced by these species. The day also reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.

See the full Press Release here!


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World Wildlife Day 2019: The 15 Biggest Threats to the World’s Oceans ... And what you can do to help save them.

For the first time, the UN’s World Wildlife Day is highlighting threats to marine life. The theme of World Wildlife Day 2019, which takes place on March 3, is 'Life below water: for people and planet'. The title is a nod to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life below water, which focuses on protecting marine species.

“Oceans regulate our climate, produce half the oxygen we breathe, provide nourishment for [more than] 3 billion people, and absorb 30 percent of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and fully 90 percent of the heat from climate change,” said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, UN Assistant Secretary-General, in November when the theme was announced.

UN World Wildlife Day was established in 2013, with the first event taking place in 2015. Its mission is to “celebrate and raise awareness of the world's wild fauna and flora.” Activities, film screenings and art contests are taking place across the world to draw attention to this year’s theme, including an event at UN Headquarters in New York.

Oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and make up more than 99 percent of the planet’s livable habitat, but scientists say they’re in serious trouble. The first systematic analysis of marine wilderness, published in the journal Current Biology in 2018, found that the ocean has been extensively altered due to human activity, with only 13 percent left undisturbed.

Newsweek - How plastic waste is killing the Oceans

Read more: newsweek.com/world-wildlife-day-2019-oceans-pollution-global-warming-1349026


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Get the Micro Drone 4.0: Small, Intelligent, Autonomous

A palm-sized autonomous drone under $200 that captures smooth aerial video.

When we started building our 4th generation drone, we wanted it to be small, smart, capable of autonomous flight, able to capture smooth video, and priced affordably under $200.

Get the Micro Drone 4.0

What we ended up with for our new Micro Drone 4.0 was a quadcopter designed solely for the masses that bridged the gap between cheap drones that owners are disappointed with and expensive professional-level drones that everyday users do not need or are scared to fly.

Founder Vernon Kerswell brilliantly explains Micro Drone 4.0 in under 4 minutes:

Everything Need to Know in Under 4 Minutes via Roswell Flight Test Crew

From the first Micro Drone in 2011, our Extreme Fliers team has developed and launched a model every two years with each generation building upon the previous with new capabilities.

Over the last 18 months, we've been meticulous in our engineering by testing new technology that dramatically reduces manufacturing costs, understanding the types of smart devices that the masses currently own, and rethinking what a mainstream user wants in a drone.

Find out more and order here: igg.me/at/microdrone4/156996


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World Wildlife Day Film Showcase: Living Oceans - Finalists Announced!
14 February 2019

Jackson Hole Wild, the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced the finalists of the World Wildlife Day 2019 Living Oceans Showcase, 3 weeks before World Wildlife Day (3 March). Final winners will be announced at U.N. Headquarters in New York at a high-level event on 1 March to celebrate World Wildlife Day 2019.

The ocean and “life below water” have sustained human civilization and development for millennia. Despite their importance for sustainable development, marine species are facing various threats and are in need of our immediate attention if we want to ensure that they can continue to fulfill that role during our lifetimes and for future generations. To emphasize the importance of this issue, Jackson Hole Wild, the CITES Secretariat and UNDP have come together once again to organize a film showcase for World Wildlife Day. This year, the theme “Life Below Water: For People and Planet” will spotlight threatened species, highlight the problems we are facing and the ideas we can use to tackle them.

The judges – professional filmmakers, marine biologists and stakeholders from around the world – chose the finalists from more than 235 entries in 6 categories:

  • Ocean Heroes
  • People and Oceans
  • Ocean Issues and Solutions
  • Marine Life
  • Ocean Short
  • Ocean Micro-Movie

The full list of finalists is indicated below. Both winners and finalist films will be subsequently showcased extensively to raise global awareness of the importance of marine species and the critical challenges they face at community screening events presented by partners throughout the world, including free educational screening events for students as well as for local communities around the world to take action to protect and restore our planet’s oceans.

CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said: “We are most grateful to all the filmmakers for submitting their wonderful works. By using the power of media, we can catalyze deeper understanding of the importance of life below water and the chances to ensure the sustainable use of marine species. CITES provides a safety net for our threatened marine life and it has a long history of regulating international trade in marine species to ensure that this trade does not threaten their survival.  On this World Wildlife Day, let’s recognize the positive contributions that life below water makes to our everyday lives and – no matter who we are or where we are – make conscious decisions to ensure that it can continue to do so for generations to come.”

“We applaud the storytellers behind these visually beautiful and evocative films,” says Jackson Hole Wild Executive Director, Lisa Samford. “The power of media is certain to draw attention to the urgent threats facing the world’s ocean ecosystems and species and inspire action necessary to restore and protect them.”

World Wildlife Day Film Showcase: Living Oceans Finalists are:

See the full Press Release here!


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ECOSTREAMZ - the new streaming service for the ethically minded viewer, one year on.
By Jason Peters via ECOSTREAMZ
1 February 2019

ECOSTREAMZ launched in February 2018 as a new digital streaming platform, similar to Netflix and Hulu, whose solitary goal is to provide easy access to important films and media dealing with environmental, social justice and wildlife conservation issues. In this day, when so much is happening at breakneck speed, it is now more critical than ever to be well informed. ECOSTREAMZ’ mission is to become THE media clearinghouse for the activist community to learn from, grow and come away being able to make a positive difference in this world.

One year on and the platform is going from strength to strength.

When it comes to environmental and human rights-themed factual content, ECOSTREAMZ is the quintessential source, if not at the forefront, catering to the wildlife conservationist, the environmentalist, the activist. An all-access streaming facilitator for must-watch documentaries to learn, grow, and contribute to our global sustenance.

ECOSTREAMZ is committed to keeping its viewers well fed by streaming content that covers wide-reaching topical subjects from activism, biodiversity, climate change and the environment, to social justice and human rights. It’s all there for any streaming subscriber who cares; the typical ECOSTREAMZ audience.

According to ECOSTREAMZ Founder and CEO, James Branchflower, “While we are living in a time with more available content, it comes however with more clutter and confusion than ever. Viewers seeking a subscriber-friendly, go-to source on a specific issue can now easily find important awareness raising documentaries of choice via our innovative streaming platform.”

ECOSTREAMZ sets new standard. As the proud host of critically acclaimed films, ECOSTREAMZ features stories that matter, touch the spirit, and make a difference. The top- ranked streaming provider is recognized as a one-stop clearinghouse offering must-see eco- social digital programming and other media. All part of its mission to awaken humanity with awe, wonder, and an innate potential to do more.

A prime example of doing more, and sharing in the ECOSTREAMZ vision, is Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace – who joined the streamer’s Advisory Board last Summer.

Subscribe. Learn. Act. ECOSTREAMZ’ groundbreaking wave of documentary storytelling further expands its playing field with distinguished streaming partners – some of the most renowned documentary and independent film festivals in the U.S. and abroad. Subscribers can enjoy and benefit from many award-winning films shortly following their initial festival run. Some currently featured films enjoying high demand on ECOSTEAMZ include: “Blood Lions,” “God in Shackles,” “Tainted Love,” “Ofir: A Wildlife Crime Documentary,” and “Silencing the Thunder,” among a whole line-up of other must-watch highly praised films.

Participating partners further include: Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Animal Rights Film Festival, International Wildlife Film Festival, DC Environmental Film Festival, The Borneo Project, International Primate Protection League, and the Freeland Foundation, among others.

ECOSTREAMZ is a staunch advocate providing filmmakers the means to get their projects out to the public. “These passionate auteurs have important messages to convey, whether inspirational or cautionary, about our world,” states Branchflower. “We are there to help promote and distribute their films to the widest possible audience.”

An interview with James Branchflower, the Founder and CEO of ECOSTREAMZ:


So what makes ECOSTREAMZ different?

  • Partnerships – We’re not just a collection of movies. If you browse our site, you will notice we are aligning ourselves with organizations all over the globe covering a wide variety of issues. Through these partnerships, we provide organizations a wider audience by hosting their videos on our platform which can ultimately translate into more donors for the non-profit. Additionally, we promote our partners in newsletters and all appropriate press material. Organizations even have the opportunity to receive quarterly royalties based upon viewership of their videos during the prior period, see below. Some of our current partners include: International Primate Protection League, Ape Alliance, Gorilla Foundation, ALERT, CAPE (Center for Animal Protection and Education), SYRCL (South Yuba River Citizen’s League), the Borneo Project, In Defense of Animals, WildAid and most recently IISD (the environmental reporting service for the United Nations).
  • Revenue Share – We give back. In fact, we give back more than most streaming services….80% of net revenue goes directly back to the filmmakers and/or organizations through a quarterly revenue share of films and media viewed during that period. Most streaming services only offer royalty percentages of between 25% and 50% net.
  • Member discounts – We offer our partner’s members discounts on subscriptions to ECOSTREAMZ. Anywhere from 25% to 50% off the already low monthly subscription rate of $3.99.
  • Singular Focus – Our only concern is making the world a better place. We are accomplishing this by presenting the most diverse collection of issue-related content anywhere. For that reason, our platform contains films both short and long and from all parts of the world. Some have received awards and some may be well known. But most you will never see anyplace else but on our site. This is due to the fact that we do not acquire films based on their popularity, but rather, on what they can offer the world in terms of a change message.

If you are interested in having ECOSTREAMZ host your films or if you wish to become a sponsoring organization, please contact Founder and CEO, James Branchflower, at: info@ecostreamz.com.

Visit the ECOSTREAMZ website here: www.ecostreamz.com

Follow on social media: Facebook.com/Docsthatmakeadifference, Twitter.com/eco_streamz & Instagram.com/ECOSTREAMZ

See the full feature here!


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Tom Mustill's Humpback Whales - A Detective Story
By Jason Peters
31 January 2019

Wildlife film-maker Tom Mustill was almost killed by a Humpback Whale while kayaking in California. Now he turns detective to try to find the whale and discover what it was doing.

On the 12th of September 2015 in Monterey Bay California, a 30-ton humpback whale breached and landed on Tom Mustill and his friend Charlotte Kinloch as they paddled a sea kayak. Incredibly, both survived the incident. This near-death experience haunted documen- tary maker Tom, and left him wondering if the whale was deliberately trying to hurt them. To find the answer, in 2018 Tom returned to California to investigate. He meets those who’ve survived similar hair-raising encounters, and the experts who know the whales best – and what he discovers raises far bigger questions - not just about what happened that day but also about our relationship with whales and their future alongside us.

Finding the whale that almost killed him

In 2015, Tom Mustill was kayaking in Monterey Bay with his friend Charlotte Kinloch when a 30-ton Humpback Whale leapt out of the water and landed on top of them, dragging them underwater.

They somehow survived. Their near-death experience was filmed by a tourist and the video went viral, making headlines across the world.

The story might have ended there, but Tom is a wildlife film-maker - his job is to film science and animal stories – and he became obsessed with trying to figure out what happened to him. Now Tom returns to California on a detective mission to figure out who the whale was, and why it almost ended his life.

An enigma


Whale Tails

Whales Underwater

Whale 101

Whales in Trouble

A Gripping Films Production for BBC and THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC in association with WNET
Directed and produced by Tom Mustill
Series Producer: Holly Spearing
Series Editor: Roger Webb


The film takes place in Monterey Bay, California. This is one of the global epicentres of whale-watching and whale research. The coast used to be a centre for whaling activities, but now whale populations have been increasing. Running through Monterey Bay is a huge underwater canyon, on the scale of the Grand Can- yon - this canyon runs right to the shore. Here, there is an enormous and rich food chain, from algae to sharks to enormous schools of fish and jellyfish to sea otters to whales. The bay is so rich in marine life it is known as the Blue Serengeti. But humans use these waters too, container ships drive across it, fishermen fish in it and tourists are drawn in their tens of thousands. Sometimes the lives of the whales and the humans collide. But the opportunity to see whales in such reliable numbers has meant sci- entists have been making extraordinary discoveries about the whales here too.

Airing at 9pm, Friday 8th of Feb on BBC Two - Programme webpage: bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002fsh

Tom Mustill Bio:

Tom is a 35 year-old wildlife and science filmmaker. He specialises in telling stories about where humans and the natural world meet. He’s worked with David Attenborough, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry and wildlife heroes across the world.

His films have won over 20 awards and they include other BBC Natural World programmes such as smash-hit Kangaroo Dundee, The Bat Man of Mexico and Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants which was nominated for an EMMY.

Before then he directed the special episodes among others of the genre-busting BAFTA, RTS and Broadcast-award winning series Inside Nature’s Giants.

We asked Tom a couple of questions:

In your bio it says that you "specialise in telling stories about where humans and the natural world meet” … How important to you is the human element in natural history story-telling?

The human element is the most important for me in natural history story-telling. Without it how can we feel part of the same world, and feel connected to nature rather than just spectators of it? As well as showing the world as it is - a tangle of humans and other living things - I think it's very important to show humans who have an intimate connection to it themselves. By telling stories about nature that follow people I hope that I can connect wider and more diverse audiences to these stories and animals. And I think that these stories can be moving and powerful wildlife films, without having to anthropomorphise or make soap operas of animals lives.

So far it’s been kangaroos, bats and giraffes … very different species conservation stories, with equally different humans. How will you go about finding your next filming subject … Does it usually start with the animal, as surely it did with the whale, or can it start with the human?

With all of these stories it started with the human. Natural Worlds are an hour long, sometimes it's not enough to just have an animal people are excited to watch - you also need an engaging and sympathetic character, and you need to follow them while something unusual and challenging is happening. When I met Brolga (Kangaroo Dundee), Rodrigo (The Bat Man) and Julian (Giraffes: Africa's Gentle Giants) in each case I thought 'fantastic! the elements are there'. It's also really important to get on well with the people you decide to pitch films about - you're going to be spending a lot of time together. I've learnt a great deal from the humans in all these films, as well as from being around the marvellous animals. With the whale film it was definitely different - the whale chose me! But again, the story hinged on people. With this film rather than having a single protagonist I wanted to try and make a film about a community - like Robert Altman often did in his feature films, and I wanted to link them together with the whales they so love.

Visit: www.grippingfilms.com Tom on twitter.com/tommustill & instagram.com/tommustill

See the full feature here!


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Borneo Jungle Diaries – Back for a second season, fronted by Alexandra Alexander!
By Jason via Scubazoo
31 January 2019

The world's wildest scientists are back! Joining them to unravel the mysteries of the jungle is Borneo native, actress and student Alexandra Alexander.

But out of her comfort zone, how will she cope in the second season of Borneo Jungle Diaries?!

See the trailer:

Borneo Jungle Diaries (Season 2) | Official Trailer [4K] | SZtv

In Epidode 1:

Despite Borneo being home to up to 21 different primate species, there is one that stands head, nose and shoulders above the rest... the famous proboscis monkey. Alex joins primatologist Maz on a mission to spot the world's weirdest looking monkey.

Proboscis Monkeys: Big Nosed Beauties | Borneo Jungle Diaries (S02E01) | SZtv

Episodes will be released on SZtv & DGFC Facebook pages, and all SZtv programs can be watched online at Scubazoo.tv.

Brought to you by SZtv: an online wildlife channel by Asia’s leading natural history filming and photography company, SCUBAZOO

See the full feature here!


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STROOP - journey into the rhino horn war … Members Susan Scott and Bonné de Bod on a mission to make a difference in the South African rhino poaching crisis.
By Jason Peters via SDBFilms
27 January 2019

Two film-makers stop their lives to make a film about the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa. Carving out six months for the project, the women quickly find themselves immersed in a world far larger and more dangerous than they had imagined, only emerging from their odyssey four years later.

Two first-time film-makers explore the war for rhino horn. Initially setting out on a six-month project, the duo leave their jobs, sell their homes, even move in with their mothers while they quickly find themselves immersed in a world far larger and more dangerous than they had imagined, only emerging from their odyssey four years later.

In this roller-coaster ride between Africa and Asia, the women embed themselves on the front- lines of a species genocide where they are given exclusive access to the enforcement aspect of the fight. From rangers, pilots and K9 units patrolling the hardest hit national parks to elite police units raiding wildlife trafficking dens in major cities... they find themselves in some hair-raising situations.

They also take an uncomfortable look at the role that apartheid played in marginalizing indigenous people who have been excluded from their wildlife heritage but live side-by-side with ranger families while poaching syndicates operate in their villages. These bush frontier areas are also home to packed courtrooms where the surrounding community come out to support their local “Robin Hood”. Unprecedented access is given over the years to the state prosecutors working in these dingy courtrooms who must fight well-oiled and wealthy defense teams in a flawed justice system.

Survivors of rhino poaching, also challenge the system and come in two versions. Both are hard to spend time with, but this is done through the eyes of the saviours: the vets who choose not to euthanize but use groundbreaking techniques to give patients a second chance. Then there are those who have been orphaned after watching their mothers die at the hands of humans. And yet, they must accept the help of humans to live. One such human suffers a brutal attack when poachers return to the orphanage to kill the survivors.

At the demand site in Asia, the women venture deep undercover, filming in repressed, totalitarian regimes where every day means staying ahead of communist party monitors as well as enduring dangerous encounters with illegal wildlife dealers. On their return, they work with a Vietnamese researcher bravely trying to expose rhino horn sales inside African markets. Like the filmmakers in her hometown, she now takes great risks in their city to show that illegal trade is everywhere.

Desire for rhino horn is made all the more complex by the journey the filmmakers take to the countryside where ownership... of land and rhinos, is viewed as a right. Desperate to trade legally the farmers sue the government but on the other side of all of this is an activist’s journey to fight legal trade. She also takes it to the courtrooms and then on to the streets with protest marches. Internationally a red line of trade has been set-up by nations tussling with each other and the filmmakers wade right into this no-go area, spending time with the elite power-brokers who can change, for better or worse, the plight of the planet’s last living rhinos.

Award wins to date:

  1. San Francisco Green Film Festival - The Green Tenacity Award Santa Cruz Film Festival - Spirit of Action Feature Film Award San Pedro International Film Festival - Best Documentary Award Glendale International Film Festival - Best Female Filmmaker Award LA Femme International Film Festival - Special Focus Documentary Award San Diego International Film Festival - Best Documentary Award Mystic Film Festival - Best International Documentary Award Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam - Newcomer Award
  2. Berlin Courage Film Festival - Best Documentary Award and The Courage Award for Most Courageous Film

Susan and Bonné have been mindfull of different events around the world focussing on rhinos:

  • September is World Rhino Month while World Rhino Day is on September 22nd.
  • The Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference (#endwildlifecrime) was held in London on the 11th and 12th October 2018
  • CoP CITES 18 will be held in Sri Lanka in May 2019. It is here that the world will vote to allow legal international trade in rhino horn. STROOP focuses on the battle between both sides to sway voters at the next CoP.
  • South Africa has had a decline in rhino poaching numbers over the past two years and in January next year, the stats for 2018 will be released and it is expected that they will be lower. This may be due to fewer rhinos though as the Kruger census results are also delayed.
  • China recently lifted their 1993 ban on TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), stating that rhino horn would be used as medicine in state hospitals. This TCM usage features heavily in STROOP, and after a week of public outcry the Chinese government announced they would postpone the lifting of the ban.
  • STROOP focuses on the usage of libation cups in Asia and the history behind the antique cups for sale at many prestigious auction houses around the world. Bonhams auction house in Hong Kong have now halted sales of rhino horn libation cups after public outrage.

Director's Statement

In making this film about the rhino poaching crisis, I initially thought it would be all about the rhinos, but it’s actually become about the people around the animal. Those whose lives have been irrevocably changed because of conditions brought about... not ecological management or natural events... but wholly due to anthropogenic activities. So while the animal, the rhino, is the basis for the story, the structure of the film is interwoven between us - the filmmakers as well as the key characters who help us understand the gravity of the situation and how rhino poaching is impacting human lives. Gaining access to characters was almost impossible at the beginning of the shoot, as many feared that the criminal syndicates would watch the film. So the challenge was to film the story without giving anything away in terms of security. We have managed to do this through gaining trust over time with the characters, and not cluttering the narrative with the “how” but rather telling “how it impacts”. The characters not only gave us access to national parks, courtrooms, farms, orphanages and undercover traders in Asia, they also let their walls down to show their own personal journey in the war.

I do think the fact that we were women helped immensely! We were trusted easily and many times in filming in sensitive locations with nervous characters, it was just myself behind camera and then Bonné with the character/s. Bonné is well known as a credible wildlife presenter/ journalist in South Africa, so the two of us were able to get the intimate moments we needed to tell this never before seen story.

I took a decision early on not to have drones, big cameras, elaborate equipment... as I wanted a tight, close and rough handheld feel to our journey with these characters and it somehow works. We’ve managed to achieve it. By working with small, unobtrusive cameras, we have been able to capture incredible scenes filled with raw emotion.

I was an editor for nearly two decades, so I know that any film is made in the cutting room. While we are cutting the film, we are focusing on two initial things: subtitling and pacing of emotion. Subtitling is key as there are six languages in the film and some of the major emotional moments are driven in a non-English language. So rather than subtitling at the end, we are subtitling in edit to allow the pacing of reading to inform the narrative which impacts the shot flow. Vectors are vital in this process. This time spent in edit, creates comfortable vector flow not only within the frame, which is hugely influenced by where the eyes are in reading a shot... which means of course, there has to be a flow between frames. So this inter and intra-frame balance is vital in delivering all the information given in a comfortable way. In very difficult, tough to witness moments, we, the audience will view the scene through the eyes of the character through stylized moving art that has been created by our art director. I felt it was vital, as it allows us in to these awful moments without turning away from the brutality of it.

Coming from a broadcast background, it was important that Bonné and I make this film without commercial influence. STROOP has been self-funded, crowd-funded and grants sourced, due to the highly politicized trade issue. We have been offered funding for the film from organizations on either side of the issue and we have refused funding from those organizations as we cannot have the film influenced in any way. It’s taken four long years, but I know we have the soul, the essence of the rhino story here.

Susan Scott

Q&A with Bonné de Bod

South African's and others know you as an award-winning television presenter Bonné, but what is your story!?

We all wish to leave the space we occupy in a better place and although it’s trite perhaps to say we can make a difference... I guess for me it was the ability to take my passion and love for the natural world and share this with people on-screen. Television and film has a huge impact on the world and we can use that to make people all over the world understand and appreciate the beauty of nature. Without looking into the eyes of a rhino or an elephant through the stories we tell and the pictures we show, a lot of people will not know what we are talking about and just would not care. And I don’t know why there has been a split recently between conservation and nature... it’s simple, without conservation, nature fails.

So yes, from a young age, I had a passion to bring nature’s wonders into living rooms, and hopefully change people’s perspective of the natural world. Nature is not separate from us, it is us. The dignity of a rhino is everywhere, in all things. All that society needs is a little reminder. As far as a pivotal event regarding rhinos, I mean we are all aware of the rhino poaching crisis and especially me as a wildlife television presenter on SABC for the past decade on the national broadcaster’s flagship environment program, 50/50. It was actually during one of these stories I did on the rhino poaching crisis, four years ago, when I realized that I needed to do something more.

We were filming a story in the Kruger National Park and we were taken to a double carcass. When we got the crime scene, the producer of the story told me to sit in between these two carcasses and deliver my lines to camera, a link, something that will link the viewers at home to the scene around me. At that moment I was confronted with so many emotions and questions... How can humanity be so unbelievably cruel? And how can we allow this? It was right there and then when I knew that I had to do something to slow the slaughter and the eradication of this beautiful, iconic animal. And that’s where the idea for a documentary feature film on the rhino poaching crisis was born. An independent film with no censorship or broadcast sensitivities, a publicly owned film where we can show all the aspects surrounding this very complex situation.

I believe the film has taken four years to make?

STROOP was initially a six month project, but I think when myself and the director of the film, Susan Scott, started filming we had no idea just how many layers the rhino situation really has. So, four years later, quitting our jobs with broadcasters, selling our homes, cashing in our investments and moving in with our mothers... well, it has certainly become that cliché... a passion project!

STROOP is an in-depth look at the world of rhino poaching and everything in between. From the battlegrounds in the Kruger National Park and Hluluwe iMfolozi in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the two hardest hit areas in South Africa, where we have been given unprecedented access to the rangers, forensic teams and crime scenes, to the dingy court rooms where we follow the work of three state prosecutors working against well-paid defence teams and a justice system that is slow at the best of times. We follow the police on busts and spend time with private rhino owners. We follow the journey of little orphans who have lost their mothers to poaching and the rehabilitators who try everything to get them back into the wild. We look at the controversial topic of legal trade in rhino horn and then we take the viewer straight to the dark underground backrooms of Vietnamese and Chinese smugglers and of course directly to the rhino horn users.

STROOP looks at the heart of the crisis and gives answers to the questions we all have. We are making this film so that no one can say they didn’t know. And I guess that’s why it took so long... we had to make sure we had covered it all. Susan always said, it doesn’t have to be in the film, but we have to know about it and understand the complexities... and then it can die on the cutting room floor. She is an editor after all, so she wants to have all the story intricacies at her fingertips before refining... but I did put my foot down when she wanted to film another aspect during our colour grade!

What has been the hardest thing?

I’ve had many ups and downs investigating this ‘world of greed’. The most difficult part is witnessing what we, as humans, are capable of. But I’m optimistic at heart. If I wasn’t I couldn’t continue. But having said that, it does get to one, I cannot hide that. I’ve attended the scenes of many murdered rhino, I’ve seen rhinos still alive with half hacked off faces...what unbelievable pain. It shocks you to your core to see that, to witness that, to hear that terrible sound of suffering. The cruelty is totally beyond anything I can think up. Pure evil and human greed. And I do sometimes wonder when, if ever, we will defeat it. But then I remember why I’m doing this, why I’m making this film. This is a creature of God. Such a beautiful creature... the second largest animal on land. We, as humans, have a moral responsibility to protect them, to protect all living species, it is simply the right thing to do. You step away from yourself, from the ego and selfishness that’s within us all...it’s not about us, it’s about them. And as soon as you do this, it becomes easier to deal with all the heartbreaking scenes we capture on camera.

Seeing a little orphan calf crying while standing next to his mother’s dead carcass, is probably the worst scene I’ve had to witness in this poaching war. My faith plays a big role in my life...it’s my rock, it’s what keeps me moving forward. And so many people won’t or don’t talk about their faith and I respect that but for me, I believe we are fighting spirits of darkness here. The poachers are using dark evil magic to go about their business. They have muti they put on their body so they think they go unnoticed by the anti-poaching units and rangers... they believe the rhinos can see them cutting off the horns so they cut their eyes out, they cut off tails and pieces of legs to make more muti. These poachers are calling on spirits of darkness to do their work, they kill, maim, break all sorts of laws, bribe, and let’s not forget they are quite prepared to kill humans as well as rhinos. The international criminal syndicates who the poachers report to are usually also involved in other massive criminal activities like human trafficking and arms smuggling. So these people are truly breaking our society for greed.

Your most memorable experience working with rhinos?

Without a doubt the dangerous undercover filming work we did in Asia. We knew that we couldn’t make a film about the rhino poaching crisis without capturing the demand for the very thing they are being slaughtered for... the horn, on camera. And I have to say that the massive demand for rhino horn really took me by surprise. Sure, we’ve all heard the Vietnamese and Chinese consume and acquire rhino horn but to actually see how it is used... and the mythical, powerful properties they give it... wow, quite something to see and film. The desire for rhino horn is huge and I met people who quite honestly told me that if they had the wealth to get it, they would. So all levels of wealth in South East Asia want rhino horn. Now of course filming in a communist country like Vietnam brings with it it’s own challenges as the communist party controls all forms of media. Vietnam is ranked 175th out of 180 countries with regards to freedom of information and is one of the biggest prisons for journalists and citizen bloggers in the world. So in order for us to capture the “illegal” side of things, well, we basically had to become illegal ourselves. Without giving too much away as I want you to watch STROOP when it’s released!... I think the fact that we came into the country as female tourists meant that we really did slip in undetected with all our filming gear. We saw and filmed rhino horn in all shapes and sizes. From off-cuts used in traditional medicine to jewelry worn as status symbols, to sitting in the home of a rhino horn user showing me how it’s done. I realized that in order to stop the demand in Asia, we have to stop the flow from the source site. It’s that simple. The demand will stop when there is no more source material and I just don’t want that to be when rhinos in the wild are extinct.

The biggest reward?

I have met amazing people on my journey and I’ve spent days on end with the people at the front- lines. There are people who deeply care and have given up their life of safety and comfort to save our rhinos. I’ve been working closely with three female state prosecutors who spend their days putting criminals behind bars. I would look over my shoulder every single day if I was them, but they don’t... they are fearless and I am in such awe of that determination. Rangers and their dogs tracking poachers days on end, not knowing if they will survive the day and see their family again. Vets who are suffering from severe stress because of the trauma they see on a daily basis and from being in armed conflict zones, but when the alarm goes off first thing in the morning to help these animals, they don’t hesitate to get there. These are the true heroes in this crisis, and showing their work to the world in a film is my biggest reward.

You say complex, talk through some of these complexities.

Well, I always say that some call the rhino poaching a crisis, some call it a war, and others even... a campaign. I call it a genocide. The word is defined as the ‘intent to destroy, in whole or in part’. and this applies to the mass slaughter of our rhinos. And if we do call it a genocide, we the people, will take it more seriously.

I have seen just how complex the rhino issue is. It is a multi-layered problem starting with an ancient mind-set of millions of people hundreds of kilometres across the ocean, who believe that rhino horn can cure disease and uplift status. On the ground in South Africa it begins with poverty as many poachers come from poor communities surrounding our national parks. As Kruger National Park is home to the most rhinos in the world, obviously it has the most number of poachers targeting rhinos, with an estimated 15 gangs of poachers in the park every day. As it borders Mozambique we do get Mozambican citizens crossing our border and into our parks, which brings unique but difficult diplomatic issues between countries. Our rangers are arresting and shooting back at poachers who enter into our park, and for Mozambicans this is not even over human beings but animals.

So it’s a contentious issue and I think we aren’t even aware of the cross-border talks going on in the background. Scam artists ‘fundraising’ for rhino protection who are putting the money into their own pockets. Private rhino owners have also told me that bureaucratic sluggishness has crept to an all-time high which affects them when they want to dehorn their rhinos for safety measures.... as well as the practice of selling their dehorning permit information to poachers looking for an easy target. Corruption has infiltrated throughout the system. Rhino poaching like other wildlife crime is deeply-rooted yet an ever-changing crime that takes advantage of the set, secretive structures put in place.

Wildlife crime as a whole has transformed into one of the world’s largest transnational organized criminal activities, alongside trafficking in drugs, arms, and human beings. Criminal groups are using the same routes and techniques for wildlife trafficking as for smuggling other illicit commodities, exploiting gaps in national law enforcement and criminal justice systems.

These are serious crimes, driven by demand, facilitated by corruption, and linked to organized crime and militias in many countries, as well as terrorist networks. In Asia I met with representatives from the US government who are fully aware of illegal wildlife trafficking and the terror groups it funds. You may have heard the saying, “there is no silver bullet” and it’s true. There is no one solution that will save the species from extinction. A multi-pronged, multi- disciplined and a multi-agency approach is needed from government’s side, including transnational collaboration and cooperation. And then as for the individual...when people are serious about something and they come together, movements happen. The greatest victories in history didn’t happen because of governments but because of the people. The people made it happen.

We are all on social media, it’s free and really does get noticed by the decision makers. In fact, we’ve had magistrates and judges refuse filming in their courtrooms, but when we mail them our request, we include our crowdfunding and social media comments from people all over the world who want to see this film, and we get permission to film. How powerful is that?!

The public’s support of rhinos carries weight where you’d least expect it. On Facebook share, like and comment on posts that are important to you and of interest to you. Twitter is also a great place to directly target policy makers. And if you’re not on social media, use old fashioned mail, seriously! Someone, anonymously of course, told me that the Chinese embassy in Pretoria was embarrassed by all the mails they received with finger and toe-nail clippings, so they sponsored the rhino security at the nearest zoo. So write those letters, attend marches, any marches in your area with posters of rhinos, talk about the issue so it gets noticed! If you feel strongly about saving our rhinos, let your voice be heard. Ultimately this will I think, make the difference.

We certainly hope that it does.

Film-maker Bios:

Bonné de Bod - Talent: Self and Producer

Bonné is well known as an award winning wildlife television presenter. She has been on South Africa’s popular wildlife and environment programme 50|50 for seven seasons and is also a special correspondent for SABC's Newsroom. In addition, her series 'Rhino Blog' is on DSTV's People's Weather where it is currently ranked the most popular show.

Bonné also co-produced STROOP, a documentary feature film on the rhino poaching crisis. Winner of an ATKV Mediaveertjie, Bonné has also been awarded the prestigious Kudu Award for Best Journalist, which she won in recognition of her passionate, balanced reporting on wildlife conservation issues as well as keeping the public updated and informed about environmental issues in South Africa.

Her in-depth knowledge on the rhino poaching crisis from four years filming on the ground and doing undercover work in Asia has led to Bonné facilitating discussions on illegal wildlife trafficking for the United Nations Environmental Programme as well as talks on radio, at film festivals and wildlife symposiums.

Susan Scott - Director, Producer, Cinematographer and Editor

Susan Scott is a film-maker in Johannesburg, South Africa where she produces stories on wildlife issues for various broadcasters around the world. Prior to her directing work, she was a film editor for 17-years cutting for some of the best wildlife filmmakers on the planet.

Susan studied in the United States graduating from Baylor University with a degree in Telecommunications. She won an editing apprenticeship in Washington DC with Tony Black A.C.E. where she went on to edit with him for several years before heading back home to South Africa.

Awarded the prestigious acronym from the editors guild of South Africa, Susan has gone on to win several awards for her work, among them 3 SAFTAs, a Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival award as well as winning at the SAB Environmentalist of the Year for her writing and photography.

She directed her first documentary feature film, STROOP - journey into the rhino horn war.

Runtime: 133 minutes
Languages: English as well as Afrikaans, Chinese, Shangaan, Vietnamese and Zulu with English subtitles.
Director: Susan Scott, SDBFilms. scott@sdbfilms.com +27 82 400 5525

Social media: facebook.com/stroopdiefilm, instagram.com/stroop_film & twitter.com/STROOP_film

Visit: stroop-film.com

Wildlife-film.com review: STROOP is a powerful film, expertly and beautifully put together. Bonné and Susan have created an holistic film that is so engaging and emotive, undoubtably because of their personal investment in the film, meaning it will undoubtably resonate with all who watch it, wherever they watch it. Out of respect for these courageous film-makers and their subjects, we think that everyone should watch the film and if they do it will surely help put an end to the poaching of rhino for their horns.

Pre-order from the link below, share, and let's get STROOP ranked at iTunes: geo.itunes.apple.com/gb/movie/stroop-journey-into-the-rhino-horn-war/id1449507961

Expected release date: 12th February 2019

StopRhinoPoaching.com have partnered with STROOP to help the rangers seen in the film: www.givengain.com/cc/strooprangers ALL funds go directly to Kruger, K9 and iMfolozi rangers for their anti-poaching needs.

Coming soon: vimeo.com/ondemand/stroop

See the full feature here!


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Busted: China Customs Dismantles Major Ivory Trafficking Syndicate via EIA
11 January 2019

LONDON: Three men involved in running a major international ivory smuggling syndicate have been captured following enforcement action by China Customs Anti-Smuggling Bureau.

The trio were first exposed in the July 2017 report The Shuidong Connection: Exposing the global hub of the illegal ivory trade by the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

During almost three years of undercover work, EIA investigators infiltrated one of the leading syndicates based in the obscure Chinese town of Shuidong, said to be a major Chinese hub for poached ivory smuggled from Africa.

The Shuidong Connection identified the three main culprits in the syndicate as Wang, Xie and Ou; EIA shared its findings with relevant Chinese Government agencies in a confidential briefing ahead of the report’s publication.

Enforcement action based on that intelligence was launched by the local Anti-Smuggling Bureau on 6 July 2017 when about 500 officers raided locations in Shuidong and surrounding areas. Wang was caught during this raid and subsequently jailed for 15 years; Xie was located in Tanzania and voluntarily returned to face trial, at which was jailed for six years.

Chinese authorities have now confirmed that Ou was repatriated from Nigeria to China on 5 January 2019 under an INTERPOL Red Notice. He will now face trial in China.

“We are very pleased to see such robust enforcement action taken by the Chinese authorities in response to the information provided by our investigators,” said Julian Newman, EIA Campaigns Director.

“During the investigation, this syndicate had claimed involvement in multiple shipments of illegal ivory tusks from Africa to China and had been directly involved in the trade for years, so dismantling the operation has put a major dent in global illegal ivory trafficking operations.”

Action by the China Customs Anti-Smuggling Bureau based on EIA’s intelligence has now led to the dismantling of two ivory trafficking syndicates spanning Guangdong and Fujian province in southern China.

Nor were China’s efforts focused only on the thee syndicate members identified by EIA – by February 2018, 11 suspects had been convicted by the local court, with jail sentences ranging from six to 15 years imprisonment.

“EIA applauds this achievement; the Chinese authorities are to be congratulated for their collaborative and co-ordinated approach,” added Newman.

Third man of ivory smuggling syndicate arrested

Visit: eia-international.org/busted-china-customs-dismantles-major-ivory-trafficking-syndicate


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We are very sad to report the sad and untimely death of Dean Burman.
By Jason Peters
4 January 2019

We are so very sad and shocked to report that longtime member/supporter Dean Burman passed away in his sleep on the 31st of December.

The coroner has been unable to decipher the cause of death at this time. What we do know is that Dean spent his last day visiting his daughter Willow, then went back to his hotel where he showered, lay on the bed, presumably went to sleep but didn't wake up. His ex wife was expecting him the next day to see Willow again, but he never turned up. Dean is survived by his daughter Willow, whom he absolutely adored, and his heartbroken parents Edith and Sam.

Dean’s funeral will be held on Tuesday 22nd January at 2pm at Vale Crematorium, Evesham Road, Fladbury, Pershore WR1O 2QR.

The service starts at 2pm, so if you are attending please be there well before. The family have requested family only flowers, but should you wish, you can make a donation to a charity Dean supported.

Two charities Dean supported were the Oxford Transplant Foundation www.justgiving.com/otf and Midlands Air Ambulance www.justgiving.com/maac Both have just giving pages if you wish to donate in his name and write a message. You can also write a cheque out to either charity and post to Merstow Green Funeral Home, 20 Merstow Green, Evesham, WR11 4BD, mark the envelope on behalf of Dean Burman.

The wake will be held at The Crown and Cushion Hotel, 23 High Street, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 5AD at approximately 3:30pm. The family say that all of Dean’s friends are welcome to attend both service and wake.

We extend our warmest condolences to all of his family and all of his friends and say R.I.P. to Dean.

Dean the Diving Decorator from Dean J Burman
A short film the BBC NHU made about Dean in 2007 whilst he was filming pike behaviour for his film Lair of the WaterWolf

Message from Wildeye and Wildlife-film.com founder Piers Warren:

"I remember when Dean came on our Introduction to Wildlife Film-making course in 2003. When we came to introduce each other, most in the group were highly qualified with relevant degrees, PhDs etc. Dean was the last to speak and said "Well I'm a painter and decorator from the Cotswolds and I think I'm in the wrong place!". But it was clear, even that weekend, that he had the passion and motivation for filming wildlife, especially underwater, to make him stand out. Always fun and friendly it's been a pleasure to know him and follow his career over the years. We have shown the BBC film 'Dean the Diving Decorator' to hundreds of students over the years as an example of how passion and determination are key to success. RIP Dean, we miss you."

Message from friend and colleage Andy O'Sullivan:

"You could always rely on Dean to put a smile on your face. With a warm heart and a passion most could only dream of."

Tribute from Mike Linley:

“This is such a tragic loss. He was such a talented cameraman and excelled at filming freshwater fish through sheer determination, real enthusiasm and self-taught skill. My heart goes out to all his family and friends. Great bloke and from all his regular posts on Facebook a caring and loving dad.”

Wetpixel Associate Editor, Alex Mustard, describes him:

“He was a top guy. Talented and generous. Great sense of humor. Totally devoted to his daughter and wildlife.”

His last tweet:

Dean, you will be much missed... Cheers!

See the full tribute here!


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UK ivory ban becomes law – ‘best Christmas gift UK could have given world’s threatened elephants’ via EIA

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) today (20th December, 2018) welcomes the UK Government’s ban of ivory sales, shutting down one of the world’s largest legal domestic ivory markets.

Along with nine partner organisations, we are delighted that the Ivory Bill received Royal Assent today and has now become law, meaning that in future most ivory sales in, to and from the UK will be treated as criminal offences.

Mary Rice, Executive Director of the London-based EIA, said: “Following on the heels of China’s closure of its own domestic ivory market at the start of the year, this is the best Christmas present the UK could have given the world’s threatened elephant populations in Africa and Asia.

“The Ivory Bill becoming law is an important move which recognises the need to take firm action to protect elephant populations from poaching and ivory trafficking. After years of sustained campaigning, EIA welcomes the news and hopes that countries which still have legal domestic ivory markets will see this as the standard to aspire to.”

In January 2016, EIA led 26 organisations to petition the UK Government to close its domestic ivory market.

Its ground-breaking 2017 trade study revealed the UK to be the biggest legal importer of ivory in the world – and the largest exporter of legal ivory to the trafficking hotspots of Hong Kong and China. Between 2010-15, the UK exported more legal ivory than any other country, underlining the significant role it plays in the international ivory trade.

The Government’s subsequent public consultation on a proposed ivory ban resulted in one of the largest-ever responses. More than 70,000 people and organisations participated, with more than 88 per cent in favour of a ban.

The UK’s new Ivory Act is one of the strongest ivory bans in the world and covers the vast majority of items in trade, subject to certain narrow exemptions.

Rice added: “Now that the legislation is in place, we strongly urge the UK Government to provide the necessary resources for its proper implementation and enforcement.

“Wherever legal domestic ivory markets may be, the evidence clearly shows they provide easy opportunities for the laundering of illegal ivory and also sustain demand for ivory among consumers.

“With the UK ban now in place, we urge the European Union and Japan – two of the biggest remaining legal markets for ivory – to put their own houses in order and outlaw all domestic ivory sales.”

The UK Ivory Ban

Visit: eia-international.org/uk-ivory-ban-becomes-law-best-christmas-gift-uk-given-worlds-threatened-elephants Get more information on this issue from the campaign website Ban UK Ivory Sales at banukivorysales.co.uk Read the joint NGOs statement at eia-international.org/wp-content/uploads/UK-Ivory-Act-NGO-statement-FINAL.pdf


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The Field Journal - Wild Orchid Man News

Wild Orchid Man in the Devil’s Realm is finished and at the duplicators! Filmed in Tasmania in October 2017 by Darryl Saffer, he started editing in December 2017 and finished the film and music a year later. This is the 5th film in the Wild Orchid Man series. DVD copies will be available at the premiere January 16th. Complete January Wild Orchid Man schedule below!

The Wild Orchid Man Stig Dalström just returned from a three week trip to the cloud forests of Colombia where he, together with likeminded aficionados, successfully traced down several localities where plants of the extraordinary beautiful orchid Odontoglossum crispum still is abundant. This orchid was heavily exploited during the nineteenth century when hundreds of thousands of plants were stripped from the wild and shipped to auction houses and commercial nurseries in Europe. Most of the plants perished during the transportation. Fortunately, this orchid appears to be prolific in reproducing itself and is fairly safe today, protected in various national and private reserves throughout its distribution along the eastern cordillera in Colombia. Many of the areas visited by Stig and his orchid friends were until very recently impossible to visit due to hostile terrorist activities. Thanks to an uneasy peace treatment between the FARC guerilla and the prior government of Colombia many of these areas are now relatively safe again, but nobody knows for how long.

Stig is trying to finish the last chapter for his and several co-authors epic scientific treatment of this orchid genus by getting more photographs from the habitats. The title for this publication, which is scheduled to be available next summer, is appropriately named ‘The Odontoglossum Story’ featuring chapters of history, classification, cultivation and more. Parallel to this project Stig is illustrating another scientific treatment, this time the orchid genus Stelis in collaboration with Dr. Carl Luer, the world renown guru for this types of orchids.

There was also time to visit a remote area in southern Colombia where a Polish scientist is working on creating a new orchid reserve. Stig can testify that this particular area is immensely rich in biodiversity and well worth protecting.

January Wild Orchid Man Events:

January 2: Master Gardeners will show “Wild Orchid Man in the Land of the White Bear.” Stig Dalstrom (The Wild Orchid Man) and Darryl Saffer (filmmaker) will be in attendance, introducing the film and taking questions from the audience.
10:00am, Twin Lakes Park. 6700 Clark Road.  FREE but RSVP recommended.  gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/mastergardener/events

January 5-6: Sarasota Orchid Society Show. Stig Dalstrom and Darryl Saffer will be at the show to answer questions and talk about their films. Stig’s art and DVDs will be available for purchase.
9:00M-5:00 pm, Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $5.00 admission fee. sarasotaorchidsociety.org/2019-show-and-sale-for-the-love-of-orchids

January 10: Bay Village of Sarasota will host a Q/A with Stig Dalstrom and Darryl Saffer about the Wild Orchid Man films.
10:00am, 8400 Vamo Road, Sarasota. For more information call Kristine Korngut at 941-966-5611.

January 16: Sarasota Orchid Society will host the premiere of the newest Wild Orchid Man film: “Wild Orchid Man in the Devil’s Realm.”
Doors open at 6:00pm, Selby Gardens, 900 Palm Avenue. FREE admission (with suggested donation) sarasotaorchidsociety.org/wild-orchid-man-film-premeire

January 21: Sarasota Garden Club will host Stig Dalstrom and Darryl Saffer and view “Wild Orchid Man: Journey to Machu Picchu.”
10:00am, 1131 Blvd of the Arts. FREE admission. sarasotagardenclub.org/events/event/general-membership-meeting-9

Visit: www.thefieldjournal.net & www.wildorchidman.com/index.html

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The Green Hub Project

Brock Initiative

British Wildlife Photography Awards

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