Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Have you ever wondered what is the significance of our dreams? All human beings dream. Irrespective of race, religion or country. And yet, each dream is different.

Deep in the South American Amazon, live a few tribes that have mastered the art of interpreting dreams. These indigenous tribes are known as dream cultures. The Achuar is one such tribe. They live in the Amazon forest along either side of the border between Ecuador and Peru. Until a few decades ago they had no contact with the world outside their forest. So a lot of their culture, wisdom and understanding of nature is still a mystery.



The Achuar believe that dreams are a powerful way of interpreting the future. They also have a deep respect for Nature and treat it is a living entity that guides them in the journey of life through signs and dreams. Perhaps that is why the Achuars have been able to live so harmoniously in the Amazon jungles for thousands of years.

As the impact of human society on the environment increases and we move towards an uncertain future, the Achuars have reached out and shared their dreams and visions with us. In the hope that even though all of us have our own individual dreams, but perhaps as a society we can learn to share another dream. A dream of creating a future that is better than our present. A future that is better for everyone, irrespective of race, religion, country or species.

Film by: Nitin Das, Special thanks: Daniel Koupermann
To visit the Achuar or know more about them, check out the web-site of this wonderful organization: Pachamama Alliance
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A project that will show you stories, pictures and films from some of the most fascinating places on Earth.

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Many, many miles away from you but perhaps not so far away in time, there exists an elite group of warriors. Their sole purpose in life is to protect the oldest treasure on this planet. They are guardians of the most fascinating places on earth and protectors of the creatures that live in those enchanted lands.

The far away warriors are facing their greatest challenge ever. An enemy so powerful that all of them combined cannot defeat it.  A force mightier than the mountains and stronger than the oceans . Despite their best efforts the treasure is slowly disappearing.

So they have come together and formed a plan and you are reading this because you are a part of it.

To be a part of our adventure  please subscribe to this site. Subscribing to this site shall keep you posted on all the new stories and films that we feature regularly. We hope you will join us because the treasure is as much yours as it is ours.

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White Rhino (copyright WOCC)

White Oak Conservation Center is one of the world’s premiere wildlife breeding, research, and training facilities. The Center, located along the St. Mary’s River in northeast Florida, spans 600 acres and is surrounded by 6,800 acres of pine and hardwood forest and wetlands.

Co-founded in 1982 by philanthropist Howard Gilman and conservation biologist and current president John Lukas, White Oak Conservation Center provides conservation options for the future by maintaining genetically diverse populations of threatened species in spacious, natural facilities. With a complex of research, husbandry, education and conference facilities, the Center leads professional efforts to improve veterinary care, develop holistic animal management techniques, and better understand the biology of critically endangered species.

White Oak Conservation Center conserves and sustains some of the earth’s rarest wild animals through innovative training,  research, education, breeding and field programs that contribute to the survival of wildlife in nature.

Gilman International Conservation Foundation links the staff and managed animal programs of White Oak Conservation Center  with international partners to conserve flagship species. A public charity, GIC was incorporated in 2001 to fundraise for, and coordinate field conservation initiatives that work to conserve flagship species and habitat diversity for species represented in the White Oak collection. This is accomplished by protecting natural habitats and engaging local communities to live sustainably, and be supportive of efforts to conserve biological diversity. Utilizing White Oak’s staff expertise, professional affiliations and networks, the foundation is able to draw the assets of other organizations into large scale endeavors that benefit the world’s biodiversity. This approach requires the long-term commitment of funds, staff, and partners to the cause.

Building upon the natural appeal of species such as rhinos, cheetahs and okapi, GIC encourages people, communities and governments to actively participate in conservation initiatives.

Through research projects, training opportunities, and education programs, GIC and White Oak Conservation Center seek sustainable solutions to the conservation challenges facing the earth’s biodiversity.


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RSCF is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization dedicated to preserving biodiversity through hands-on conservation programs rooted in sound science.

Golden Lion Tamarin (copyright RSCF)

RSCF utilizes the “flagship species” concept, whereby the conservation of key species leverages protection of biologically diverse ecosystems. This concept evolved from the sobering observation that historical conservation approaches often targeted only individual, high profile, and charismatic animals. Effective flagship species not only characterize diverse ecosystems, but also connect cultural, political and social value systems to nature. The human component is crucial, since collectively we must shoulder the responsibility of preserving what remains of nature. Conservation strategies for pinnacle species like Brazil’s golden-lion tamarin and the east African bongo antelope must foster broad protected-area policies and protection for whole ecosystems, thereby benefiting a myriad of plants and animals.

One of the aspects that makes RSCF a very different kind of conservation organization is our “lean and mean,” hands-on approach, whereby we minimize bureaucracy and administration. RSCF’s small, focused staff conceive and execute its programs, doing everything from research in the field, to managing endangered species breeding programs, to writing scientific papers, to fundraising and all administrative functions. Many of our conservation programs are supported by contributions restricted for specific purposes, such as field research in a particular place, habitat acquisition, or endangered species husbandry.

Conserving flagship species in the wild–especially where they still have a stronghold–preserves the integrity of these important ambassadors and their ecological contexts. Certainly some critical species must be maintained in captivity out of concern for their global extinction, which accounts for RSCF’s minority investment in captive breeding. However, severing the link between captive breeding and field conservation is tantamount to creating an eternal “voyage of the damned”, whereby once vital species survive only in captivity as their habitats are lost forever. Just as these species have leverage in life, their extinction has a ripple effect. When flagships disappear from the wild, their conservation power vanishes, often along with the biologically diverse ecosystems that surround them.

RSCF designs sustainable recovery, reintroduction and protection programs for endangered species in the wild, and works collaboratively with governments and other conservation/research organizations to restore target species and protect critical habitats. RSCF also provides consulting and technical services to conservation teams, and forms educational, political and economic partnerships to expedite specific habitat and species conservation projects.

Imperial Amazon Parrot (copyright RSCF)

A notable example is RSCF’s partnership with the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division on Dominica (in its 14th year now), which has focused on parrot conservation and research.  This collaboration has yielded many significant results, including declaring the world’s first new national park of the millennium, the Morne Diablotin National Park– dedicated to help protect Dominica’s national bird, the endemic Imperial Amazon Parrot (Amazona imperialis), known locally as the Sisserou.  This partnership, and the conservation leverage afforded by efforts to save the Sisserou exemplify the flagship species methodology.  Indeed, Dominica is the only country to have a parrot on her flag (the Sisserou, of course), which also adorns her Coat-of-Arms.  Efforts on Dominica now extend to broad protected-area policies, legislation, and field conservation endeavors for a diverse array of taxa.

For more details on the programs carried out by rarespecies visit their web-site: www.rarespecies.org

Dr. Paul Reillo (RSCF fonder and president), discusses conservation and the role humans can play in preserving the Earth’s vanishing natural resources.

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Sea Shepherd

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Their mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

copyright - Sea Shepherd


Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.

Sea Shepherd’s tactics have landed them in trouble with governments many a times. Their critics have questioned their direct action interventionist tactics. But Sea Shepherd maintains that it acts only in case of illegal operations and it is authorized to do so by United Nations World Charter for Nature.

Sea Shepherd operates outside the petty cultural chauvinism of the human species. Their clients are whales, dolphins, seals, turtles, sea-birds, and fish. Sea Shepherd represents their interests. They are not anti-any nationality or culture. Sea Shepherd is pro-Ocean and they work in the interests of all life on Earth. Sea Shepherd only oppose criminals and criminal operations.

Sea Shepherd has operated in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary for the past 6 years interfering with illegal Japanese “scientific” whaling operations. “Whale Wars”, a hit show on  Animal Planet documents this particular campaign and is currently about to air it’s third season. Sea Shepherd also uncovered the Taiji, Japan dolphin slaughter, subsequently “The Cove” by Louie Psihoyos filmed and won a 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary. Sea Shepherd also has a location in the Galapagos Islands and actively assists the Marine Reserves to end illegal fishing and the illegal shark fin trade.


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Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) was established as a combined national and international initiative and a globally recognized collaborative conservation effort, geared towards developing and implementing a long-term strategy for conservation of chimpanzees and their habitat, with the immediate purpose of establishing a chimpanzee sanctuary on Ngamba Island in Lake Victoria, and such other places in Uganda as the trustees may acquire.CSWCT established Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in 1998 for the care and welfare of entrusted animals while conserving as far as possible the ecosystem of the island.  

Ngamba Island is part of the Koome group of islands located in Lake Victoria (which also includes Kiimi, Nsadzi, Koome, Bulago and Damba Islands).   It is approximately 23 km south-east of Entebbe. It consists of approximately 100 acres, of which 98 Location of the Islandacres is forested and separated from the human camp by an electric fence.
CSWCT’s activities include welfare of individual captive chimpanzees entrusted to its care, long-term management of a sanctuary for confiscated individuals that cannot be returned to the wild, intervention to assist individuals in the wild when deemed necessary, conservation education of the general Ugandan public with particularly emphasis on chimpanzees, ecotourism, community participation, capacity building through training, and building viable national, regional and international partnerships on chimpanzee conservation.

CSWCT views the role of the chimpanzee as one of the key flagship species for conservation of  wildlife in general and as an opportunity to address wider issues affecting the plight of wildlife conservation in general, both ex situ and in situ.

CSWCT ensures that all its work has the support and involvement of key stakeholders including local community and, as much as possible, becomes economically self-sustaining.

Cindy and Namukisha

copyright CSWCT


CSWCT has taken a three pronged approach to  conservation. It is involved in education and awareness, community development, and applied research. It arranges for afforestation drives under its community development drives. It also runs Teacher training workshop where teachers are sensitized to environmental issues.


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The world’s fastest land animal, the cheetah, is a unique and the most specialized member of the cat family and can reach speeds of 70 mph. It is also the most endangered cat in Africa.
Once a common animal found on five continents, the cheetah is now an Endangered Species. The number of cheetahs has decreased from 100,000 at end of the 19th century to approximately 10,000 today. In addition to its own loss of genetic variation, the main threats facing the cheetah today are loss of habitat, a reduction in its prey base, conflicts with livestock farming, and a reduced ability to survive in parks and reserves due to the presence of larger predators. Yet, despite all these problems, the cheetah is the oldest of the big cats, and has survived the longest. If we can provide a habitat and a rich prey-base for cheetahs on the livestock farmlands of southern Africa, the cheetah’s race will be one of survival, not extinction. Only the “human animal” can save the cheetah from extinction. And that is why the Cheetah Conservation Fund now works in Africa.

The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) was founded in 1990 by Dr. Laurie Marker. CCF’s mission is to be the world’s resource charged with protecting the cheetah and ultimately ensuring its future on our planet. CCF will work with all stakeholders within the cheetah’s ecosystem to develop best practices in research, education and ecology and create a sustainable model from which all other species, including people, will benefit. As Namibia has the largest and healthiest population of cheetahs left in the world, CCF’s International Research and Education Centre, which is open to the public, is based in Namibia, near Otjiwarongo.

CCF’s stance is that understanding the cheetah’s biology and ecology is essential to stabilise the population and manage its sustainability for the future. Its strategy to save the wild cheetah is a three-pronged process of research, conservation and education, beginning with long-term studies to understand and monitor the factors affecting the cheetah’s survival. Results of these studies are used to develop conservation policies and programmes to sustain its populations. CCF actively works with local, national and international communities to raise awareness, communicate, educate and train. Some of CCF’s approaches include:

  • conducting intensive scientific research and publishing papers on research findings—in cheetah genetics, biology, ecology, health and reproduction, human impact, and species survival, including assistance with the management of captive and free-ranging cheetah throughout the world. CCF also develops and implements non-lethal predator control and other better livestock management practices. These include CCF’s Livestock Guarding Dog Programme, and the relocation of problem cheetahs, which attempt to eliminate the need for ranchers to kill cheetah.
  • creating and managing long-term conservation strategies for the cheetah throughout their range. CCF researchers develop, test, and promote alternative land-management practices such as conservancy development, and eco-tourism.
  • carrying out local and international conservation education programmes to illustrate ways in which the species can be protected, by addressing community upliftment and predator-conflict resolution. CCF also creates and disseminates education materials worldwide.
  • building capacity in countries that still harbour cheetah populations. The international programme currently includes distributing CCF materials, lending resources and support, and providing training throughout Africa and the rest of the world.

CCF is a proactive organisation that finds practical solutions to help people to help the cheetah and this is reflected in the CCF Vision: “We see a world in which cheetahs live and flourish in co-existence with people and the environment”.  Its work to save the wild cheetah and its wilderness habitat is successful because it works on all aspects of the cheetah’s plight, through education and public outreach, applied conservation biology and management, public policy, and science and research.

While CCF’s main headquarters are in Namibia (SW Africa), its reach and vision are worldwide. Efforts are currently underway in Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, and Iran to help develop new conservation programmes or support existing cheetah conservation efforts.

Visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s web site: http://www.cheetah.org

Photograph by: Christophe Lepetit

Location of CCF: Latitude: 20 28′ 46.8″ S   Longitude: 17 03′ 03.0″ E

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