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Is global development the first thing that pops into your mind when Woodland Park Zoo comes up? No? Well then, it may be time to take yourself down to the zoo again, with or without the accompaniment of children. When you do, you’ll find that the exhibits not only display exotic animals and educate visitors about the environmental and man-made dangers to their natural habitats, but also engage those same visitors in actions they can take to help local people protect the animals and themselves.
Just take the African Savanna exhibit for example. It showcases the huge varieties of animals, predators including lions and African wild dogs and large herbivores including giraffes, hippos, Grant’s gazelles, fringe-eared oryx, ostriches, zebras and patas monkeys, that inhabit the wild grasslands of East Africa. But the exhibit also focuses on the reasons those habitats are endangered–excessive vegetation growth in the waterholes, human/wildlife conflict over shared wildlife corridors, long fences erected in wildlife corridors. As part of its exhibit, the zoo supports and publicizes the work of the Waterhole Restoration Project in Kenya, which is restoring 18 natural waterholes for the benefit of wildlife in Merrueshi Group Ranch, a wildlife corridor between Chulu and Amboseli National Parks. The founder of the Maasai Foundation, which administers the restoration work, is a cultural interpreter at the zoo during the summer. He educates visitors about his culture, their links to savanna wildlife and how they can help preserve it. Built on the edge of the Savanna exhibit, a reproduction of a modern rural village of East Africa shows visitors how people live who interact with the wildlife around them. There young visitors get the opportunity to make an African beading project to help provide funding for the Waterhole Restoration Project.
Such projects help Read More
By Global Washington Policy Coordinator Danielle Ellingston
“In the first half of this century, global demand for food, feed and fibre is projected to increase by some 70 percent, while crops may increasingly be used for bioenergy and other industrial purposes. New and traditional demand for agricultural produce will thus put growing pressure on already scarce agricultural resources. And while agriculture will be forced to compete for land and water with sprawling urban settlements, it will also be required to serve on other major fronts: adapting to and contributing to the mitigation of climate change, helping preserve natural habitats, and maintaining biodiversity. At the same time, fewer people will be living in rural areas and even fewer will be farmers. They will need new technologies to grow more from less land, with fewer hands.”
-U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, High Level Forum on How to Feed the World in 2050
The problem is real, huge, and growing. People are dying of hunger, and not meeting their full potential. Other world problems are compounded by hunger- for example, hunger makes people more vulnerable to disease. On October 14th, individuals and organizations around the world stepped up the action and dialogue on World Food Day. The UN FAO is hosting a World Summit on Food Security in November, and there is still time for representatives from the private sector and civil society and the NGO sector to sign up.
9 facts about child hunger from Save the Children USA:
1. For the first time in history, more than a billion people live with chronic hunger — and at least 400 million of them are children.
2. In the developing world, volatile, historically high food prices together with the ongoing impact of the global economic crisis continue to drive families Read More
We are excited to announce the newest confirmed speaker at this year’s annual conference, Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley.
Ambassador Bagley was appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to lead the Global Partnership Initiative as the Special Representative for Global Partnerships. At her swearing-in ceremony earlier this year, Ambassador Bagley set out her emphasis on partnerships, saying
“We must now make the transition to 21st Century Statecraft, engaging with all the elements of our national power – and leveraging all forms of our strength. That is where partnerships come in. Our private sector is an extraordinary source of innovation, talent, resources, and knowledge; and in the past, we have only scratched the surface.”
Ambassador Bagley stated that through the Global Partnership Initiative, “we are making the Secretary of State’s emphasis on opening our doors to the private sector a rallying cry for change and a platform for smart power.” We are honored to welcome her and to learn about developing cross-sector relationships to further our global development work. Read More