The Conservation Imperative Film List.

The Eden Illusion: The Fate of Africa’s Wildlife in a Post-COVID-19 World. Watch Here

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on human health, social welfare, and the economies of nations across the globe.

Blanket travel restrictions, enforced to contain the virus, ensured the instant collapse of tourism worldwide.

The pandemic has also exposed the differences between the two substantive but opposing wildlife conservation doctrines. The first principle is preservationist, based on the rights of animals. The belief is that wildlife should have no economic value, should not be utilized in any way, for any reason, and simply be left alone to self-regulate.

The second approach is founded on sustainable use.  This principle promotes the practical use of natural resources for two primary purposes; the conservation of wildlife and habitat and the betterment of the lives of the people who live within that environment.

This documentary delves into the issues associated with the COVID-19 fallout.

Voices from the Frontline: Communities and Livelihoods in Botswana. Watch Here

Voices from the Frontline is a 60-minute documentary that follows a cattle rancher’s journey across the northern parts of Botswana in his quest to document the effects of human/wildlife conflict. Along the way he engages with ordinary Batswana in their day-to-day struggles with the elements. Their unscripted stories are told from the heart in a surprisingly candid manner.

Interviews with experts in various fields provide possible solutions to the country’s most pressing social, environmental and economic problems.

The Custodians of Wilderness Series.

An ongoing project that highlights the role that hunting operations across Africa play in tackling poaching as well as community upliftment.

Custodians of Wilderness: Sidinda Conservancy, Zambezi Valley. Watch Here

Around 90% of Zimbabwe’s CAMPFIRE program revenue comes from hunting, with elephant hunting contributing more than 70% of annual revenue. The overwhelming majority of elephant safari hunters came from the United States historically.

But in April 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a suspension on importing sport-hunted African elephant trophies taken in Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The decision was taken without any prior warning; neither country was consulted beforehand nor was the safari hunting community.

Since 2014, rural communities throughout Zimbabwe have lost significant, vital revenue because of the ivory importation suspension, which remains in place.

This is the story about one of those areas in Zimbabwe where private enterprise and a community have, against all the odds, joined forces to undertake a wildlife rehabilitation project. (30 minutes in length)

Custodians of Wilderness: The Sabie Game Park: Mozambique. Watch Here

This exciting 36-minute documentary traces the establishment of a unique game reserve situated on the border of the world-famous Kruger National Park. It is home to the only resident population of rhino in Mozambique.

Community development, anti-poaching and the day-to-day trials and tribulations make this an informative and moving movie.

Custodians of Wilderness: Tanzania. Watch Here

The government and people of Tanzania have set aside 30% of the country’s total landmass for wildlife conservation. Approximately 100 000 square miles of this land lies outside of national parks. As a matter of policy the government has ruled that the best form of land use for this wilderness is sport-hunting.

About 50 operators lease around 140 hunting concessions across the country, and they are the custodians of these vast wildernesses. This is their story in their own words.

Custodians of Wilderness: Ethiopia. Watch Here

Forests in Ethiopia may have covered as much as 35% of the country, but this has shrunk to around 2.3%. 58 Forest Priority Areas covering 2.3 million hectares have been designated to conserve the forests of the country.

The future of the Afro-montane forests of Ethiopia is inextricably linked to the fate of the mountain nyala. Without safari hunting, the species prospects look grim. For wildlife conservation to work in Africa, a balanced approach is needed, which considers both economic factors and the socio-cultural needs of the indigenous people.

Custodians of Wilderness: Zambezi Delta, Mozambique. Watch Here

The recovery of wildlife in Coutada 11 in Mozambique has been spectacular. Since Zambezi Delta Safaris started operating in 1992, the Zambezi Delta region’s buffalo population has increased from about 2 300 to around 20 000. Sable numbers are now up to 6 000 from a low of 44. It is now one of the most significant concentrations of the species in Africa today. Waterbuck, zebra, hartebeest and other smaller game species have also dramatically increased in numbers.

Through their tireless efforts, an expanse of Africa almost one and a half times the famed Masai Mara’s size has been rehabilitated.

Custodians of Wilderness: Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe. Watch Here

The Dande Safari Area in the Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe forms a vital wildlife corridor between the Chewore Safari Area in the west and the country of Mozambique in the east. Without safari hunting this wildlife refuge would simply cease to exist.

This is the story of a wildlife sanctuary on the edge.

The Fate of the African Lion Series.

A series of documentaries were submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a comment in the proposal to list the African lion as endangered on the U.S. endangered species list.

The documentaries take an in-depth look into the status of the African lion and the role that sport hunting plays in its survival.

The Fate of the African Lion: Bubye Valley Conservancy. Watch Here

The Bubye Valley Conservancy is one of the most ambitious, self-sustaining private-sector initiatives for wildlife conservation in Africa today. It is not reliant on donor or government handouts for its existence.

It is an extremely efficient game sanctuary with a comprehensive management plan, which includes detailed research projects. It also provides a land-use model not only for Zimbabwe but the whole of Africa and beyond.

But it is reliant on sport hunting for its survival.

If the sport hunting of lion is effectively banned through the listing of the species on the US endangered species list, then the whole enterprise will be hamstrung with dire consequences; not only for the lion population but also for all the resident wildlife species and the human communities in the surrounding areas.

The Fate of the African Lion: Niassa Reserve, Mozambique. Watch Here.

The Niassa Reserve model, centered on a partnership between government and private enterprise, is truly revolutionary and, if given the chance, is one that could change the face of wildlife conservation across Africa.

The Fate of the African Lion: Zambia. Watch Here.

Zambia’s Protected Areas cover over 77,000 square miles or 30% of the country’s total landmass in the form of 19 National Parks and 36 Game Management Areas.

The Game Management Areas or GMAs, are tourist hunting concessions that were opened up in a number of tribal lands in the 1970’s. This created a revenue stream as well as a supply of meat for the local communities. The establishment of GMAs created buffer zones between the various National Parks and rural communities.

The Fate of the African Lion: Tanzania. Watch Here

Tanzania covers some 362 000 square miles, an area slightly larger than the state of California. It is home to some of the most incredible tribal diversity in Africa. The country includes all of the major ethnic and linguistic groups on the continent – an amazingly varied population to inhabit a single country. 

Tanzania is the premier African safari hunting destination but anti-hunting activism is a serious threat.

The Fate of the African Lion: Kenya. Watch Here

Wildlife policy in Kenya is under the stifling influence of western controlled protectionist institutions that have little regard for the wildlife they purport to protect. It is unclear how this has come about, but the fact of the matter is that the people of Kenya did not elect these organizations to this position of power; they have no right to meddle in the formulation of Kenyan wildlife policy.

They realize all of the benefits of their unique position through the ability to raise awareness and money for their assorted campaigns with the bonus of not being accountable for their actions. The day-to-day consequences resulting from their shenanigans are left to the people who live with the wildlife to deal with.

Other Productions.

Rhino in Crisis: A Blueprint for Survival. Watch Here

A 60-minute documentary that traces the history of wildlife conservation in Southern Africa from the time of the San people to the present day.

Interviews with 23 different experts in their field are woven together to wrestle with the critical issues: sustainable use, protectionism, trade bans, the threat of extinction and the place of rural indigenous communities in the overall equation.

The Elephant and the Pauper. Watch Here

At present, there are no African conservation issues more talked about than that of elephant and ivory. But why is this? Have we lost direction in dealing with the reality of day-to-day wildlife management? 

Are rural African communities allowed any say in how the wildlife resource is utilized? Is eco-imperialism the real force behind the resolutions that are foisted upon Africa and her inhabitants?

A Dream Deferred. Watch Here

The Sulieman markhor of Pakistan was on the brink of extinction until the Torghar Conservation Program (TCP) was set up.

In short, it is an extremely successful program by which local tribespeople participate in the conservation and re-establishment of Sulieman markhor and Afghan urial. 

A small number of hunting permits are sold to international hunters and the profits from these sales fund the TCP’s conservation and community projects.

A shortened version of this movie is featured on the US Fish and Wildlife website.