Changing Planet

Video Documentary on Transboundary Conservation in Central Africa

The most recent episode of the Transcending Boundaries series; Perspectives From The Central Albertine Rift Transfrontier Protected Area Network, focuses on Eastern Africa, and the tri-border region between Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Rwanda, and Western Uganda.

We explore transboundary conservation efforts through geographic, socio-political and ecological lenses. We hear from a diverse range of stakeholders, each of whom play a critical role conserving this biodiversity hotspot despite conflict and instability; while dealing with challenges from poaching, lack of sustainable livelihoods and the activities of armed groups.

Based on the research and network of colleagues and stakeholders of Elaine Hsiao, a Fulbright Fellow, who was researching transboundary collaboration in Uganda at the time. This documentary shares an often untold story in a region filled with countless challenges. We learn how informal cross-border collaboration between individuals and Park Rangers lead to the creation of an organization (Central Albertine Rift Transfrontier Protected Area Network) and then an institution (The Core Secretariat) and finally evolved into the ongoing efforts to raise this collaboration to the highest level through the signing of a formal treaty by the Heads of State of all 3 countries. We now turn our gaze to the future and encounter the questions of “what will happen to the parks and conservation in the region now that oil has been discovered?”

International Peace Park Expeditions, the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security at the University of Vermont, and The Collaborative premiered this episode at The Environmental Film Festival in the Nationals Capital in March of 2013.

Saleem H. Ali is Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware (USA) and a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is also a Senior Fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Sustainable Enterprise. Dr. Ali is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer for 2010 and World Economic Forum “Young Global Leader” (2011). His books include “Environmental Diplomacy” (with Lawrence Susskind, Oxford Univ. Press) and “Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed and a Sustainable Future” (Yale University Press). He can be followed on Twitter @saleem_ali.

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