Conservation efforts in Namibia and the larger Southern Africa environment face numerous challenges, and the danger of lead poisoning to vultures, meat, and humans is a significant concern.
Here are a few thoughts on this topic:

1. Lead Poisoning in Vultures:

Lead poisoning in vultures is primarily caused by the ingestion of lead ammunition fragments present in carcasses left behind by hunters.
Vultures are scavengers and play a crucial role in maintaining ecosystem health by cleaning up carcasses and preventing the spread of diseases.
Lead poisoning can result in paralysis, impaired vision, and eventually death in vultures.
Southern Africa is home to several vulture species, many of which are already threatened or endangered due to habitat loss, poisoning, and other human-induced factors.

2. Sources of Lead Poisoning:

Lead poisoning in vultures occurs when they consume lead-contaminated meat from carcasses shot with lead ammunition.
Lead ammunition is widely used by hunters in Southern Africa, especially in regions where large game hunting is prevalent.
Carcasses left in the field by hunters often contain lead bullet fragments that vultures ingest while feeding.

3. Impact on Vulture Populations:

Lead poisoning poses a severe threat to vulture populations in Southern Africa.
Vultures are slow-breeding birds, and even small declines in their numbers can have cascading effects on ecosystem health.
A decline in vulture populations can lead to increased disease transmission, as carcasses may go uncleaned, and scavenger competition could rise.

4. Secondary Poisoning of Other Wildlife and Humans:

Predators and scavengers that feed on contaminated carcasses can also suffer from lead poisoning.
Secondary poisoning can affect species such as jackals, hyenas, and even endangered predators like African wild dogs.
Additionally, there is a risk of lead exposure to humans who consume game meat contaminated with lead fragments.

5. Conservation Efforts:

Several organizations and governments in Southern Africa are working to address the threat of lead poisoning to vultures and other wildlife.
Initiatives include awareness campaigns to promote the use of lead-free ammunition among hunters.
Some countries have implemented regulations or bans on lead ammunition in certain areas or for specific types of hunting.
Conservationists are also conducting research to better understand the extent of lead poisoning in vulture populations and to develop mitigation strategies.

6. Recommendations for Mitigation:

Promote the use of non-toxic alternatives to lead ammunition, such as copper bullets, among hunters.
Enforce regulations and bans on lead ammunition to protect wildlife and human health.
Increase monitoring of vulture populations and implement targeted conservation measures in areas where lead poisoning is a significant threat.
Collaborate with local communities, hunters, and stakeholders to raise awareness about the dangers of lead poisoning and promote sustainable hunting practices.



As a corporate entity, it’s important to invest in initiatives that align with your values and contribute to positive change in the world. One such initiative that can provide long-term benefits for both your company and the planet is supporting the Conservation Film Foundation (CFF).

CFF is a non-profit organization that produces conservation research documentaries in Namibia and Southern Africa, covering the entire spectrum of conservation research and education. By funding and supporting CFF, your company can have a positive impact on the environment while also reaping a variety of benefits:


  • Firstly, supporting CFF can help your company demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility. By investing in conservation efforts, you can show your customers, employees, and stakeholders that your company takes its environmental impact seriously and is dedicated to making a positive difference in the world.
  • In addition, funding CFF can provide your company with access to a network of like-minded individuals and organizations who are passionate about conservation and sustainability. By becoming part of this community, you can gain valuable insights and knowledge about conservation initiatives and best practices, as well as opportunities to collaborate and make a real impact on the environment.
  • Furthermore, supporting CFF can help your company promote its brand and reputation. By aligning your company with a reputable conservation organization, you can improve your public image and increase customer loyalty and trust. You can also benefit from positive media coverage and recognition for your contributions to conservation efforts.
  • But the benefits of supporting CFF extend beyond your company’s bottom line. By funding conservation research documentaries, you can contribute to the protection of natural habitats and ecosystems, as well as the preservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage. You can also help empower local communities to take action for conservation and promote sustainable and responsible tourism.
  • Supporting the Conservation Film Foundation is not only a wise investment for your company’s reputation and sustainability efforts, but also a meaningful contribution to the protection of the environment and the world at large. By funding and supporting CFF, you can make a real difference and be part of a movement for positive change.



The Conservation Film Foundation (CFF) is a non-profit organization that works to promote conservation and sustainable practices in the film industry, specifically in Namibia. European and American wildlife film producers and film teams can benefit from partnering with CFF in several ways:

  1. Access to unique and diverse wildlife locations: Namibia is home to a wide range of wildlife species, including rare and endangered animals such as the black rhino and the African wild dog. By working with CFF, film producers can gain access to these locations and showcase the beauty and diversity of Namibia’s wildlife in their films.
  2. Knowledge and expertise: CFF has extensive knowledge and expertise in the conservation and wildlife film industry. By partnering with CFF, film producers can learn about sustainable practices in filmmaking, such as using renewable energy sources, minimizing waste, and reducing the impact on local ecosystems.
  3. Collaboration with local communities: CFF works closely with local communities to promote conservation and sustainable practices. By partnering with CFF, film producers can collaborate with these communities and showcase their unique cultures and traditions in their films.
  4. Support for conservation efforts: By working with CFF, film producers can contribute to conservation efforts in Namibia. CFF uses the proceeds from film productions to support local conservation organizations and projects, helping to protect Namibia’s wildlife and ecosystems.

As a conservation film organization, we are committed to promoting sustainable practices in the film industry. We believe that the film industry has a significant impact on the environment, and it is essential that we take steps to reduce this impact. One of the ways you can do this is by working with us as your local team.

Collaborating with local teams has many benefits, both for the environment and for the communities involved. Working with the CFF local team allows you to gain unique insights into the local environment and culture, and it reduces the environmental impact of  productions by minimizing travel and sourcing local resources. Additionally, working with local teams can create opportunities for capacity building and skill-sharing, benefiting both the local community and your own team.

We are inspired by organizations like the @STS_Earth team and their commitment to promoting sustainable and less extractive approaches to filming projects. We believe that by prioritizing sustainability and working with local teams, everyone can create impactful and meaningful films while minimizing impact on the environment and supporting local communities.

At the Conservation Film Foundation, we are committed to incorporating sustainable practices into our own work. We believe that promoting sustainability in the film industry is essential for creating a more sustainable future. We welcome partnerships and collaboration with organizations and individuals who share our commitment to sustainability in the film industry.




The CONSERVATION FILM FOUNDATION in collaboration with TOSCO facilitated the Film Crew Assistant and Action Camera Training on location at Wereldsend from 02 to  09 December 2021, and assisted the team of new directors with the editing process.

DISCOVERING WERELDSEND – From the perspective of 3 documentary film students:

This is what they created:

This very special production was filmed by 3 students who had 4 days of video action camera training. By no means a slick or perfect end-product, but a refreshing and surprising documentation of what creative, unrestricted collaboration can deliver.

This is a brief behind-the-scenes look at the journey of three aspirant filmmakers into the realm of wildlife documentary making in rural Namibia.This is their first encounter with the concepts of documentary film making, the first time they are operating a camera, the first time conducting interviews. A remarkably enjoyable story.

Thank you Rhody, Raymond and Munavineja, you delivered an amazing short film!
Thank you The Lion’s Share, TOSCO, and IRDNC’s Wereldsend facilities for enabling this creative process.

This is an exiting start of more to come.




What Does a Declining Natural World Mean for our Well-Being in Africa?

For decision-makers, a major barrier to tackling the challenge of biodiversity loss on the African continent is the lack of access to global data on biodiversity loss and its impact on people. Evidence-based information is required to support national and international policy, and to help countries and regions reach sustainable development goals (SDGs) while preserving important ecosystems.

To address this knowledge gap Dr Hayley Clements, an interdisciplinary conservation researcher at Stellenbosch University’s Centre for Complex Systems in transition, and recipient of the Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Grant (JWO), is leading a project entitled ‘Quantifying the Biodiversity Planetary Boundary for Africa’. Africa boasts a wealth of biodiversity, with unique and varied ecosystems that include biodiversity hotspots such as the Guinean forests of West Africa, the Cape Floristic Region and Succulent Karoo of South Africa, the coastal forests of eastern Africa, and Afromontane regions across the continent.

“These natural resources provide a range of essential products and services on which we depend. These ‘ecosystem services’ include clean air and water, prevention of floods, pollination of plants, pest and disease control and prevention of soil erosion. At a more fundamental level ecosystems provide livelihoods, food, shelter and overall well-being for the continent’s growing population. In short, everything we need to sustain and improve our lives depends on the natural environment,” explains Clements.

However Africa also has the one of the highest GDP growth rates of any region, with increasing urbanisation and agricultural expansion taking a heavy toll on natural systems. Exploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, deforestation, and effects of climate change are just some of the factors driving high rates of biodiversity loss on the continent, at a pace more rapid than ever before in human history. Says Clements, “A continuous decline in species along with a loss of habitat negatively affects the potential for biodiversity to sustain itself and human well-being. So the question is, how does Africa support socioeconomic growth yet still conserve the natural resources on which it depends?”

To ensure this information is relevant to the issues at hand, decision-makers and biodiversity professionals need to engage and work with one another openly and constructively. This information needs to be readily available, not just to experts in the field, but to the general public, to raise awareness on how biodiversity loss influences our human existence and what steps can be taken to secure a more just and sustainable future. The initiative has the ambitious goal of finding ways to measure the state of Africa’s biodiversity at a local level in response to human activities. This will be done using a measure called the ‘Biodiversity Intactness Index’ or BII. It will also explore the links between biodiversity loss and human well-being – to make compelling cases for appropriate land use decision-making.

Clements’ project is funded by the Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Research Grant, which is awarded annually by Oppenheimer Generations to support an African-led research programme that has the potential to contribute significantly to the advancement of environmental and allied sciences ‒ specifically to identify and address real-world issues that affect Africa.“With this scientific evidence, as well as a heightened awareness of biodiversity loss, effective strategies and efforts can be put in place to move forward on a sustainable development agenda not only in Africa but globally ‒ for the benefit of humankind,” explains Clements.

Progress made on the project will be presented at the 11th Oppenheimer Research Conference in Midrand, Gauteng on 6-8 October 2020, which brings together select individuals and organisations that are involved in the fields of natural and environmental science. Through a programme of presentations, discussions, networking and collaboration, the academic research conference aims to contribute to the conservation of ecosystems, biodiversity and heritage, particularly in Africa.

Original Article accessed on 30 June 2021 at:

[The U.N. has declared the coming decade a time for ecosystem restoration, highlighting in a new report the importance of preventing, halting and reversing ecosystem degradation worldwide.

A key message of the report is that nature is not something that is “nice to have” — it is essential to our survival, and we are a part of it

 It calls on the world to restore at least 1 billion hectares (2.5 billion acres) of degraded land in the next decade — an area larger than China — warning that degradation already affects the well-being of 3.2 billion people.

The report also makes an economic case for restoration, noting that for every dollar that goes into restoration, up to $30 in economic benefits are created.

Restoration is also a good investment. For every dollar that goes into restoration, up to $30 in economic benefits are created.

Commercial fisheries output, for example, could be increased by $1.9 billion to $3 billion per year by restoring mangroves to 40-100% of their pre-1980s extent. In the U.S., investing in restoration at a landscape scale creates twice as many jobs as a similar investment in oil and gas. Coral reef restoration in Mesoamerica and Indonesia could provide an extra $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion in ecosystem service benefits each year.

The economy exists within nature and has benefited from the “free” services it provides, such as carbon capture, water filtration, and fisheries. The exploitation of these services with no investment is unsustainable. According to the report, humanity is using nearly 1.6 times the amount of services nature sustainably provides. “In short,” the report states, “we need more nature than we have.”

Ecosystem restoration has also been recognized as a critical part of achieving the Paris Agreement climate targets, Aichi biodiversity targets, and many of the Sustainable Development Goals, including clean water, health, peace and security. Halting and reversing ecosystem destruction, for instance, could help to avoid 60% of predicted species extinctions. Agroforestry approaches alone could increase food security for more than 1.3 billion people.

There is no formula for restoring nature on a global scale. The effort will require many methods, including landscape restoration, regenerative agriculture, and rewilding. These efforts will be aided by advances in remote monitoring, better methods for sharing knowledge, and improved on-the-ground practices.

While no methods are universal, the UNEP and FAO do offer a set of guiding principles. These principles include aiming for the highest level of well-being for people and ecosystems, addressing the drivers of degradation, promoting inclusive and participatory governance, tailoring approaches to local contexts, including plans for monitoring, and integrating policies for longevity.

Monitoring is a key guiding principle of the U.N. Decade. And to that end, the FAO and UNEP have also launched the digital hub for the U.N. Decade, which includes a framework that countries and communities can use to measure progress. Also within the hub is the Drylands Restoration Initiatives Platform, intended to share lessons and help people design restoration projects for grasslands, deserts and savannas.

Time and again, successful restoration projects have demonstrated the importance of involving all stakeholders and communities throughout the process. And this inclusivity must extend to youth and women. Depending on the culture, men and women hold different knowledge about the environment and have different restoration priorities. Plans that ensure women and men can benefit equally from and fully participate in are often more sustainable.

“Restoration projects need to be more inclusive,” said Marlène Elias, a gender researcher at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, said in a press release. “If you’re looking at major goals like restoring millions of square kilometers of land, planting a trillion trees, or rehabilitating marine ecosystems, you’re almost certainly not going to have success unless you put people at the center of the work.”

In a press briefing, Wanjira Mathai, vice president and regional director of the World Resources Institute, Africa, made the point that the average age in Africa is 19, so restoration efforts need to include youths and to create economic opportunity and hope.

The leadership and traditional knowledge of Indigenous people is also paramount. An estimated 37% of all remaining natural lands (28% of the world’s land surface) are managed by Indigenous peoples, and these lands protect a majority of intact forests and 80% of global biodiversity.

A key message of the report is that nature is not something that is “nice to have” — it is essential to our survival, and we are a part of it. Restoring the planet will take a massive global effort, and that effort can happen at all scales, from a backyard to a country.

“Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century,” António Guterres, the U.N. secretary-general, said in a statement. “It must be the top, top priority for everyone, everywhere.”


United Nations Environment Programme (2021). Becoming #GenerationRestoration: Ecosystem restoration for people, nature and climate. Nairobi. Retrieved from

Liz Kimbrough is a staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @lizkimbrough_


Earth’s ecosystems are stressed, and people are suffering the consequences. Experts say that conserving what’s left of the natural world is not good enough; we must also restore it — and the clock is ticking.

Last week marked the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration led by the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The goal: to prevent, halt and reverse ecosystem degradation worldwide.

A new report released alongside the decade launch presents evidence on the state of global ecosystem destruction and explains why restoration is critical for the economy, food security, clean water, health, climate change mitigation, security, and biodiversity.

“Degradation is already affecting the well-being of an estimated 3.2 billion people — that is 40 percent of the world’s population,” UNEP executive director Inger Andersen and FAO director-general Qu Dongyu, wrote in the forward to the report. “Every single year we lose ecosystem services worth more than 10 percent of our global economic output.”





In celebration of the world’s tallest mammal and World Giraffe Day on June 21, we were very fortunate to get a second opportunity this year filming a small herd of majestic beauties against the backdrop of Brandberg, the highest mountain in Namibia. Unfortunately, the population of our magnificent mammals is quickly declining due to the increasing threats of habitat loss, illegal hunting, and climate change.

Some additional Wikipedia information: The giraffe (Giraffa) is an African artiodactyl mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant. It is traditionally considered to be one species, Giraffa camelopardalis, with nine subspecies. However, the existence of up to nine extant giraffe species has been described, based upon research into the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, as well as morphological measurements of Giraffa. Seven other species are extinct, prehistoric species known from fossils.

The giraffe’s chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its distinctive coat patterns. It is classified under the family Giraffidae, along with its closest extant relative, the okapi. Its scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Giraffes usually inhabit savannas and woodlands. Their food source is leaves, fruits and flowers of woody plants, primarily acacia species, which they browse at heights most other herbivores cannot reach.

Giraffes may be preyed on by lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and African wild dogs. Giraffes live in herds of related females and their offspring, or bachelor herds of unrelated adult males, but are gregarious and may gather in large aggregations. Males establish social hierarchies through “necking”, which are combat bouts where the neck is used as a weapon. Dominant males gain mating access to females, which bear the sole responsibility for raising the young.

The giraffe has intrigued various cultures, both ancient and modern, for its peculiar appearance, and has often been featured in paintings, books, and cartoons. It is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as vulnerable to extinction, and has been extirpated from many parts of its former range. Giraffes are still found in numerous national parks and game reserves but estimates as of 2016 indicate that there are approximately 97,500 members of Giraffa in the wild. More than 1,600 were kept in zoos in 2010.