Event Date: Wednesday 23rd November 2016 | 06:00PM –08:00PM
Event website: The bleeding heart of Africa: central Africa’s elephants
Event cost: Free
‘Blood ivory’ – ivory sold to fund militia insurgency and terrorism – is widely debated but often misunderstood as elephant populations in central Africa face obliteration (as opposed to extinction by natural processes) within the next decade, if not five years.
Leading expert with a broad overview of ‘blood ivory’, Keith Somerville, will be joined by a conservation practitioner, former French army officer, Stephane Crayne, with recent direct experience of the central African elephant poaching crisis, in a double presentation and award ceremony titled ‘The bleeding heart of Africa: central Africa’s elephants. The award will be at King’s College, London, to which the public is invited.
Both will receive the 2016 Marjan Marsh Award that is given to people who have made a significant contribution to conservation in areas experiencing conflict. The award is a joint undertaking between the Marjan Centre for the Study of War and the Non-Human Sphere located within the Department of War Studies, King’s College, and the Marsh Christian Trust.
Keith Somerville is an academic specialising in African affairs, who has tracked the deeper background issues of politics, culture and history embedded within Africa’s ivory poaching that has led to numerous articles and books on the topic including the recently published ‘Ivory: Power and Poaching in Africa’. This sweeping overview builds on Keith’s previous work looking at the links between ivory poaching and central Africa’s terror-militia groups, the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Janjaweed.
When Stephane Crayne switched from the army to conservation he soon found himself ‘thrown in at the deep end’, dealing with the aftermath of a mass slaughter of elephants in the world-famous Sangha Sangha National Park in the Central African Republic. An alumni of the War Studies MA programme, Stephane’s scholar-soldier background makes him much in demand for conservation work, having recently moved to the extremely challenging and troubled Okapi park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).