Following the Channel 4 Dispatches programme that aired on Monday the 20th of June, a number of the world's largest animal conservation organisations are feeling on the back foot after the extensive report looked into a number of key issues in modern conservation including where funding actually comes from, and where the majority of it then ends up.
Entitled Conservation's Dirty Secrets, the hour long documentary reported by investigative journalist Oliver Steeds, paints a somewhat gloomy picture about what the world's conservation work now seems to entail. Containing some disturbing footage at points, it also looks into the lives of local people that are affected by the actions of western conservation.
He maintains his strong belief that the industry is becoming too sentimental, with modern conservation being a far cry from simple science. Numerous organisations end up focusing their funding and efforts on the cute and the cuddly, rather than actually thinking about and trying to protect those species that are vital to local (and global) ecosystems.
This is epitomised when you look into the world's oceans. Considering that more than 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by the sea, it is somewhat shocking to learn that only 1% is considered to fall into protected areas. With already rapidly declining species' numbers, any more drastic losses in marine life could significantly affect numerous other species, including us.
At the end of the day, clearly not enough conservation work is being done in the right areas or in the right way. The report shows that in some places where local people are running the conservation efforts and seeing money coming into their local communities, wildlife numbers have not only increased by 30% but the relationship between people and the animals has changed dramatically.
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