Solving the Ivory Deadlock

elephants kenya ivory article

Stopping the rampant slaughter of elephants that continues to feed the ivory trade will require a new kind of thinking, according to a new article in the journal Science.
Global efforts to protect elephant populations today are hampered by contentious disagreement over the best conservation policy, write a team of leading researchers from 14 institutions, including Yale. On the one side are those calling for an international ban on the ivory trade. On the other are those who believe that a closely regulated trade is the only way to save elephants.

One of the authors is Gao Yufang, a doctoral student in the combined degree program between the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale’s Department of Anthropology, who has studied how human values affect decisions by stakeholders at every step of the ivory trade, from the local communities where elephants are killed to the Chinese communities where the ivory products are purchased.


Bringing African researchers together to advance science

Scientists with nets and other equipment on the shore of the Mara river in Kenya.

For Yale’s David Post, it is the unintended consequence of his research and training project in Africa that may have the most lasting impact.

Post, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, heads a research laboratory that is giving Yale students and African scientists an opportunity to do fieldwork on the complex ecosystems in Kenya. This is just one example of the work being done through the Yale Africa Initiative, an ongoing effort by Yale University to prioritize and expand its commitment to Africa. In addition to closely supporting Yale’s missions of research, teaching, and learning, one of the hallmarks of the Yale Africa Initiative is to create and foster numerous collaborations and partnerships with and between various African institutions.

Gabon ‘Dialogue’ Examines Challenges Of Deforestation-Free Development

the forests dialogue gabon field

The Forests Dialogue (TFD), a Yale-based program that promotes multi-stakeholder discussions on forest issues, recently brought together 60 people from 15 countries to discuss how the concept of deforestation-free supply chains could be applied in western and central Africa.

Participants in the five-day event, held in Gabon in mid-October, included organizations working on natural resources, rights and sustainable development, international companies, representatives of ministries from several countries, sustainable land-use experts, and national NGOs. The dialogue followed the Africa Palm Oil Initiative Regional Meeting convened by the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 in Libreville.

African deforestation not as great as feared, Yale research shows

A map of central and southern Africa detailing areas of deforestation.

The loss of forests in Africa in the past century is substantially less than previously estimated, an analysis of historical records and paleontology evidence by Yale researchers shows.

Previous estimates put deforestation at 35% to 55% on the continent since 1900. The new analysis estimates closed-canopy forests have shrunk by 21.7%, according to findings published Dec. 11 in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. However, research also shows that some West and East African forests have been reduced between 80% and 90%.

A Vision for Sustainability in Tanzania

During a recent meeting convened in southern Tanzania by The Forests Dialogue, a Yale-based program, a range of stakeholders discussed their visions of what a sustainable and thriving landscape looks like.

Southern Tanzania is considered the breadbasket of the country due to its concentrated agricultural activities, ample freshwater sources, and soil productivity. But increases in farming, forestry, grazing, and commercial activities are intensifying pressure on the land and its resources.

An ongoing initiative led by The Forests Dialogue (TFD), a Yale-based program, aims to convene diverse stakeholders in the region in a Land Use Dialogue (LUD) focused on sustainable land and resource management.

During a recent three-day LUD meeting a range of stakeholders, including government leaders, private companies and smallholder farmers, discussed their visions of what a sustainable and thriving landscape looks like. After two days of field visits and a daylong plenary dialogue participants identified activities already taking place that support that vision — as well as obstacles that stand in the way.

Yale Club of South Africa – Calling all Yalies in South Africa!!

Please do join the LinkedIn and Facebook pages! It’s here that we want our community to engage with each other; LinkedIn for professional networking, context etc, and the FB page for offering of birding, hiking, theatre etc.

LinkedIn is: Yale Club of South Africa

YASA: a resource and community for students from and interested in Africa

Group portrait of YASA members.

Every Wednesday at 9 p.m., African and Africanist students congregate in the Lighten Room of Yale’s Afro-American Cultural Center to discuss their unique experiences as Africans at Yale and in America, to debate political and socio-economic issues currently facing the African continent, and maybe even to pick up new African songs for their playlists as members of the Yale African Students Association.

The Yale African Students Association, or YASA as it is commonly called, was founded in 1993 by a group of African students, including its first president, Karen Isatu Barrie ‘96, as a resource for African students and those with an “interest and concern about Africa.” Speaking back in 1993, one student said joining was a way “to know more African students, to have a forum to talk about Africa with Africans, to gain a sense of community, and to give the Yale community positive images of Africa.”