Shubert Mwarabu from YiC - Youths in Conservation
In 1979, Tanzania was still a paradise for the 200,000 elephants living there. At the last count in 2016, there were only just under 43,000 Gray Giants across the country. During the worst poaching crisis between 2009 and 2015, Tanzania lost 60% of its total elephant populations at that time. The situation of elephants and other wildlife is therefore particularly bad in Tanzania.
Shubert Mwarabu is now working with his organization Youths in Conservation (YiC), which calls itself Swahili Vijana na Uhifadhi, to raise awareness among the population, especially those living around nature reserves, about the crisis that afflicts the wildlife and convey the value of elephants to people.
The ivory of an elephant brings in the illegal market around 18,500 euros. According to a study, an elephant generates about 1.4 million euros for ecotourism in the course of its entire life span of an average of 76 years. Aside from the value of these wonderful animals, a live elephant is worth about 75 times more than a dead one.
Furthermore, elephants are indispensable for the fertility of the soil and the forest cover of the landscape. Elephants not only spread the seeds of numerous plants in their dung bales, they also fertilize the soil with them. It has been proven that without pachyderms, which create different types of landscape (both forests and savannahs), biodiversity decreases and the global average temperature continues to rise.
This message is transmitted by YiC's volunteers, at film screenings and presentations in schools and communities, at sports and music events, and in discussions with local politicians and national legislators. Also in local radio stations, YiC's programs are very effective. In particular, the youth in the communities is addressed with the actions to inform and motivate them to participate in environmental activities. In the Mikumi National Park, for example, 50 former poachers have been retuned, who now earn their living by working in nature conservation.
Shubert Mwarabu himself is a popular singer and environmental activist in Tanzania, who advocates elephant conservation through his music, petitions, networking with policymakers, and social media campaigns. For example, we covered his flight costs for speaking to the Hong Kong Governmental Committee on the end of the ivory trade in the Chinese Special Administrative Region. Follow his speech:
If you want to donate for the project of Shubert Mwarabu, please state as purpose of use Youths in Conservation.