BEVERLY & DERECK JOUBERT: What would it take to save the world's large carnivores?
Interview by Maywa Montenegro
What would it take to save the world’s large carnivores?
Saving the world’s top predators goes hand-in-hand with our own survival on this planet—even though, ironically, on an individual level they threaten us! Our threats to them are enormous. We will lose large carnivores in 10 to 15 years at this rate. As they disappear, we will see ecosystems collapse and economies—in Africa, in particular —dissolve as a large part of their $80 billion ecotourism revenues dries up.
We can’t keep treating carnivores and the planet like an endless resource; we’ve been on this insane “shopping spree” against nature for too long. Like all things though, reality sets in, mortgages dry up, Internet bubbles burst, and we somehow, almost magically, find balance.
We have within us the capacity to find solutions. We understand intuitively the difference between right and wrong. We know it, but sometimes we lie to ourselves that everything will be all right, because we are, if nothing else, “the optimistic ape.” The day we stop and take stock of what we are doing we will have taken the first step. Then we can collectively come up with ways to protect the big cats and the land they need.
The solution? It’s respect.
Filmmaker-Conservationists BEVERLY & DERECK JOUBERT
Around the world, lions, wolves and other predators are threatened by hunting, habitat loss and ecosystem disruption. In some cases, species cling to the brink of extinction, virtually eradicated by human pressure. Helping lead the charge to save large carnivores are BEVERLY AND DERECK JOUBERT, filmmakers from Botswana and explorers-in-residence with the National Geographic Society.
The Jouberts have been working in Africa for more than 25 years, exploring the conservation role of large predators and key African wildlife species. Their work has brought them five Emmys, the World Ecology Award and their recent induction into the American Academy of Achievement.
Wildlife Protection Society of India executive director Belinda Wright shares her ideas for curbing wildlife crime. Read the interview with Belinda Wright
Beverly and Dereck Joubert live in the bush, filming and photographing lions and leopards in their natural habitat. Watch the video on TED
- © 2012 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer
Last modified on January 23, 2012