PODCAST

The Art Of Conservation

Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth

A podcast dedicated to the relentless pursuit of truth as we create meaningful discussions around the most important conservation and environmental issues of our time with the objective of inspiring unity and action in protecting our natural world.

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S2 E22 - The Weekly News 06-01-2022 with Shannon Elizabeth, Peter Borchert & Simon Borchert
Jun 1 2022
S2 E22 - The Weekly News 06-01-2022 with Shannon Elizabeth, Peter Borchert & Simon Borchert
Peter struggles with Covid, Simon can’t remember where he is, and Shannon holds down the fort.5 African countries sign the Hwange declaration - a commitment to pressure CITES to open trade in ivory for one fire sale. The concept is fundamentally flawed and as usual, this for the trade wrap their arguments up in poorly researched or blatantly inaccurate data - we explain why.Deforestation accelerates in Brazil. We unpack the empty promises made at COP26 in Glasgow last year.Should you be able to buy a puppy from a commercial breeder in the USA? Huame Society’s latest paper suggests what we already believe. You can help by singing the petition.
S2 E22 - The Weekly News 06-01-2022 with Shannon Elizabeth, Peter Borchert & Simon Borchert
Jun 1 2022
S2 E22 - The Weekly News 06-01-2022 with Shannon Elizabeth, Peter Borchert & Simon Borchert
Peter struggles with Covid, Simon can’t remember where he is, and Shannon holds down the fort.5 African countries sign the Hwange declaration - a commitment to pressure CITES to open trade in ivory for one fire sale. The concept is fundamentally flawed and as usual, this for the trade wrap their arguments up in poorly researched or blatantly inaccurate data - we explain why.Deforestation accelerates in Brazil. We unpack the empty promises made at COP26 in Glasgow last year.Should you be able to buy a puppy from a commercial breeder in the USA? Huame Society’s latest paper suggests what we already believe. You can help by singing the petition.
S2 E21 - The Weekly News 05-25-2022 with Shannon Elizabeth, Peter Borchert & Simon Borchert
May 25 2022
S2 E21 - The Weekly News 05-25-2022 with Shannon Elizabeth, Peter Borchert & Simon Borchert
Rob Barber from Golden Africa Safaris in Botswana. Rob gives us updates on travel trends after COVID. Join Rob in the Okavango Delta - Go on a one-of-a-kind safari in Botswana June 9-17, 2022 with Golden Africa Safaris! Our listeners get 10% off with the discount code “SEF”. Green Century Funds are holding Home Depot accountable for where they source their plywood. But are Home Depot’s shareholders supporting this proposal?Are K9s effective in the illegal wildlife trade? What about dog bots? Kilo9Academy is not only training and placing anti-poaching dogs in the field, but they can also train your personal dog. Their co-founder, Christjan Visser, is an incredible trainer and ranger who needs your help. Please support Christian and help him get the surgery he desperately needs.Remember India, the “pet” tiger in Texas that got out a year ago? We follow up on what has happened to India. Where is he now and how is he doing?Is India an example of why the Big Cat Public Safety Act is so important to pass?How important is convergence  intelligence in the illegal wildlife trade, or any other illegal trade for that matter?
S2 E20 - The Weekly News 05-19-2022 with Shannon Elizabeth, Peter Borchert & Simon Borchert
May 19 2022
S2 E20 - The Weekly News 05-19-2022 with Shannon Elizabeth, Peter Borchert & Simon Borchert
Simon joins us from the US through modern technology.Poachers tranquilize rhino to remove horn in Orang National Park in AssamDespite the poaching attempt in India, can you believe that the Indian Rhino numbers could actually be up?This year there was an Indian Rhino census—guess what the total was?Is it okay to protect animals even at the expense of the surrounding communities?Would community intelligence officers work in South Africa the way they work in India?We discuss the need to clone Dr. Jana Pretorius and Petronel Nieuwoudt (Care for Wild).Who is the Kering Group? Do you wear any of their fashion lines? Should they disclose the suffering inflicted on the animal skins featured in their lines? Are they doing enough? Use your power and send a message straight to the Kering Group hereCould donkeys go extinct in our lifetime? How popular is donkey hide collagen?What responsibilities do companies have these days? Is it profit before planet, or planet before profit?Are companies leading by example or letting their customers lead them?Could slaughter-free collagen be in our future?Some updates on the Big Cat Public Safety Act.
S2 E19 - The Weekly News 05-12-2022 with Shannon Elizabeth & Peter Borchert
May 12 2022
S2 E19 - The Weekly News 05-12-2022 with Shannon Elizabeth & Peter Borchert
Show Notes:S2 E19 – The Weekly News 05-12-2022 with Shannon Elizabeth, Peter Borchert & a special guest interview with Dr. Louise de Waal/Blood LionsSimon is in the USA, so Shannon and Peter are in charge. Peter is updating Rhino Review, while Shannon helped to take care of a 6-day-old baby rhino over the weekend. Peter talks about the evolution of rhinos across 55 million years. Do you know what the largest land mammal ever to have lived was?A story in Science Magazine notes that a research team believes they have found pieces of the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs. Do you know how many millions of years ago that was?  During an archeological dig in Luzon in the Philippines, fossils of an “Ice Age” rhinoceros were found. Can you guess what they discovered about these bones dating back 700,000 years ago?We welcome Dr. Louise de Waal, the Director and Campaign Manager of Blood Lions, who tells us all about their new campaign #CancelCaptivity, why it is so important, and how you can help.Blood Lions launches a new campaign to urge the ministers in South Africa to implement protections for captive bred lions. Sign the Blood Lions petition.Peer-Reviewed Paper: Welfare concern associated with captive lions and the implications for commercial lion farms in South Africa.Wild Choices will help you make ethical choices about captive wildlife tourism facilities in South Africa. Bats buzz like hornets! Can you guess why?Four black rhinos were translocated to a private reserve in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. Was this really the best thing for these rhinos? What group was behind the big move?
S2 E18 - The Weekly News 04-20-2021 with Simon Borchert, Shannon Elizabeth & Peter Borchert
Apr 20 2022
S2 E18 - The Weekly News 04-20-2021 with Simon Borchert, Shannon Elizabeth & Peter Borchert
Trophy hunter kills Botswana’s largest elephant, and claims he is a hero. With just $50k paid for the hunt, the arguments in defense of this senseless past time of killing for fun are getting thinner and thinner. Simon calls out trophy hunters to engage in discussion in one final bid to understand the psychology in taking pleasure in killing and suffering.Canada’s seal clubbing season opens. With just 3% of kills being attributed to traditional use by the indigenous Innuits, we debate the claimed value of the fur industry. Canada is not a shining example of environmental leadership! Rhino have been relocated back into Mozambique’s Zinave National park, but is it a good thing? We debate the value of relocations as a measure of protecting rhino.Should we endorse mining industry heavyweights investing in conservation, or is it greenwashing?Is doomism more damaging than denialism? GEF celebrates a commitment of US$600m from the USA – but is it enough?Shannon launches her documentary about Munu, the blind black rhino adopted by her foundation. With Munu as a shareholder in the documentary, Shannon wants to innovate how content funds conservation.
S2 E17 - The Weekly News 04-06-2021 with Shannon Elizabeth, Simon Borchert & Peter Borchert
Apr 6 2022
S2 E17 - The Weekly News 04-06-2021 with Shannon Elizabeth, Simon Borchert & Peter Borchert
As we focus on the ongoing poaching stats, it is important to quantify the good work being done. Peter shares some successes in prosecutions across Africa to India for poaching related crimes. We must support the people on the front lines more than ever.Care For Wild Rhino Sanctuary takes in another orphan. If you can support them, please do so. They do extraordinary work.Indonesia’s challenges with palm oil production continues as suspicion grows as the government is accused of collusion and price fixing. Palm oil usage in bio-diesel is also cause for concern. But we shouldn’t let this discourage the potential of bio-diesel.What is the best use of conservation dollars? Habitat Protection? consumer education? legislation? A new report suggests the more effective measures to protect wildlife, orang-utans in particular. The science of kindness. A recent study suggests that by doing good, we are literally happier. E.O. Wilson’s Biophilia, supports this growing theory.Four Paws is doing amazing work, rescuing many destitute animals in war torn Ukraine. Are zoos really contributors to conservation? A recent report suggests what we believe - with a few exceptions, the answer is not as much as they’d like us to believe… Zoos breed constantly under the banner of conservation and it is largely accepted. But why not sanctuaries? Are we not perpetuating a double standard?
S2 E16 - The Weekly News 03-30-2021 with Simon Borchert, Shannon Elizabeth & Peter Borchert
Mar 30 2022
S2 E16 - The Weekly News 03-30-2021 with Simon Borchert, Shannon Elizabeth & Peter Borchert
A new scholarship that supports young African women entering the conservation economy, opens its applications for the 2023 academic year this Friday, 1 April. Peter’s editorial focuses on how do we address the issues of education, but also the major shortcomings in the funding of global conservation. Could subsidy reform at a government level play a role? 7 members of the African Parks Network team murdered by Islamic extremists in Benin sends chilling warning to conservation communities all over the continent. Is this a taste of things to come?Hippo ivory trade is on the rise with much of the trade heading to the USA. What on earth are these teeth being used for and how does it affect the illegal trade in hippo parts ?IMF prices its first rhino bond t, in part, protect endangered black rhino in Southern Africa.HSI-Africa succeeds in obtaining a high court interdict to halt the awarding of the controversial trophy hunting quotas in South Africa. Why do we dehorn rhinos? Here’s a great video explaining why and how…Bizarrely, CITES approves the trade of intensively bred totoaba, an endangered species. What impact could this have on conservation efforts in Mexico?India conducts a wildlife survey and the results are encouraging.And finally, a Sumatran rhino calf is born in Way Kambas!
S2 E15 - The Weekly News 03-23-2021 with Simon Borchert, Shannon Elizabeth & Peter Borchert
Mar 25 2022
S2 E15 - The Weekly News 03-23-2021 with Simon Borchert, Shannon Elizabeth & Peter Borchert
Massive sink holes are appearing on the seabed of the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic with  melting permafrost to blame. Is this a sign of accelerated climate change? New research from 2 American universities suggests that the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, which was instituted to tax hunters for unregulated hunting, is the reason why conservation claims by trophy hunters are so exaggerated. More evidence suggests that South Africa’s recent trophy hunting quotas offers little economic value. But again, are this divisive conversations not distracting us from the urgent work we actually need to be looking at for real and sustainable transformational value on the African continent? United for Wildlife, from Prince William’s Royal Foundation, recently hosted a conference in Botswana, exploring the role financial and transport industries can play in curbing the illegal wildlife trade. Simon shares his experience. Thank you to our friends at Zambesia and MackAir for their very kind hospitality! And poaching in India evolves as Anthrax poisoning is identified in the killing of two elephant in that country.
S2 E14 - The Weekly News 03-10-2021 with Simon Borchert & Peter Borchert
Mar 10 2022
S2 E14 - The Weekly News 03-10-2021 with Simon Borchert & Peter Borchert
South Africa’s minister of the Department of Fisheries, Forest and the Environment recently announced South Africa’s commitment to trophy hunting by publicising the trophy hunting quota for the year ahead. Included in the heady mix of commercialised blood lust are 150 elephant, 10 leopard and shockingly, 10 critically endangered black rhino. Given the continued poaching crisis, the incompleteness of the commitment to end captive lion breeding and intense rhino breeding, the ministry seems to be backtracking, and we are suitably confused at the mixed messaging, the inconsistency in application of science, ethic and the inaccurate economic numbers used in the justification of these hunts. Peter and Simon take a deep look into the rationale behind these quotas and hope that the minister will too.The quotas are seemingly in stark contrast to the “One Welfare” policy adopted by Minister Barbara Creecy, and further evidence suggests that this allocation, almost exclusively for foreign white trophy hunters from America, is likely to do very little for conservation, reputation of the country and importantly, to promote authentic transformation in a sector that offers near zero representation of gender or racial transformation.
S2 E13 - In Conversation with Dr Sylvia Earle
Mar 3 2022
S2 E13 - In Conversation with Dr Sylvia Earle
No discussion about the state of our planet, most notably our oceans, is complete without the inclusion of Her Deepness, Dr Sylvia Earle. For more than half a century Sylvia has been one of the loudest and most articulate voices of reason and science in the pursuit to not only protect and correct the state of the ocean, but also in inspiring others to do the same.In this episode, Simon and Sylvia discuss her latest book, a collaboration with the National Geographic Society entitled “Ocean, A Global Odyssey”. The conversation also explores the great “Anthropause”, the state of our oceans, the advancement of women in ocean conservation, the power of conscious consumerism, what we can learn from indigenous communities - and what we can teach them, and why there is cause for great optimism. Sylvia’s Mission Blue organization remains on the up and is truly worth supporting, especially the identifying and protecting of the world’s Hope Spots.
S2 E12 - The Weekly News 01-19-2021 with Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth
Jan 20 2022
S2 E12 - The Weekly News 01-19-2021 with Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth
Rob Barber from Golden Africa Safaris joins us in studio as we discuss our reaction to a poorly penned article that argues for trophy hunting as a suggested force for conservation. Debate rages as we explore this contentious issue. Is the value of trophy hunting overstated? Are local communities truly engaged with? What drive trophy hunting as conservation? Simon points out that arguing that anti hunters are the emotional ones, misses the point – are trophy hunters the overly emotional ones after all…? We think so and explain why… Rob explains his deep love and affection for the potential role of anthropology in tourism, specifically in Botswana. But how do we honor first nation people in tourism and conservation? Golden Africa Safaris have perhaps got it right…Jim Jeffries explains the hypocrisy and classism associated with trophy hunting. Crass, but he makes a good point.
S2 E11 - The Weekly News 01-12-2021 with Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth
Jan 14 2022
S2 E11 - The Weekly News 01-12-2021 with Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth
The Anthropocene. What are the real implications and how quickly is it all happening? Does Leonardo di Caprio’s latest film, Don’t Look Up hit the mark?Is  poverty being reversed?Are our political  and economic systems fit for purpose to reverse the damage big business has caused on the planet?  If there were no conservation or environmental charities in the world, where would be?  Some big questions unpacked on this week’s show…
S2 E10 - The Weekly News 01-05-2021 with Simon Borchert & Peter Borchert
Jan 5 2022
S2 E10 - The Weekly News 01-05-2021 with Simon Borchert & Peter Borchert
2022 is off to a rocky start. Peter Borchert and Simon Borchert talk about the devastating news of the passing of Dr Richard Leakey, an icon of global conservation. But what lessons did Richard, Betty White and others leave for us in how we make sure that we continue their work and legacies?Simon provides feedback on the Christmas campaign to raise funds for Daisy, a 12 hour old rhino calf that was rescued by Care For Wild Sanctuary. Her road to recovery is a tough one, but we can support her and the other 5 rhino calves rescued during September due to the spike in rhino poaching in Southern Africa. Simon explains how Daisy came to acquire the snazzy jacket that has everyone talking.
S2 E9 - The Weekly News 12-29-2021 with Simon Borchert & Peter Borchert - Our Heroes of 2021
Dec 30 2021
S2 E9 - The Weekly News 12-29-2021 with Simon Borchert & Peter Borchert - Our Heroes of 2021
Simon & Peter talk about their conservation heroes of 2021.The list could be endless, but we talk about the recent passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, E.O. Wilson and Thomas Lovejoy and celebrate Dr Esmond Martin, Wangari Maathai, Merlyn Nkomo, Dr John Hanks, Peter Fearnhead, Jane Goodall and Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka as some of this year’s conservation heroes.We wish all our listeners a prosperous, successful and exciting 2022. The fight to save our wild places has never been tougher, but it is made easier by all the amazing folk who do so much for so little. We salute you all.
S2 E8 - The Weekly News 12-08-2021 with Simon Borchert & Peter Borchert
Dec 22 2021
S2 E8 - The Weekly News 12-08-2021 with Simon Borchert & Peter Borchert
Peter and Simon talk about the spike in poaching in South Africa and how the problem is spreading across the country. Isn’t it time we put divisive arguments of trade or no trade aside for us to focus on the triage, the immediate urgency to collaborate and halt the poaching before there is nothing left to trade?And how will long term strategies include the empowerment of indigenous people? Authentic socio-economic transformation must be central to Africa’s future.5 orphans in 3 weeks. The consequences of this spike in poaching is resulting in huge pressure on already strained sanctuaries. The Shannon Elizabeth Foundation has joined forces with Care For Wild to raise funds for these destitute orphans. Please consider giving the gift of saving a life by supporting our fund on behalf of your loved ones.Is media hysteria around poaching accurate or even helpful?And have polar bears evolved to use tools?
S2 E7 - The Weekly News 12-08-2021 with Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth
Dec 8 2021
S2 E7 - The Weekly News 12-08-2021 with Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth
Peter Borchert is in studio!Shell loses deal in Cambo but continues with the controversial seismic surveys in South Africa. Meanwhile, a French company Visio Terra finds evidence of over 18,000 oil slicks off Africa’s west coast and the Niger Delta continues to suffer an oil spill that has been active since 5 November. When will corporations be held accountable for the continued negligence?Unresolved land claims continue in Kruger National Park.Elle Magazine bans any advertising or content that includes animal furs. Seems late, but none the less we welcome the move.A new conservation tourism platform launches to assist with the directing of global aid to communities at risk due to Covid-19.Trophy hunting remains under pressure in the UK, but what are the implications if banned? A recent news report suggests that for US$45k, you can hunt a captive bred tiger in  Africa.Cameroon sends in the military to protect their threatened elephants.
S2 E6 - The Weekly News 12-01-2021 with Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth
Dec 1 2021
S2 E6 - The Weekly News 12-01-2021 with Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth
Peter Borchert is back!African Parks Network and 7Beyond Phinda relocate 30 rhinos from South Africa to Rwanda.Shell respond to growing public pressure about the seismic surveys being conducted on South Africa’s east coast. And their response is predictably void of any ethical accountability but will the application for a court interdict be successful? We hope so. Please sign the petition to bring this reckless activity to an abrupt end. See the schedule below to participate in country wide protests in South Africa scheduled for 5 December and join #oceansnotoil in stopping this reckless practice.Do you want to see the gorillas in Rwanda? We talk about how best to see these magnificent primates. Mantis Collection and &Beyond have an incredible and ethical offerings. A sensational series of videos of an elephant encounter (see video below) has surfaced on line, causing a media storm. We share insights from leading rangers and guides and caution against judgement until the involved are able to respond appropriately.
S2 E5 - The Weekly News 11-24-2021 with Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth
Nov 24 2021
S2 E5 - The Weekly News 11-24-2021 with Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth
Shannon and Simon return from the Okavango Delta and discuss the important of responsible tourism. Thank you to Golden Africa Safaris for hosting us.Invest Bank and United For Wildlife release financial report on the illegal wildlife trade in South Africa.Expeadia Group will no longer support properties that promote animal interactions on their platforms and France bans wild animals in circuses, the mink trade and dolphin shows. Big wins.Conservation International has released a report on the important zones around the world that we must protect if we are to stand a chance of beating the climate crisis. “Blue Carbon” plays an important role in this new science, as do mangrove swamps.South Africa’s east coast is under threat as Shell begins seismic surveys offshore in the search of more oil & gas. Sign the petition here.Gabon has quickly become the last refuge of the African forest elephant.
S2 E4 - The Wandering Conservationist, Part 1 –Simon Borchert in conversation with Dr Peter Lindsey
Nov 7 2021
S2 E4 - The Wandering Conservationist, Part 1 –Simon Borchert in conversation with Dr Peter Lindsey
LionsThey are perhaps the greatest character in the brochure for African travel.And in many of the larger parks across the African continent they are not too difficult to see either - could even be described s prolific. In fact many would consider you unlucky to visit Africa and not see at least one on safari. But this perhaps sends a slightly inaccurate message to the world that lion numbers healthy and stable. Sadly, this couldn’t be further from the truth.As much as they are abundant in places like Kruger National Park, Masai Mara and Okavango Delta, their numbers have been in a steady decline in recent decades. So much so that population estimates suggest that there are more polar bears in the wild than there are lion in Africa. A staggering thought to say the least!Lion are critical to the environmental and economic success of the continent. They are a keystone specie. But their protection and strained history with humans is a deeply complex relationship and one that requires a profound level of patience, experience, understanding and a multidisciplinary approach to ensure their survival and by association, ours as well.In this, the latest series from the Art Of Conservation, Simon Borchert will be chatting to Dr Peter Lindsey, director of the Lion Recovery Fund and one of the most astute conservationists working in this field. Once a month, Peter and Simon will chat about Peter’s travels, his observations and his work. Not just in lion conservation but across a host of pertinent and relevant topics in conservation.This is part one in an ongoing series.
S2 E3 - The Weekly News 11-03-2021 with Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth
Nov 3 2021
S2 E3 - The Weekly News 11-03-2021 with Simon Borchert & Shannon Elizabeth
COP26 in Glasgow yields few reasons for optimism as leaders seemingly fall short of authentic accountability yet again.The Shannon Elizabeth Foundation launches new education fund. Merlyn Nkomo joins us in studio to talk about the challenges young Africans face in developing a career in the biodiversity economy and her role in spearheading the One Woman’s Legacy Scholarship Fund.