By Billy Shears, 180 Degrees News
In addition to nominating him to be on the new £20 notes as an ‘ethical champion’ it has been decided by armchair conservationists viewing Sir David Attenborough’s wildlife programmes, that Africa should be turned into a pristine wildlife park, with all those nasty and unsightly local people removed from view, the same way they are in his nature programmes.
Jenny Whitehead from Bristol, who just ‘loves David Attenborough’ was disappointed when she went on a honeymoon to South Africa, to find people there, and that they were wearing western clothes. ‘You don’t get that on a David Attenborough programme, so I think the only answer is that we should make Africa into one big nature reserve with no people outside cities, well apart from white people coming of course wearing suitable khaki attire, to do things like take pictures of wildlife, count and tag them and of course watch them mate as David Attenborough seems to really enjoy doing. Maybe with the odd black assistant, but only as a sidekick to the white person who is doing the conservation, or if they wear feathers in their hair or something, then they can blend in with the other wildlife, but not wearing jeans.’
Elder and academic, Linet Masai, a prominent member of the Maasai people in Kenya was asked what she thought of the idea of having an Africa wide national park so white people could come to watch wildlife in a pristine state. She replied, ‘White people came here during colonial times wearing khaki and basically shot everything that moved for fun. Many of the animals were sacred to us and essential to our livelihood, we managed them according to customary rules. Then when the whites found it a bit harder to shoot animals as numbers dwindled, they decided that the wildlife should be protected from us the Maasai and other locals, who had originally safeguarded them, so that they could instead come to take photos of wildlife. I hear that in the UK when they re-introduce something like a harmless beaver, your rich farmers are up in arms. We have elephants trampling the farms of our poor people, yet we have to put up with that for the viewing pleasure of the whites. Also, we have still not got back our ancestral lands taken from us by the whites in the name of conservation, instead they handed them to the Kenyan government. We, like many customary managers of land throughout Africa are considered squatters on our own land, traditional hunters who are now labelled poachers. We get all the burdens of wildlife protection, without any of the benefits, which doesn’t encourage us to manage the wildlife, does it?’.
Jemma Whittington, of the UK conservationist charity ‘Voice of the wildlife’ thinks a David Attenborough inspired national park covering all of Africa would be ‘simply amazeballs’ and will have social, economic as well as ecological benefits. ‘Eco-tourism is the future for Africa, imagine all the jobs for the locals that this will bring, watching wildlife is hungry and thirsty work, there will be lots of jobs carrying hampers, bringing gin and tonics to thirsty rich safari types and conservationists under the shade of a Baobab tree and dancing for them in the evenings. We can’t thank David Attenborough enough for portraying a vision for Africa where local people do not come into the picture, we now have to work to make that vision a reality’.
In the words of the ‘national treasure’, Sir David himself from a recent interview; ‘ The only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population, humans are a plague to the Earth. Need for investment in sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population in developing countries. We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves. And we are blinding ourselves. We say, get the United Nations to send them bags of flour. That’s barmy’.
Linet Masai concludes ‘The fact that overconsumption in the developed world is primarily driving the clearances of ancestral lands of indigenous people destroying wildlife habitat in the developing world for the needs of developed world consumers, tea, coffee, soya and palm oil production etc. gets in the way of a nice narrative that it is the great white posh conservationist saving the world’s wildlife from poor folks like us, and that breeding wildlife is good, breeding African people is bad.’
This article is satire, although the quotes from Sir David are real, but if you want to read a more fact based journalistic article on this topic that will make your blood boil about conservationism, read…