Wild trip to Sweden – Part Two – Bear watching

We first headed to the area north of Västerås which is prime bear territory. Despite their size and therefore presumed clumsiness, bears are astoundingly quiet when they wish to be.

That being said, an area inhabited by bears or wolves tends to be pretty wild, and so there tends to be a feeling about the area. In the UK there are few areas with low enough density to allow this to happen but in Europe that is different. Sweden accentuates this even more, as Sweden only had a population of just under 10 million spread out over a country the size of France. This means Sweden has a population density of 24 people per square km compared to UK 407 per square km. Continue reading “Wild trip to Sweden – Part Two – Bear watching”

A palm oil company can’t control a subsidy? Don’t be ridiculous

Golden Agri Resources, a palm oil company based in Indonesia, has stated its subsidy in Liberia, Golden Veroleum Liberia, can’t be controlled, and that therefore they cannot have any responsibility for the behaviour of its subsidy. Now quite apart from the fact that many of these subsidies are only paper companies, many of them are directly controlled by the same board as its parent company.
In particular the Round table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) needs to tighter its rules. Golden Veroleum Liberia has been thrown out of the RSPO even though its parent company remains in. This makes a mockery of the organisation, as all a company has to do is set up a subsidy and it can behave badly, cutting down primary rainforest, stealing land and anything else that eases business.
Given the urgency, where such large amounts of the world’s remaining rainforests are being destroyed each year, we don’t have years to sort this. RSPO must grow some serious courage and live up to its founding ideals immediately. We are already seeing some people ceasing to trust the RSPO, and without dramatic action it will cease to have any point.

More articles coming soon, just returned from holiday, children still at home

I just wanted to drop a personal note, to state that the blog has not been abandoned. We have just returned from a holiday in remote parts of Sweden and there will be a number of articles coming soon. Among other highlights we spent a night at the Bear hide and encountered a few wolves.

We are also working hard on starting to get up the first few nature reserves to allow this to become an encyclopaedia of such places. The intention is to have the ability to view and book as many reserves and wildlife related natural encounters as is possible, so to make wild travel in Africa and elsewhere simpler.

Assuming the website starts bringing in money in the near future, there are many plans about future travelling and other aspects of extending the website. However at the moment the majority of the travelling I do is with my family, and as such it should be noted that all encounters we had in Sweden had my daughter who is 5 and my son who is 3 in tow. They are interested in wildlife too and as such will this week, before they go back to school, be helping me put together some of the information from the reserve that we will be putting on this site in the near future.

Obituary of Alan Rabinowitz

Photo: Kris Krüg

I don’t expect to write many obituaries but could not allow this passing to not be mentioned. Alan Rabinowitz worked for a number of different zoology institutes and other conservation bodies. He was exceptionally good at conservation of big cats. His study of jaguars in Belize led to the creation of the Cookscombe nature reserve (he tells the fascinating story of this project in the book “Jaguar”; as with many of the books I have mentioned it is out print, though can be bought from Amazon second hand). Continue reading “Obituary of Alan Rabinowitz”