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African Elephant Poaching Crisis is not only bad for Elephants, it’s bad for Tourism: Study

Anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 African elephants are killed each year to feed the illegal ivory trade, which is fueled predominantly by demand in China

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Elephants are seen in in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya, April 20, 2016. VOA
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November 05, 2016: The African elephant poaching crisis is not only bad for elephants, it’s bad for tourism, according to a new study.

Writing in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Vermont, the World Wildlife Fund and the University of Cambridge say poaching the majestic beasts costs African countries about $25 million in tourism revenue.

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[bctt tweet=”The revenue lost from poaching “exceeds the anti-poaching costs necessary to stop the decline” in elephant populations in Africa.” username=””]

“While there have always been strong moral and ethical reasons for conserving elephants, not everyone shares this viewpoint. Our research now shows that investing in elephant conservation is actually smart economic policy for many African countries,” said Dr. Robin Naidoo, lead wildlife scientist at WWF and lead author on the study.

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A ranger from the Kenya Wildlife Service stands guard near stacks of ivory in Nairobi National Park, Kenya, April 28, 2016. VOA

According to the researchers, this is the “first continent-wide assessment of the economic losses the current elephant poaching surge is inflicting on nature-based tourism economies in Africa.”

Anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 African elephants are killed each year to feed the illegal ivory trade, which is fueled predominantly by demand in China. Elephant populations in the region have declined by more than 20 percent during the past 10 years.

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“We know that within parks, tourism suffers when elephant poaching ramps up. This work provides a first estimate of the scale of that loss, and shows pretty convincingly that stronger conservation efforts usually make sound economic sense even when looking at just this one benefit stream,” said study co-author Professor Andrew Balmford, from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology.

The study also showed the revenue lost from poaching “exceeds the anti-poaching costs necessary to stop the decline” in elephant populations.

Researchers say the return on investment with conservation is “positive.”

“The average rate of return on elephant conservation in east, west, and south Africa compares favorably with rates of return on investments in areas like education, food security and electricity,” said Dr. Brendan Fisher, an economist at University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Ecological Economics. “For example, for every dollar invested in protecting elephants in East Africa, you get about $1.78 back. That’s a great deal.”

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Researchers cautioned the same return on investment is not seen in central Africa because of the denser foliage, which makes it harder for would-be tourists to see wildlife. (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)