The Times newspaper: two projects for wildlife conservation

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Hipólito Lima

Potato starch plastic

Potato starch plastic packaging from The Times

Potato starch plastic packaging from The Times. Photo: MikeB.

The first thing that I would like to mention is that yesterday my Times newspaper came to me partly wrapped up in potato starch plastic. The plastic wrapping looked very attractive and it felt soft and pleasant. I was surprised to read that it wasn’t the kind of plastic that I’m used to but was made of potato starch which is biodegradable and compostable to nutrients for the soil in only two months. This is another way of reducing the amount of plastic we throw away which ends up in landfill waste days for hundreds of years and in the oceans where there is a tsunami of plastic dramatically harming marine wildlife. Well done The Times newspaper.

Tusk Organisation

In today’s The Sunday Times (December 6, 2020), The Sunday Times’ Christmas appeal is for animal conservation. You can donate to Tusk via The Sunday Times on their website: https://times.ctdonate.org/ .

Hipólito Lima

Hipólito Lima. Photo: DARIO PEQUENO PARAISO.

Tusk was established in 1990 in response to the poaching crisis of the 1980s. The poaching crisis is ongoing and as strong as ever today. Tusk, has a strong reputation and is supported by HRH the Duke of Cambridge who became their Royal Patron in 2005. It is known for delivering targeted intervention. Their stated mission is to “amplify the impact of progressive conservation initiatives across Africa”. They partner with the most effective local organisations and invest in these organisations’ in-depth knowledge and expertise. Their desire is to “accelerate growth from an innovative idea to a scalable solution”.

It’s important that people like me highlight the generous thoughts of The Sunday Times newspaper in promoting wildlife conservation. I don’t know how usual it is to promote and support wildlife conservation at The Sunday Times Christmas appeal. I’ve never seen it before but it is most welcome for me and the many millions of animal advocates and lovers around the world.

A great guy, Hipólito Lima, received the Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa at the annual Tusk Conservation Awards on Thursday evening for his highly committed work throughout much of his adult life to the conservation of turtles on the tiny African islands of São Tomé and Príncipe (Gulf of Guinea). His organisation will receive £100,000 over three years from Tusk. Lima decided to make protecting the sea turtles his life’s work when he watched a mother struggle onto the beach to lay her eggs. He was impressed by her persistence. It took about two hours, he said and she sacrificed a lot. He took his lead from that turtle’s behaviour.

His struggle to protect the turtles has not always been easy. He has received death threats because some people think he takes away their livelihoods and he’s had rocks thrown at him. He admits that changing the lives of people is difficult and complicated and that he has been through some dangerous situations. His determination to continue in conservation is as strong as that of the mother turtle he admired so much.