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Hans de Iongh at National Geographic for Big Cat Month

In the theme of Big Cat Month, National Geographic interviewed Professor Hans de Iongh, guest researcher of the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) about lion conservation in Africa.

In addition to being guest researcher at CML, Hans de Iongh is guest professor at University of Antwerp and chair of the Leo Foundation. The interview (in Dutch) was held in the appropriate setting of the African savanna of Burgers zoo in Arnhem. 

Interview on National Geographic

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Based on more than 20 years of research by CML Leiden and the University of Antwerp on large cats in Africa, De Iongh highlights successes and failures and the contribution of science to lion conservation in Africa.

He states that many successes have been reported of collaborations of scientist with NGOs (such as the Leo Foundation, IUCN, WWF and WCS) and local government and communities in many African countries, such as Kenya, Cameroon, Benin and Senegal.

Science has definitely contributed to conservation. But as important are support to practical actions on the ground, such as national action plans for lion conservation, education of school children, and enforcement of bomas to protect livestock. 

De Iongh welcomed the contributions of The National Geographic Big Cat Initiative and Burgers zoo to conservation projects on the ground supported by scientific research to make well-informed management decisions. He also stressed the importance of local capacity building through African PhD students and education programmes for African school children.

CML Leiden has played an important role in academic capacity building of African scientist by supporting more than 18 African PhD students over the past 20 years. 

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