Episode 31 - Manon Dene
Manon Dene is Wildlife Policy Specialist Humane Society International (HSI). Recorded at a recent workshop with Romanian bear experts on coexistence with grizzly bears, in Seeley Lake, Montana. Manon is a young French animal rights activist advocating for wild animals at the European level and internationally. She works as a wildlife policy specialist for HSI to defend European large carnivores such as wolves, bears, lynx and wolverines, from persecution and trophy hunting. She also works to defend endangered animals exploited in international trade through international conventions such as CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and CMS (the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals).
"One of the problems that was created following the issuance of the decision to ban trophy hunting [of brown bears in Romania] is that there has been an increase of conflicts between humans and bears… Obviously, the media is a key actor in this situation because whenever there is an attack occurring on a human, the public always says the bear has been the problem."
"Going to the Blackfoot Challenge and the Swan Valley Conservation Cooperative, and learning from them has been so important to start the process in Romania… Coexistence involves electric fencing, financing some bear aware garbage [systems]. Hopefully, we create some successful pilot projects in places in Romania, then we can extend to other counties, to the neighboring towns."
"It’s tough -- there’s definitely passionate people want to defend these animals, but we’re up against such big industries, like multi-billion industries like trophy hunters, but even the trophy hunters they’re so little compared to the agriculture, agronomic industries."
"What I love in my job is that it relies a lot on people, human connections that we build -- and this is what we’re doing also in this workshop."
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond
Animal Liberation, by Peter Singer
The Sixth Extinction, by Richard E. Leakey
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell