president biden has said he believes the mission to evacuate people from afghanistan can be finished within the next week. but he warned this depended on continued cooperation with the taliban. earlier — mr biden said he was worried kabul airport might see attacks from islamic state—affiliated militants. the taliban have said afghan nationals may no longer travel to kabul airport — citing the chaotic situation there. in a direct appeal to the americans, the taliban spokesman urged them not to entice afghan nationals to emigrate — saying their professional expertise would be sorely needed. stars of the music world have been paying tribute to the talents of charlie watts — the drummer with the rolling stones for almost 60 years who's died in london aged 80. fellow drummers praised him as the beating heart of the stones — and a unique talent. now on bbc news, hardtalk.
welcome to hardtalk. i am stephen sackur. the african elephant is an endangered species. in the case of the forest elephant, critically endangered. that is the result of decades of poaching but it reflects a wider problem too. in the battle for space and resources, wildlife is in a losing fight with humanity in many parts of africa. my guest today is paula kahumbu. kenyan conservationist, campaigner and broadcaster. she's trying to make conservation africa's common cause. so, how is she doing?
paula kahumbu in nairobi, welcome to hardtalk. thank you very much. i appreciate being invited to speak here. it is a pleasure to have you on the show. for decades, you have been a conservationist and a wildlife advocate. after all of those years, do you think you are winning? i think we are winning on some fronts. for sure, there is some progress, but i would say that overall, we are in big trouble and sadly, most people don't appreciate just how serious it is. do kenyans want to hear your message, do you think? you are a very successful broadcaster and your wildlife shows are well watched across the continent of africa. i wonder if you,
after all these years, are getting a little cynical about whether or not kenyans want to hear it? i think it depends on which kenyans you are talking about. when i started my tv series, many years ago, people told me that it was hopeless, that kenyans do not care about nature and wildlife, they cared about the food on their plates. actually, our tv series is one of the most successful in the continent and in kenya alone, 51% of people watch our show, so we know there is broad public interest and a big part of it is because there is not much wildlife content on television anywhere in the continent, especially content made by ourselves for our own audiences, there is nothing apart from what we are producing. it is making a difference? i think so. i believe there is a massive shift in consciousness here in kenya. when we organise events and rally people together, thousands of people participate more than 50% of kenyans in the city of nairobi say they want to volunteer for nature. but i would say the problem
and the challenge we have is not at the level of the mass public, but the challenges winning the hearts and minds of the political leadership. notjust in kenya but across the whole continent. i was very struck and it relates to something you just said. very struck by something you said to the new yorker magazine not to long ago. you said, "conservation is not seen as something black kenyans do. in this country it is a white thing." do you think you have changed that? yes, notjust me, there are plenty of amazing young african scientists and conservationists who are singing the same hymn. this is a big part of our colonial legacy. think about it, wildlife and the hunting background and during colonial days, the only people who were allowed to hunt legally where the colonial overlords. when things changed and hunting was banned those same people
became the conservationists and them and their future generations are some of the most fierce conservationists on the continent. but africans back in colonial days were considered poachers and until today, it seems like that is the picture or the image that people feel about it and telling people that it is ok for africans to be conservationists, it means really bucking a trend and saying, hang on on a second, it's notjust white people who do conservation and doing conservation isn't about going backwards. when i started i was told by colleagues of mine they would fight for me in government to prevent them from sending me to the bush to do research. they thought that was a very backward thing to do in those days. we came from the bush, why would you go back there? there is a lot of change that
has happened in the last few decades. but we still have quite a bit of work to do. to net quite a bit of work to do. to get personal for a second, i wonder if that is applied to your own family? your mum is white but your dad is a black bikini on. i wonder if either of them thought it was appropriate to you to forgo a city career in nairobi and had to the bush as fast as you possibly could? it to the bush as fast as you possibly could?— to the bush as fast as you ossibl could? ., , , possibly could? it was my mum who thought — possibly could? it was my mum who thought that _ possibly could? it was my mum who thought that going - possibly could? it was my mum who thought that going to - possibly could? it was my mum who thought that going to work| who thought that going to work in the bush would be dangerous and not something what girls do. it wasn't the colour of my skin, it was girls don't do that. my father was much more easy going and he thought it was exciting that i was working in the wild for months on end by myself sometimes. he thought that was fantastic. the dangers are real and i think my mother was right to be cautious, but
my family was very encouraging. you came through the ranks of different conservation organisations, and you ended up working closely with richard lecky in his wildlife organisation. and you launch a campaign called hands off our elephants which caused a stir going back seven years or so in kenya, so why did you focus so heavily on elephant? we kenya, so why did you focus so heavily on elephant?— heavily on elephant? we both focused on — heavily on elephant? we both focused on elephants, - heavily on elephant? we both focused on elephants, i - heavily on elephant? we both focused on elephants, i did i heavily on elephant? we bothl focused on elephants, i did my phd on elephants, we both worked for the government trying to prevent the reopening of the ivory trade. the re—emergence of this problem was something that was very close to both of us. he launched the first campaign in 1989. we felt if we were going
to go into campaigning, this was going to be the best species to start with. we felt we needed to really may be smash this perception that the elephants were fine, that everything was ok, when it wasn't. we knew from people on the ground that there were big problems. if elephants were being gunned down across the country, you can be sure that those guns were being used on other species as well. it's just that elephants are the easiest to see because nobody can carry away the whole carcass of an elephant. we felt we had to start with elephants, but it was not for the sake of elephants alone, it was to launch a new approach, which was campaigning for wildlife in africa. ,., . ~ was campaigning for wildlife in africa. ., africa. going back to whether ou africa. going back to whether you thought _ africa. going back to whether you thought you _ africa. going back to whether you thought you were - africa. going back to whether you thought you were in - africa. going back to whether you thought you were in a - you thought you were in a positive trajectory, it is tempting to buy the positives and find something positive in the elephant story, especially in kenya. you are now back to
30,000, the government claims victory against the poachers. the number of poachers, they say, that are being prosecuted is way down because much less coaching is happening in the country. would you send a message to the world saying, elephants in kenyan represents what we can achieve it when we really work together as conservationists, as law enforcers to get serious about conservation?— conservation? absolutely. it wasn't easy- _ conservation? absolutely. it wasn't easy. the _ conservation? absolutely. it| wasn't easy. the government initially were not interested initially were not interested in hearing there was a problem. we had to learn how to communicate and bring on board the different government agencies. stopping the poaching meant dealing with the police, the kenyan wildlife service, seaports, road authorities, all kinds of different partners, including international organisations. i would say that
challenge, fighting poaching and the trafficking of ivory was easy compared to the kind of challenges we're facing now. our enemies now are very 0ur enemies now are very difficult people to wrap your hands around. they are people producing food. how do you call that person an enemy, you cannot commit a person to jail, right? the challenge is so much more difficult as it is important we win hearts and minds about nature but we also address things from the highest level, the land use strategy of my country is not aligned to the conservation strategy. and thatis the conservation strategy. and that is why we are seeing mega— farms and conservation. that is why we are seeing mega- farms and conservation.- farms and conservation. what ou are farms and conservation. what you are saying _ farms and conservation. what you are saying is _ farms and conservation. what you are saying is so _ you are saying is so interesting. i wonder if you regret the degree to which you have held out the hand of friendship and alliance to the political leadership in your country? canyons, more than anybody else will remember that you were friendly with the president's wife as you launch this campaign. we are pleased
that the president undertook the photo opportunity and burned hundreds of tonnes of ivory in front of the tv cameras. in a sense you helped him deliver a message that he and his government are carers about conservation. i maybe that isn't quite the truth? i don't have any regrets, i don't have any regrets. i don't have any prominent friends all prominent enemies in this business, we have to work with what we have. the president of canyou has gone out publicly, internationally and stated his commitment for this country. he was at the united nations general assembly last year and he said kenyan had made some bad decisions. he said we are developing our country at the cost of the environment and thatis cost of the environment and that is not sustainable. he made a commitment that can yet would end the extinction of species within ten years by making sure it was not business as usual, but all businesses
have to align themselves to sustainability. when you go down the ranks to the various agency, whether it is roads and transport infrastructure, agriculture, we are not seeing that message getting picked up and that is where we have the challenge. that has a lot to do with the systems, the priority with the systems, the priority with which environment is listed in our budget and decision—making. and the president's development agenda doesn't include... that is the very _ agenda doesn't include... that is the very point _ agenda doesn't include... that is the very point i _ agenda doesn't include... that is the very point i am - agenda doesn't include... that is the very point i am trying to make. you have a president government in kenyan who are committed to long—term growth through industrialisation in your country. and industrialisation, as he sees it, is prioritising infrastructure, new roads and rail, new energy supplies, all of these initiatives which are threatening those wild spaces
which he has spent your whole career trying to protect. isn't it time you spoke out long and loud against the priorities and strategy of your own government?- strategy of your own covernment? , ., , , government? yes, absolutely. i totall , i government? yes, absolutely. i totally, i totally _ government? yes, absolutely. i totally, i totally agree _ government? yes, absolutely. i totally, i totally agree with - totally, i totally agree with you. we do have to speak out and we have to speak out with a unified voice. the message cannot be that we don't have development. that is not a message that will win any support, anywhere in africa, frankly. we have to find a solution that serves both the development aspirations of kenyan and african countries, as well as the survival of our countries. when i say we are trying to save and preserve these wilderness areas, it is notjust because i love the beatles, the butterflies and the trees. no, these are the life systems, these are the source of fresh water, the source of fresh water, the
source of fresh water, the source of pollinators, the water services that all of these ecosystems provide. i understand that sort of holistic approach, but i would understand canyons who, rememberfor understand canyons who, remember for example, you opposed the new rail line that went to nairobi national park and you said it was a terrible mistake. you opposed a big hotel development for the national park, which you said was a terrible mistake. you opposed in a high—profile music festival in one of the national parks, he said it was a terrible mistake. these arejob generators and economic growth generators. your average kenyan might be interested in that than protecting the butterflies?- than protecting the butterflies? . ., butterflies? what i am saying is, we butterflies? what i am saying is. we do _ butterflies? what i am saying is, we do need _ butterflies? what i am saying is, we do need to _ butterflies? what i am saying is, we do need to have - butterflies? what i am saying is, we do need to have all - butterflies? what i am saying is, we do need to have all ofl is, we do need to have all of those things, we just don't need them inside our protected areas. our protected areas are called protected areas because they are meant to be protecting
they are meant to be protecting the wildlife and nature inside them. i think the government is making serious mistakes by putting railways, power lines, pipelines and roads into our national parks. i will continue to shout and scream from the mountain tops about that. the parties, the raves at the concert inside the protected areas, by speaking out about that has got me into so much trouble, i am that has got me into so much trouble, iam banned that has got me into so much trouble, i am banned from the national park right now, because i took the government to court on that issue. as a result, the general public got to know that vultures in kenyan are critically endangered and putting a concert inside this area was going to contribute to that problem. i area was going to contribute to that problem-— that problem. i try to check out whether _ that problem. i try to check out whether you _ that problem. i try to check out whether you are - that problem. i try to check out whether you are truly . that problem. i try to check l out whether you are truly and officially banned under a lot officially banned under a lot of officials in kenyan where confused about this claim. as one of kenyan�*s most famous conservations, you are barred from any national park? there was a public — from any national park? there was a public count _ from any national park? there was a public count in - from any national park? there was a public count in nairobi l was a public count in nairobi national park and i was listed
as one of the volunteers. i got as one of the volunteers. i got a call and i was told he will not be allowed into the park, so we advise you not to come because you will embarrass the team you will be working with. this is the kind of thing that sadly happens in my country, they will put it in writing, they will put it in writing, they won't make it public, they will humiliate you, they will in a way, send a message to anyone else also dares to challenge the system. you know, the idea of building hotels in the idea of building hotels in the same national park they are doing the game count in, is contrary. they don't want me to see the structure is already being built inside the national park. being built inside the national ark. , �* , park. isn't the problem here, ou park. isn't the problem here, you want _ park. isn't the problem here, you want wildlife _ park. isn't the problem here, you want wildlife to - park. isn't the problem here, you want wildlife to roam - park. isn't the problem here, | you want wildlife to roam free and to pursue their migration routes around kenya and neighbouring countries as if noble borders existed, as if
transport infrastructure wasn't necessary. but the truth is, without fences, without barriers, it is impossible to see how you can have completely peaceful and happy coexistence between humans and wild animals across kenyan and large parts of africa? ., , across kenyan and large parts of africa?— of africa? no, it is very simple. _ of africa? no, it is very simple, fenced - of africa? no, it is very simple, fenced the - of africa? no, it is very i simple, fenced the people of africa? no, it is very - simple, fenced the people in, don't offence the animals n. is that what your people in kenyan want to hear, they should be fenced in and the animal should be allowed to roam free across millions of hectares? you be allowed to roam free across millions of hectares?— millions of hectares? you will be amazed — millions of hectares? you will be amazed at _ millions of hectares? you will be amazed at how— millions of hectares? you will be amazed at how many - millions of hectares? you will. be amazed at how many people have put their land aside for conservation. 160 landowners have doubled the real estate for conservation in the last ten years. this is not small, it is significant areas of land that are now set aside by people who are not rich. why are they doing it? they have a
strong, traditional and cultural connection to the land and the animals on it. they want to maintain their lifestyle. this is something the government should be grabbing with both hands. by securing this land you are securing this land you are securing carbon, water sources and biodiversity. that is the asset and opportunity we need to grab. the development doesn't have to destroy the protected areas. let doesn't have to destroy the protected areas.— doesn't have to destroy the protected areas. let me tell ou a protected areas. let me tell you a story _ protected areas. let me tell you a story from _ protected areas. let me tell you a story from my - protected areas. let me tell l you a story from my hardtalk protected areas. let me tell - you a story from my hardtalk on the road visit to zimbabwe, i went to a national park, one of the most successful elephant conservation areas in africa. there are now up to 40,000 elephants, too many elephants. when they suffered a terrible drought, the elephants roam to far and wide beyond the national park, they went into villages, eight crops and trampled to death several villagers. i heard from those local people but they couldn't
tolerate this invasion of the elephants. and that, particularly at a time when climate change is challenging so much of africa's farming, it is going to be a very long—term challenge? is going to be a very long-term challenge?— challenge? absolutely. these challenges — challenge? absolutely. these challenges are _ challenge? absolutely. these challenges are not _ challenge? absolutely. these challenges are not without i challenges are not without their solutions. yes, we will have problems, we have malaria, we have so many other challenges and we will not solve any of them overnight. but if you go to central kenyan you will see amazing initiatives where landowners are taking down the fences between each other to allow the animals to return to their traditional migratory routes. i think that is something really helpful and wonderful that that is happening in the country and the wildlife numbers are increasing. in other areas, where you have human habitation right up against conservation, you will have a problem. you have to have buffer zones and you have to have corridors. in
central kenya, they have created a very simple system of fences that are designed to funnel the elephant so they can cross the road safely and between two great mountains without going's farms. it is simple and logical. if you understand the animals, you can work with them in what they want to do. it is not rocket science, it takes a little bit of commitment, some money and some good people with good ideas. ~ . ~ ., ., ideas. we talked earlier about our ideas. we talked earlier about your attitude _ ideas. we talked earlier about your attitude to _ ideas. we talked earlier about your attitude to the _ ideas. we talked earlier about your attitude to the powers i your attitude to the powers that be in politics, what about business as well? i am very mindful in the last month and over the last several years, a number of very active conservationists in kenya have been threatened, intimidated and in several cases, murdered. the police have neverfound and in several cases, murdered. the police have never found the culprits, but it seems very credible they were murdered for their activism and their determination to try to halt
development in virgin, natural areas. do you feel yourself to be at risk?— be at risk? yes, i do. i think many of _ be at risk? yes, i do. i think many of us _ be at risk? yes, i do. i think many of us are _ be at risk? yes, i do. i think many of us are at _ be at risk? yes, i do. i think many of us are at risk. - be at risk? yes, i do. i think many of us are at risk. it - be at risk? yes, i do. i think many of us are at risk. it is. many of us are at risk. it is dangerous to speak out in a country where your work, although it is aligned to national priorities, it is not really protected by the police service. so, yes, i do think my life could be at risk. i will not say i have been threatened recently, i have in the past. i am guessing what happened in july gave you pause when a long—term conservationist, she was determined to halt development in a wetland area, she was murdered. as far as i am aware, the police investigation has uncovered no suspects, no culprit. there has nobody been held to account, do you think there is a law
enforcement problem, commitment problem from those in power? you know, itried problem from those in power? you know, i tried to find out what the status of the investigation is. i am ashamed to say there is nothing to show for the investigation. i think, like so many of these things, if they are not investigated very quickly and if action isn't taken straightaway, the leads go cold. it would be such a shame ifjoanna died in vain. there is a group of us working very hard to maintain her name and her legacy, by securing that forest and creating a memorial to her that all children, there will even be a book for children to help them understand this. we don't want people to be silenced by fear that somebody could come and gone you down in broad daylight and there would be no repercussions. we want people to be bold and courageous and fight for what is right. that
is the only way we are going to say what is left of this bio diversity kenyan has. the pessimist _ diversity kenyan has. the pessimist would - diversity kenyan has. the pessimist would say - diversity kenyan has. the pessimist would say the fight is over in the fight is lost. richard lecky said he doesn't see much prospect of kenyan wildlife surviving beyond 2050. what a depressing and bleak prospect, do you share that? no, i don't share that view. i think richard has his reasons for his beliefs, but don't forget, he has also believed in the past that things are beyond repair... ilia: the past that things are beyond reair... , ., ,., repair... his reasons are the ones we _ repair... his reasons are the ones we have _ repair... his reasons are the ones we have touched - repair... his reasons are the j ones we have touched upon, repair... his reasons are the - ones we have touched upon, the government is committed to an industrialisation growth first strategy, that the population of kenya, over 50 million is set to reach 90 million by 2050. basic facts, there is no room for the wildlife you have spent your life trying to
defend and conserve? i don't believe that. _ defend and conserve? i don't believe that. i _ defend and conserve? i don't believe that. i think- defend and conserve? i don't believe that. i think the - believe that. i think the protected areas are secure. we have to defend them, we will have to defend them, we will have to defend them, we will have to work at that. but the success will be in how we prevent them from becoming islands, but we actually ensure every protected area has a buffer zone, every protected area has a bufferzone, has every protected area has a buffer zone, has a community of people who are working to support it and benefiting from that support. and these protected areas are collected because wildlife is migratory. we have seen amazing changes, we have seen history turned back. the elephant story is such a good example. why not gazelles, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, they can come back, all of them can come back as long as we maintain and secure the real estate they need and maintain those habitats. to me, the problem is so simple it is so frustrating that people cannot see it and don't invest
in it. it is notjust a kenyan heritage, it has a global heritage. kenyan has more antelope species in the world. we need help. with your passion and positivity, we are going to end the interview. thank you very much forjoining me on hardtalk, thank you. hello there. western scotland was the warmest part of the country on tuesday and it will be again on wednesday. we had cooler, cloudier conditions in some parts of the country, mind you, particularly here in the midlands, and that cloud is still around in the same place at the moment. high pressure still in charge, keeping it dry, but we've got
more cloud coming down across the north sea that'll push further inland during the day. but we start with some mist and fog patches in scotland and northern ireland, then the sunshine comes out in many areas. there's the cloud coming in off the north sea, into eastern england, through the midlands and towards parts of wales. and we'll have more cloud again across the northern isles of scotland, but also, cloudier skies in the northeast of mainland scotland, perhaps even into the borders as well. elsewhere in scotland, the sun will be out and it's going to be warm — 26 degrees again around glasgow. and in the sunshine in northern ireland, 24 celsius. could make 24 in cumbria as well. cloudier, cooler weather, though, for northeast england through lincolnshire, the midlands, into east wales, but also for east anglia. sunshine more likely across southern counties of england, though in the southeast, it's still quite a chilly wind blowing, and we've got all this cloud coming further inland during the evening. so, a lot of cloud, i think, at headingley for the first day of the test match. it's going to be dry. it'll be dry for day two on thursday, but it will feel quite a bit cooler.
now, we saw all the cloud in the north sea. it's actually on that weather front there, very weak. it's pushing inland during wednesday night. a little light rain or drizzle here and there, and by the time we get to thursday morning, it's cloudy and damp across wales and the southwest. but the cloud should thin and break. sunshine comes out across many western parts of the uk, but there'll be more cloud blown in by a strong wind off the north sea into eastern scotland for a while, but more especially across eastern parts of england. and here, temperatures may be no better than 16 or 17 degrees. further west in the sunshine, it will be warmer, although not quite as warm as wednesday. with that weather front out of the way by the end of the week, we still have high pressure in charge. still a cool breeze coming in around some of those north sea coasts, and we'll see some cloud developing, particularly inland across england and wales on friday. more in the way of sunshine for scotland and northern ireland, and the weather should brighten up a bit more across east anglia and the southeast. but temperatures are going to be near 18—20 celsius at the end of the week.
this is bbc news: i'm sally bundock with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. president biden says the us is on course to complete the evacuation mission in afghanistan by his deadline of next tuesday. each day of operation brings added risk to our troops, but the completion by august 31 depends upon the taliban continuing to cooperate. at kabul airport — as the taliban now say no more afghans will be allowed there — there's continued desperation. in other news — a crucial court rulings expected in brazil that could have a dramatic impact on both lives and landscape.