Global Activism: Bridging the Gap Between Sustainable Development and Environmental Conservation

December 17, 2009

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This is the snail pen used to farm snails in Cameroon. Photo provided by Mike Skuja.
It's Thursday, and time for our Global Activism series. Each Thursday we hear about an individual who's decided to work to make the world a better place. Mike Skuja knew he wanted to be an environmentalist since he was a kid. It was all those camping trips he took with his dad. So as an undergrad he went to East Africa to study the wildlife. While he was there, he says, he realized that the people living in the villages weren't just a backdrop to the magnificent animals. They depended on the wildlife for their livelihoods.

That's why he started the Center for Rural Empowerment and the Environment, known as CREE. The organization works to find practical solutions to help bridge the gap between sustainable development and environmental conservation. Mike says here in the West we love take trips to Africa to see the lions and other big game animals, but for people who live alongside them, it's a very different relationship.