In Villages That Relied on Illegal Logging, This Man Is Pushing for Change
The key to stop poaching and logging in protected lands? Offer real solutions for local communities.
When Hans Cosmas Ngoteya, a National Geographic explorer and conservationist from Tanzania, started working in the field four years ago, he didn’t understand why someone would kill wildlife or damage the forests in a national park. (Read more about National Geographic’s newest explorers.)
“Why should someone cut down trees for no reason?” he thought at the time. “Why should someone go and poach for no reason?”
Ngoteya works with villages around Katavi National Park, a large western Tanzanian park that sees less tourism than more well-known destinations like Serengeti. Without tourism, communities near Katavi have limited economic opportunities. Most people rely on livestock for their income—raising cattle outside their small homes and keeping chickens