Small Grants for Stories on Wildlife Crime in East Africa 

InfoNile together with Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism invites journalists in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda to submit in-depth story pitches on Wildlife Crime and legal interventions in East Africa.

The International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime defines wildlife crime as the taking, trading (supplying, selling, or trafficking), importing, exporting, processing, possessing, obtaining, and consumption of wild fauna and flora, including timber and other forest products, in contravention of national or international law.

Illegal wildlife trade is the fourth largest illegal trade behind drugs, human smuggling, and counterfeiting. This massive illegal industry in wildlife has put innumerable species on the fast track to extinction.

Poorly targeted and misdirected wildlife law enforcement frustrates the efforts of local communities, organizations,  and law enforcement agencies to combat wildlife crime. The media is a very important tool in highlighting crucial action areas for focus in combating wildlife crime.

Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism has developed #WildEye which is a digital GeoJournalism tool that collects and shares data on legal interventions against wildlife trafficking.  #WildEye maps data on seizures, arrests, court cases, and convictions. InfoNile is partnering with Oxpeckers to develop a new #WildEye platform for East Africa, to be launched in 2022.

We want you to:

1. Investigate the key challenges/loopholes/successes/innovations or opportunities in the legal interventions against wildlife trafficking.

2. Use the #WildEye East Africa map to incorporate data in your investigative story.

3. Endeavor to publish your story in your media house by 31st March 2022 after editing and production of data visualizations with InfoNile.

The output 

Your output should be an in-depth story focusing on wildlife crime in East Africa. We are looking for unique angles, humanistic and data-based stories.

Please note that if you receive facilitation to report your story, you will receive assistance in producing graphics, data visualization, and mapping. Stories can be published in other languages but will also be translated into English.

The deadline for submitting your detailed story pitch is 25th February 2022

If you are selected, your story will be part of a project of investigative stories on wildlife crime in East Africa. You will be trained on how to use #WildEye and extract data from it to support your story. Your story will also be published on the platform.

Who are we?

InfoNile is a collaborative cross-border group of environmental “geo” journalists with a mission to uncover critical stories on water issues in the Nile River Basin of Africa through data-based multimedia storytelling. We work on investigative multimedia data journalism projects on critical issues of water and environment across the Nile Basin. Past investigations have included issues of land grabs across the Basin, community-based solutions to wetland destruction in East Africa, and the environmental and health impacts of Sudan’s oil and gas industry. 

Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism is Africa’s first journalistic investigation unit focusing on environmental issues. The unit combines traditional investigative reporting with data analysis and geo-mapping tools to expose eco-offences and track organized criminal syndicates in Southern Africa, and their links across the globe. The unit’s #WildEye tools enable users to track environmental crime across the globe.

This project is supported by the Earth Journalism Network.

How to Apply for the Grant: 

Submit the following to info@infonile.org

  • A proposal outlining your story idea (no more than one page). Proposals should be clearly structured, stating briefly at the outset what the story idea is, followed by how and where the story will be researched, what it aims to reveal or contribute, where you will publish (specific media organizations), and the intended impact of the story. The proposal should also include a plan for incorporating data. Please note how you will use multimedia (video, photos, audio, and graphics along with text). You should also include:
  • A  proposed budget of no more than $300.
  • Your resumé/CV. Please note data analysis skills as it is an important part of this project;
  • Two samples of your past work;
  • Letter of support from your editor(s), stating that your media house(s) will publish / telecast / broadcast your story.
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