click photo to jump
to appropriate gallery
Note that there is now a German Karl Ammann website.
Karls present efforts investigating CITES has resulted in a detailed report which provides evidence that CITES is failing to police the trade in live animals of endangered species. The level of fraud and falsification of CITES trade permits has reached a level where illegal trade is actively encouraged by this lack of control. Read this open letter discussing recent developments in Guinea concerning the illegal export of great apes as well as other matters. And as CITES 17th Conference nears read more about its double standards.
Also of note is work resulting in The Conakry Connection: very detailed reporting on great ape smuggling in Guinea that provides insight into the worldwide animal trade. The full report is eye opening. Updates are available.
We now have a Youtube channel where we've posted a number of Karl's remarkable documentaries. Showing, in sometimes graphic and hideous footage, the horrors being perpetrated on animal species on the verge of extinction.
FLASH: The Namibian Chamber of Commerece tells it as it is in angry letter to the Chinese Ambassador about Chinese wildlifee crimes such as a high level of poaching .
FLASH: Christopher Haslett's investigative report has revealed a vast online illicit trade in the great apes. Also revealed is a 'super-smuggler of endangered apes. You MUST read this.
FLASH: Karl asks tough questions about why and how disappearing endangered wildlife species are imported into China and Chang Long Safari World facilities.
FLASH: Karl has just coproduced this unbelievable story about the increasingly barbaric poaching of Rhinos; 333 killed last year!
FLASH: CITES enforcement and double standards in the export of illegal wild trade. The story of the Taiping 4.
FLASH: Karl reveals the story of the Shanghai Eight wherein exported chimps claimed as being captive bred are really illegal wild trade.
NEW!! We have added a photo gallery to expose the raw, horrific nature of the reptile skin trade. Please look over this gallery and let us know your reactions and questions. On the same topic, Karl speaks to the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand on the International Trade in Reptile Skin.
We have also added the poignant story and accompanying gallery "Where did all the Tigers Go?
In 2007 Karl received two prestigious awards that we are very proud of. First, Time Magazine named Karl a Hero of the Environment; people who have given the earth a voice. They credit Karl with almost single-handedly raising awareness of the issue of bush meat; read what else they say about Karl.
Karl was also named as SAB Environmental Journalist of the year in the broadcast category for his documentary The Cairo Connection, which was broadcast on SABC2's 50/50. Also, for this work, Karl was named winner in the Brigitte Bardot International Genesis Award category; this award was presented at the 22nd annual Genesis Awards in 2008. You may read about the 2008 Genesis Award winners. The Cairo Connection looks at the illegal smuggling of primates from Africa. Read the details posted at Environment South Africa! And for 2014 Karl has another SAB Environmental Media & Environmentalist of the Year Award in the Video category.
Karl is one of the world's top environmental journalists - he was awarded the prestigious Dolly Green Award for Artistic Achievement at the Genesis Awards in 1997, for his work on the illegal bush-meat trade in Cameroon. You may read about the 1997 Genesis Award winners.
Here is, in his own words, how Karl came to do this work
"I came to Africa some 30 years ago. What attracted me were the standard stereotypes of wide open spaces, untouched wilderness, the variety of its people and the general mystique, contained in the word AFRICA.
I was fortunate and found most of the above and was able to document some of what I found in a range of books, photographs and documentaries.
However for the last decade I have been in the "comparative mode" - what I found when I arrived and how things have changed. The picture is not a pretty one and extends clearly beyond Africa into other of the less developed continents such as Asia and South America (where I have visited regularly).
I found key eco-systems and species being destroyed, degraded overcommercialized and exploited. I soon concluded that if what was happening to some of the key indicator species and well known protected areas was anything to go by then probably the eco-pessimists, predicting the collapse of some of the planets life support systems, might not be that far of the mark.
Like most wildlife photographers/film makers, I concentrated for two decades on illustrating the beauty and diversity I found out there. It is what sells and it is what supposedly gets people to want to conserve it. However for the last decade I have become increasingly disillusioned with this approach to 'conservation'. Although clearly only a minor component, it was and is not contributing to effecting any real changes. I actually might be doing the opposite, giving viewers/readers a false sense of environmental security.
I felt I needed to go beyond what I call the 'World in Order' imagery and present some of the other sides of the coin. I called it the "2x4 approach" of hitting readers/viewers over the head with some of the harsher realities. To say that it was and is a frustrating task is putting it mildly.
While the print media and its editors were generally more open minded, the worlds documentary outlets were mostly interested in success stories, happy endings and heros. Packaging the three was pretty much an outright sale. Destruction, finger pointing, eco criminals, conservation failure was and is not considered to be 'entertainment' plus it brings into the picture the real editors: the network lawyers which have no problem with the happy ending and success stories.
What was even more distressing was that the conservation establishment seems to be happy to tie in with this approach. Problems are welcome because lots of money can be raised offering 'solutions'. However the fact is that most of these solutions do not seem to be working and nobody seems to be interested in independent audits or establishing if a different approach might be necessary/possible. I call it 'Band Aid Conservation': The natural world is dying of a terminal cancer and all we get to hear is 'write a check we will deal with it.' However this generally is not by accepting the realities and underlying causes and suggesting that maybe time has come for 'radio or chemo therapy'. Rather, it is peddling another rather meaningless band aid in form of another protected area (paper parks), research, pilot, or community conservation project.
Then the internet came along giving people like myself more of an opportunity to voice view points outside this envelope of censorship I found with the mainstream media - albeit talking to a still limited and it would appear already largely converted audience.
So that is where we are and what this web site is all about. I have decided to try to get away from the 'radical extremist' image and offer a feature a wide range of 'World in Order Imagery' alongside some of the photographic material and writings illustrating how my views have evolved in the last decade.
On a somewhat brighter note, it seems that problems like global warming are starting to find 'owners' and are starting to end up on the front pages. A far sighted editor even interviewed me for National Geographic which also expands on the above. It shows we are getting through on some level."
Nanyuki, Kenya August 2006
Copyright © 2016 KarlAmmann.Com All Rights Reserved
All photographs © 2016 Karl Ammann
website by the Goldray Consulting Group