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  • ARUSHA Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Jersey , Tanzania, Nov.20 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has teamed up with Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) in executing a special project which is aimed at reducing wild carnivores' attacks on livestock in northern part of the country.

    Simon Mduma, director general of TAWIRI John Henson Jersey , said on Thursday that the project is reinforcing the Maasai kraals against the ferocious beasts that have been attacking people and livestock in Longido district.

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    Longido District Commissioner James Ole Millia said for many years the Maasai have been living in harmony with wildlife, sharing grazing lands and water holes with the nomadic people's livestock.

    He however linked climate change as among the key factors that led to diminished resources which means people, livestock and wildlife are compelled to scramble for whatever is available.

    "..and when carnivores like lions Chris Copeland Jersey , hyenas and leopards jump over the fencing into Maasai kraals at dusk, attacking and stealing livestock therein, the Maasai would later retaliate by setting out with weapons to hunt down those wildlife species Customized Milwaukee Bucks Jerseys ," he said.

    "Among the major impacts of climate change is its influence on human-wildlife-livestock interface where the three parties get adversely affected while the surrounding environment somehow also gets to suffer the consequences," said Maurus Msuha, one of the researchers at TAWIRI.

    UNDP through TAWIRI has hatched a novel approach for reducing livestock attacks in Maasai land under the new project known as "Adaptation to Climate Change through Improvement of Livestock Management Practices and Managing Human-Wildlife Conflict to Reduce Deforestation and Predator Attacks in Longido District."

    The Maasai bomas are now being rebuilt using acacia logs and wire meshed fencing to inhibit penetration of large and small predators into the enclosures Cheap Milwaukee Bucks Jerseys , ensuring safe passage through the night for livestock.

    Since the fencing will now be permanent, forests and other natural bushes will be saved from harvest because old hedges had to be frequently replaced which called for regularly cutting down of bushes and trees to renew the traditional hedges.

    Carnivores like lions, leopards have been falling onto the sharp ends of Maasai spears when they attack cattle and goats in their whole-meat menus when other wild herbivores become scarce.

    by Xinhua writers Yuan Quan, Jia Zhao

    BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Zhang Kuo, 58, forever associates his art with Chairman Mao Zedong.

    In the 1970s, when he was a middle school student, houses and streets in Beijing were posted with woodcut prints of the "great helmsman" during Spring Festival.

    He was fascinated by the traditional folk art, but dared not try at that time, because any mistake on the Chairman Mao portrait could incur "anti-revolutionary" accusations.

    Forty years later, he is now known as "the last master of Beijing's woodcut New Year prints."

    The art - "nianhua" - dates back more than 600 years to when people put woodcut prints on doors and walls, and the gates of palaces, to ward off devils or express good wishes in traditional festivals.

    Subjects varied from place to place, but Beijing natives preferred pictures of gods, heroes, ancestors, folk tales and Peking operas.

    Zhang's family lived in a hutong alley near the Forbidden City. He learned carpentry, including woodcutting, from a neighbor at a young age, before being employed as a truck driver on road construction projects.

    In 2007, he travelled to Shaanxi and Henan provinces, where he found local woodcut print artists still thriving. Zhang was inspired, and determined to return to the craft.

    He bought wood and spent months in libraries and antique shops, seeking traditional prints, books, and carving knives. He rented a small house as his studio in a hutong in downtown Beijing.

    Woodcut printing has four steps. He usually sketches a picture on a piece of paper before carving it on a set of boards. He paints the boards in different colors. Lastly, he presses a piece of paper to the board to print the picture. In bygone days, the steps were sometimes done by different craftsmen, but Zhang does them all himself.

    For a decade, he has spent hours each day carving, often forgetting to eat.

    His early work drew little attention. For a long time, he sold two or three paintings a month, each priced just 20 yuan. He earned a living from running a restaurant.

    Machine-made prints sell much cheaper and faster, but Zhang is unfazed by the competition. He comforts himself with a Chinese saying: "Soft fire makes sweet malt."

    Though woodcut prints bring in little money, he is rewarded with skill, joy and contentment.

    In the past, woodcut printing was a low-paid job. Industrialization made the skills rare and the craftsmen more respected. Zhang's story has been covered in newspapers and books, and attracted a lot of attention on social media.

    He and his wife are frequently invited to demonstrate at temple fairs and exhibitions. Last year, he was invited to teach at primary and middle schools to inspire the next generation's interest in the traditional art, which was added to China's intangible cultural heritage list in 2006.

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