Gray countries with texture denote areas of future engagement.
Wildlife knows no boundaries. So AWF has defined areas across the continent that are critical to conservation. These Priority Landscapes can cover public and private lands alike and often cross borders.
103,268,253 hectares (3,987,190 sq. mi.)
West African giraffe, mountain gorilla, bonobo, chimpanzee, elephant, white rhino, forest elephant, bongo, Congo peacock, colobus monkey, lion, hippopotamus, buffalo, cheetah, leopard,
Savanna, tropical and subtropical forest, grasslands, shrubland
Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. This region has experienced multiple civil wars and the destruction of communities, the environment, and natural resources that come with them.
Creating sustainable livelihoods for its people while putting in place conservation strategies that help preserve the land and its wildlife is critical.
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
War-torn West Africa has experienced severe civil war conflicts since colonial independence. It is predicted West Africans will endure extreme water shortages before the end of this decade.
One of the greatest challenges for Central Africa continues to be deforestation. Home to the second-largest tropical forest in the world, the Congo Basin directly contributes to global climate change. Currently, it is unique in the sheer amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs. Deforestation, on the other hand, releases carbon. Because the Congo Basin is so vast, deforestation here could increase climate change globally if left unchecked. Another challenge for Central Africa is rebuilding after years of civil unrest. Addressing the livelihood and infrastructure needs of millions of people goes hand in hand with conservation.
The remaining West African giraffe population—often called white giraffes because of their light-colored spots—has been crippled, largely because their natural habitat has been degraded over the years by human activity.
The people of West Africa already face a number of challenges, including competition over limited land, and food and clean-water shortages. Due to extremely low rainfall, communities in West Africa are unable to grow their crops in abundance. Many people struggle to get access to clean drinking water. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that more than 1,000 people in this region die every day from unsafe water.
With your help, African Wildlife Foundation can continue working on vital programs like helping West African giraffes thrive by creating ecological buffer zones surrounding parks or reducing deforestation in areas critical to endangered species. Learn more about our projects that will help people, land, and wildlife conservation in Central Africa and West Africa.
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