In wildlife-rich landscapes, people and biodiversity are equally important.
In many of the continent’s most biodiverse regions, people have co-existed with wildlife for centuries. In these regions, livelihoods are directly dependent on natural resources, but overexploitation in the last few decades is making people and wildlife more vulnerable, increasing conflicts for already depleting resources and even driving illegal poaching of already-threatened wildlife species. As human settlements continue to grow in rural areas, engaging local actors — including community elders, women, and the youth — is absolutely necessary for Africa to meet its social, economic, and conservation goals.
Community-led conservation creates long-lasting benefits.
African Wildlife Foundation partners with local communities to develop strategies for the sustainable use of arable land, forests, water sources, and pastures. This inclusive and participatory approach centers the perspectives of people who have always lived alongside wildlife, utilizing indigenous knowledge to simultaneously restore ecological integrity and drive local prosperity.