AWF works directly with leaders at all levels of government to implement an African vision for development that benefits people and wildlife.
African Wildlife Foundation’s vision is that wildlife and wildlands become seen as fundamental elements of policy agendas by government leaders and the populations that elect them.
Drawing on decades of practical experience and deep networks of African leadership, AWF provides governments and development partners with evidence of the value that wildlife and wildlands can play in achieving their policy agenda. We also connect them to models from around the world that they can use to achieve their development agenda while simultaneously conserving wildlife and wildlands. We then advise governments on the design, implementation, and financing of policies that leverage wildlife and wildlands as assets upon which nations can grow.
Further, we support regional cooperation through economic blocks and within the international conventions. We advise African governments as they work together to harmonize regional policies and implement common programs, ensuring a wildlife-friendly policy is on the table.
On the international stage, we work through the African Union and with partner countries to hold Africa’s trade partners in North America, Europe, and Asia accountable to a global policy agenda that transfers innovation to the continent and does not exploit African wildlife and wildlands for short term gains at the cost of long term prosperity.
Gaining a seat for wildlife at the table.
Decisions taken by governments can undermine highly successful conservation programs. Yet political leaders in Africa rarely take wildlife or wildlands into consideration. All of the challenges facing African wildlife today have policy failure as a contributing factor. Lax enforcement of trade laws, low fines for wildlife crimes, economic incentives to convert land, or poorly planned infrastructure can set in motion human actions that deplete the space available for wildlife or allow wildlife crime networks to thrive.
AWF enables wildlife and wildlands to thrive in modern Africa by:
AWF has been successfully working for over 60 years to plan and implement practical land-use solutions to allow space for wildlife, manage conservation areas, and generate benefits from wildlife-friendly enterprises. We engage directly with leaders from African governments and with Africa’s trade partners to understand the values derived from a balanced approach — and share strategies used around the globe to optimize conservation and development.
Since independence, we have focused on strengthening individual and institutional leadership in Africa. This work has resulted in a deep and influential network of leaders in government with whom we can work to integrate considerations for wildlife and wildlands in local, national, and regional plans. AWF works directly with leaders to understand their overall agenda for a country or regional economic integration, and then introduce innovations that leverage the values derived from the conservation of wildlife and wildlands.
Watch: Learn about Zimbabwe's Biodiversity Economy Report
Healthy ecosystems are essential for economic growth and human well-being. Zimbabwe, with AWF's assistance, has a plan for leveraging biodiversity so people and wildlife thrive.