Protected Area Management
Protected area authorities battle threats on multiple fronts.
National conservation agencies safeguard ecological wealth in some of the world’s largest, most remote, and politically unstable regions — where rangers and their staff risk their lives every day to protect Africa’s parks and wildlife. Many of these protected areas are vast landscapes that stretch across country boundaries and are home to various wildlife species, threatened by poaching and human-wildlife conflict. Advancing large-scale infrastructure, commercial agriculture, and logging, as well as extractive industries, are encroaching on Africa’s protected areas and buffer zones, putting these important conservation areas at risk.
Supporting Africa’s protected area authorities.
African Wildlife Foundation works in partnership with protected areas across Africa to build their capacity, develop sustainable infrastructure, and streamline — as well as improve — revenue generation.
Resources allocated for biodiversity protection are scarce.
Managing parks takes substantial resources and across Africa, protected area authorities lack adequate resources to effectively manage protected areas. Whether they are tackling armed poaching groups or mitigating human-wildlife conflict, protected area and wildlife management authorities — already operating on meager budgets — are stretched thin. Protected areas are the key tool for biodiversity conservation and ensuring they are effectively managed with adequate equipment, staffing, resources, and capacity is critical. AWF is working with authorities to increase self-generating revenue through strategic tourism development, business planning, and proper investment plans.
Protected area authorities across the continent area seeking long-term partnership on management given technical and financial gaps. African Wildlife Foundation is providing long-term financial and technical support to some of Africa’s most critical protected areas by partnering with Africa’s protected area authorities.
AWF works across Africa, in tandem with authorities, to co-manage protected areas, including a World Heritage Site in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Cameroon, and Democratic Republic of Congo.
To manage Africa’s protected areas as effective conservation zones and quality tourism products, authorities require adequate funding and sustainable sources of revenue.
However, the average shortfall for protected area finance in developing nations is estimated to reach up to US $1.7 billion annually. This management budget gap widens as the impacts of poaching, human-wildlife conflict, and resource extraction deepen across Africa’s biodiversity-rich landscapes, many of them transboundary.
AWF builds the management and technical capacity of protected area authorities to increase revenue from self-generated and market-driven sources, like user rights and entry fees, and thereby reduce dependence on government and donor financing.
To counter poaching and illegal bush meat hunting, law enforcement officers need to be better organized, informed, and equipped than the poachers. AWF’s long history of supporting protected areas with ecological monitoring equipment and training, in addition to infrastructural development, is streamlining anti-poaching patrols in remote landscapes across the African continent.