Heartland Offers Chance to Test New Conservation Approaches
In the world of wildlife conservation, the Laikipia-Samburu Heartland is truly a land of opportunity.
A starkly beautiful area with an exceptionally wide diversity of wildlife, Laikipia-Samburu is one of four large regions in East Africa identified as African Heartlands by AWF for the purpose of conserving wildlife.
A new partnership formed between an international hotel chain and a village community outside Tanzania's Serengeti National Park assures that local people will share in the profits of wildlife-related businesses established in the area.
The landmark agreement, signed June 9, resolves a protracted legal battle between the South Africa-based Conservation Corps of Africa (CCA) and the Ololosokwan Village Community (OVC) over claims to 25,000 acres of land in the Loliondo buffer zone between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara in Kenya.
Swaziland pastoralists known as Shewula are breaking with tradition by giving over 3,000 hectares of land used for grazing cattle to a large new game reserve. In return, donors are providing funds to build tourism facilities on the land and to train the community in conservation, management and marketing skills.
Rinderpest, a highly contagious bovine plague that has killed millions of Africa's cattle, buffalo and other wildlife in the last century, is finally coming under control.
The disease has been eradicated in West and Central Africa, Pan Africa Rinderpest Control (PARC) experts said at a spring conference in Nairobi, and is contained in most of East Africa.
Although tourism in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga national parks has been hurt by the March 1 rebel attack that killed eight tourists and staff members in Bwindi, visitors are gradually returning to see the mountain gorillas.
Bwindi's facilities have been rebuilt and equipment replaced, and flowers are blooming in the community campground, reports Annette Lanjouw, AWF regional coordinator for the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP). The gorillas have been monitored without interruption; none was harmed in the attack.