Across the continent conservation and development are perceived as mutually exclusive resulting in development choices with a negative impact on wildlife and wild lands.
The largest and most serious long-term threat to wildlife in Africa is habitat loss and fragmentation. Combining Africa’s population and economic growth with widespread rural poverty and increasing global demand for arable land and natural resources, African governments face significant pressure to allocate more and more land for agriculture, livestock, human settlement, resource extraction, and infrastructure.
The result is a steady decline in the space available for wildlife and habitat fragmentation. This trend threatens Africa’s iconic species and puts at risk Africa’s economic development and human wellbeing by degrading important ecosystem goods and services.
These challenges cannot be stopped through on-the-ground efforts alone. To successfully combat the loss of the continent’s wildlife and habitats, AWF is tackling threats at the highest levels of government, to bolster our efforts at the local level.
As Africa’s oldest conservation organization AWF provides African governments and development partners with relevant information to plan, design and enact policies that support wildlife and wild lands. AWF is uniquely positioned to help articulate and implement a vision for the future of Africa in which wildlife coexists with modern cities, productive farmlands, greater expanded infrastructure, and manufacturing.
For many years we have invested in the interface of Africa where wildlife and wild lands intersect with human beings and human settlements, with a compelling portfolio of practical, on-the-ground projects. These practical on the ground programs have and will continue to help us catalyze change at a national and continental level.
AWF’s goal is to help forge a uniquely African development model that gives wildlife and wildlands a starring role on the stage of Africa’s progress. We believe that Africa’s natural resources are a cornerstone for Africa’s development.
We also believe that conservation and development are intrinsically linked and therefore require an integrated approach. AWF works to provide economic cases for conservation that ensures that wildlife and wildlands are thriving as Africa develops, thereby increasing the flow of ecosystem services from nature.