Press Release

AWF and US-based Foreign Policy Magazine Highlight African-Led Conservation in Podcast Series and Virtual Event

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Foreign Policy (FP) and African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) have partnered to educate and guide global leaders, policymakers, and the public about African conservation and how the continent’s biodiversity and “green infrastructure” is crucial, not only to Africa, but to the planet’s survival.

Africa is home to 30 percent of the world’s biodiversity, one-third of the world’s fresh water, and vast forests that absorb massive quantities of CO2. The Congo Basin, spanning six countries in Central Africa, is considered the second “lung” of the planet, and is essential to maintaining global climate stability.

Africa desperately needs development, but it also has the possibility to leapfrog ahead and industrialize using green energy. Historically, conservation in Africa focused on protecting animals, often forcing Africans off their land. Animal populations in many countries increased substantially, but so has human-wildlife conflict.

The world needs Africa to maintain its biodiversity for the health of the planet, but Africans need to develop and to negotiate space between wildlife and people. For African conservationists, people must be at the center of conservation if it is to be successful.

The FP/AWF collaboration includes a limited series podcast, a synthesis report, and virtual dialogue:

• The second season of the “Africa Forward” podcast, produced by FP Studios and AWF will be released October 19, 2022. This season challenges the Western model of conservation and explores green infrastructure.

“A People-Centered Approach to Conservation,” produced by FP Analytics, summarizes and distills insights from the first IUCN African Protected Areas Congress (APAC) held in Kigali, Rwanda, in July.

“The Future of Conservation,” a virtual dialogue hosted by Foreign Policy, in partnership with AWF, on December 7, 2022, will feature leading voices in conservation, including former Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn; former World Bank Executive Director Paulo Gomes; and Kaddu Kiwe Sebunya, CEO of the African Wildlife Foundation.

“We are the custodians of a world heritage, but it's owned by the global community,” Sebunya, AWF CEO, says in Season 2 of the “Africa Forward” podcast. “And Africans are so accepting of that idea.”

The FP/AWF collaboration aims to get global leaders to fully appreciate threats facing Africa’s natural areas, as well as the opportunities that Africa’s tremendous biodiversity can bring to the fight against climate change and sketches a roadmap for policies and actions that will preserve the continent and the planet’s climate.

“As the world industrialized, it destroyed its nature, but Africa still has 30% of the world’s biodiversity,” Carol Pineau, host of the “Africa Forward” podcast, said. “International conservation has been dominated by Western voices, but African conservationists are blazing a new path forward.”

To learn more about each part of the FP/AWF collaboration, click below and register for the virtual dialogue:

Podcast: “Africa Forward”

Synthesis Report: “A People-Centered Approach to Conservation”

Virtual Dialogue: “The Future of Conservation”

About African Wildlife Foundation

The African Wildlife Foundation is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and their habitats as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 during the African independence movement in order to build our capacity to steward our natural resources, AWF articulates a uniquely African vision, bridging science, education, public policy, and field programs to demonstrate the benefits of conservation and build a future for Africa where people and wildlife thrive.