Already vulnerable to a number of natural predators, the kudu now faces loss of habitat due to habitat destruction and poaching. When you support African Wildlife Foundation, you support local communities’ efforts to protect wildlife habitats.
Last weekend I found myself standing in front of more than 50 members of the Limalimo community. We were all marking the official start of construction at Limalimo Lodge, and everyone was very excited.
AWF first launched African Wildlife Capital (AWC) in 2011. In the nearly three years since, AWC has moved quickly and successfully to provide financing to a variety of small and midsize African companies—and, as a result, has been able to provide another way to ensure conservation results on the continent.
The African continent is home to some of the world’s most amazing wildlife and natural wonders. Yet rural communities see little value in their wildlife neighbors, as growth in human population and changing climatic conditions place increasing strain on the continent’s natural resources.
To some African communities, the presence of wildlife is perceived as a threat to their livelihoods. Elephants are crop eating, water tank tipping nuisances. Lions are cattle attacking predators. Routine chores involve the added danger of stumbling upon a hippo or crocodile at the riverbank.
To others, where there is wildlife, they see opportunity. For many African nations, tourism is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors. In fact, Tanzania’s earnings topped 1.88 billion US Dollars in 2013, superseding gold as their number one foreign exchange earner.
AWF has historically used its own, donor-driven capital to support the development of conservation tourism in key areas under threat. While this strategy has proved successful, it also has its limitations.