Addressing Fundamental Conservation Issues in Africa

 

Riverside Waste_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

We talk about saving the rhino, saving the elephant and the many other species under risk but this cannot be undertaken without realizing that there are some fundamental issues that will need to be addressed for this to happen.

• We have to realize that the most important driver of the poaching crisis is the alienation of local communities from wildlife conservation. 
• Colonial exclusion of Africa’s peoples from decision making around conservation issues has caused many of the problems that we face today in trying to protect Africa’s important and iconic landscapes and species
• We have to address the poverty of communities living in Africa and particularly those living in close proximity of protected areas
• Impoverished rural communities living adjacent to protected areas carry the burden of human/wildlife conflict
• We have to address the land issue, where habitats are being destroyed at an unprecedented rate as a result of development and agriculture
• We must realize that organised crime networks prey upon the impoverished to do their dirty work for them – these networks need to be stopped at their head. Their leaders need to be arrested and stopped!