The conservation of Africa’s natural ecosystems and Her wildlife is, rather obviously, dependent on :

* the protection and management of wild areas;
the socio-economic development of rural communities living with wildlife;
economic enterprise based on sustainable utilisation of wildlife and renewable natural resources; and
* international collaboration to eradicate corruption, illegal harvesting and wildlife trafficking.

It is the practical interpretation and application of these conservation fundamentals that remains diverse, and often divisive. The result, all too frequently, is that resources, desperately needed for so many aspects of the conservation and rural development effort, are squandered in the pit of dogma, egos and, cynically, personal lifestyles built on donor funding.

If wild landscapes and wildlife are to survive in Africa, then communication, collaboration and cooperation between conservation stakeholders; the coordination of their efforts and the logical prioritisation and application of financial, material and intellectual resources, are not negotiable. 

There are some encouragingly successful examples of what needs to be done, being done - the restoration of Gorongosa National Park and the Zambezi Delta in Mozambique, and the efforts of Africa Parks throughout Africa, come to mind. They suggest that there is still a realistic opportunity to reverse the trend of disappearing wild land and wildlife. It does, though, require considerable investment and innovation in dealing with the most fundamental of issues - including, especially, the limitation of human population growth and the transformation of the concurrent, unsustainable demand for land and natural resources.

For the rural communities living with wildlife, or adjacent to wildlife protected areas, that means well-planned and financed land-use and socio-economic development based on their renewable natural resources, particularly wildlife (The African Conservation Investment Imperative). Without these ecologically sustainable and economically viable land use and development options, that include wildlife; those communities will choose alternative paths, and Africa’s wildlife will essentially be consigned to memory in the demand for that land "for the cow and the plough”.

David Peddie
October 2017



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However, I have, as shall be obvious, taken some tongue-in-cheek literary licence in a few descriptions of historical incidents.

Curriculum Vitae                                                   Conservation    Community    Commerce    Culture                                      © David Peddie 2017