What a great idea! Revitalize and restock old African National Parks often poached to extinction. The challenges are insurmountable but “African Parks” creats Big 5 Game Reserve throughout Africa.
Gain the Political Will of Governments.
Helping them remember how these parks are their heritage, the beauty of nature, the wonder of wildlife, a boost to their economies, and long term help to their people. There are great benefits to a Big 5 Game Reserve.
Sure the parks were a white man’s thing of little interest to African rulers, but now they are beginning to cherish them as well.
Then there are the communities in and around the parks who poached and blundered in the first place. What is in it for them? Why shouldn’t they use what belongs to the people?
Once the community leaders see the benefits they lead even to the point of surrendering guns. Again heritage, beauty, wonder, as well as jobs, scholarships, schools, hospitals, visits to appreciate wildlife, and raising up the children to cherish nature.
20 years is a smart plan. It takes a generation to change attitudes and create a sustainable Big 5 Game Reserve.
How about Obtaining Major Long Term funding for a Crap Shoot.
Can you hear the response? “You want me to trust in a 20 year commitment to unstable Africa for wildlife?” Amazingly, trust in the plan comes from everyone pulling in the same direction with responsibilities and commitments from all parties.
Of course the conservation and business experts onboard easily. Yet remarkably the heads of governments, local communities, and major funding groups are also part of the partnership to regenerate sustainable Wildlife reserves.
Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi is African Parks First Park
Started in 2003 which serves as their model and incubator/refiners of what works.
The Park Manager was busy with a Parliamentary Committee visiting the Park. So we met with Steve, the Extension and Education Officer. A very articulate committed young man who filled us in on specifics that mirrored the following from African Parks website.
“African Parks takes on the direct, long-term management of national parks and protected areas in partnership with governments to save wildlife, restore landscapes and ensure sustainable livelihoods for local communities.”
“The story of Majete is one of severe decline, rebirth and remarkable triumph. When African Parks assumed management in 2003, the park was under-resourced, ill-equipped and devoid of wildlife. Elephants, lions and other major species had all been poached to extinction within the park.”
“We immediately began restocking the reserve with wildlife, and today, as a result of rigorous law enforcement and working closely with the local community, the reserve is home to over 10,000 animals, including the Big Five. As a result of effective management, not one rhino has been poached since 2003 nor one elephant since their reintroduction in 2006.”
“With approximately 140,000 people living around Majete, pressure on natural resources and human-wildlife contact remain ever-present threats. Yet it continues to flourish, maintaining constructive relationships with, and providing tangible benefits to local communities. Now one of Malawi’s leading wildlife sanctuaries, this enigmatic environment is a must see destination for any tourist.”
Their goal is to turn over management to the government in about 12 years if all are ready and all agree. With 9 other parks in various African countries and others in the wings, their model is a great hope for African Wildlife, the communities, and government partnerships.
What a marvelous
concept plan achievement!
Thanks African Parks