As Covid continues to curb visits to see our iconic wildlife, now is the time to move away from western-led funding models
That African governments have failed to mobilise funds to conserve their vast protected areas is not in doubt. Countries were just about managing to pay basic salaries to rangers who barely had enough to put fuel in their patrol vehicles. Covid has exacerbated this already dire situation, with the loss of income from foreign tourism.
The continent has more than 8,500 protected areas, described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as government-led national parks, areas jointly governed by state agencies, communities, privately owned wildlife reserves, and public-private partnerships between governments, companies and NGOs. Included too, are what the IUCN calls “indigenous peoples and communities conserved territories and areas”.