Securing Africa’s vast array of semi-protected areas

Securing Africa’s vast array of semi-protected areas

(c) Bhargava Srivari
Grantee Conservation Capital/Conserve Global
Type Protected Area Management
Location Africa-wide
Grant Amount $1,963,000
Duration 5 years

Intact ecosystems represent a source of present and future wealth for society. Africa has an extensive protected area network that contributes substantially to ecosystem function, landscape connectivity, biodiversity conservation, provision of ecosystem services and economic opportunities for rural communities. Large tracts of this network are, however, under imminent threat of being lost. Much of the network comprises semi-protected areas (i.e. protected areas other than national parks, often with less legal protection) comprising concessions managed by private sector operators for sustainable utilization. Many of these areas have been gradually falling into a state of disrepair due to under-investment and are standing vacant and becoming gradually depleted of wildlife. LRF provided an initial grant to Conservation Capital to develop a plan to help revitalize these areas through attracting diversified conservation investment. This initial work resulted in the formation of a new conservation NGO, Conserve Global, with the focus of bidding for vacant concessions and bringing them under conservation management. In late 2020, LRF issued a major grant of $800,000 to Conserve Global to help kickstart their operations and enable them to bid for their first areas. If Conserve Global is able to gain traction it will have the potential to have a transformative impact on one of the key issues facing lion conservation - the vexing question of how to introduce conservation management to the most neglected parts of Africa’s protected area estate.