The African continent is endowed with rich biodiversity and natural resources from which its people derive their livelihoods. Increasingly, the continent’s rapid population growth and need for infrastructure and economic expansion pose threats to its ecological integrity.
The perception that conservation is about the preservation of nature at the expense of the well-being of the people has influenced and shaped conversations about development and the continent’s natural resources.
The good news is that the challenge of linking economic growth to environmental protection and sustainable resource consumption is possible; they need not be mutually exclusive. There are numerous opportunities to safeguard Africa’s natural resources and ensure its economic development.
A group of African leaders in conservation met in December 2017 and decided to form a platform where proponents of conservation in Africa could come together and engage in shaping the discourse around conservation in Africa. Consequentially, the African Conservation Platform was established to promote African leadership and voices to influence policymakers in the African Union and the African Development Bank on sustainable and inclusive future for Africa. The Platform acts as a catalyst in changing the conservation narrative in Africa; making conservation relevant to the African people.