Kigali, Rwanda: WWF in Africa has, today 21st July, 2022 launched its “Strategic Plan for Africa: 2021 – 2025” – a call to move beyond business as usual and make nature everyone’s business. The launch took place at the Africa Protected Areas Congress – APAC, happening at the Kigali Conference Centre in Rwanda.
This strategic plan fits with the objective of the Africa Protected Areas Congress – taking place in Kigali, Rwanda, this week – to position Africa’s protected and conserved areas within the broader goals of economic development and community wellbeing.
WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini said, “APAC presents us with a unique opportunity to bring everyone together to reconnect after what seems like far too long in isolation – to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of protected and conserved area conservation in Africa and make progress towards a collective vision and a clear way forward. WWF’s new Africa strategy – nested in WWF’s global conservation strategy – provides a framework for strengthening how we work together in the region, both within WWF and in partnership with all relevant stakeholders, from governments to businesses and investors, organized civil society, youth, Indigenous Peoples and local communities.”
WWF Africa’s new strategic plan provides a framework for consolidating the organisation’s work in the region and leveraging the outcomes of the critical APAC conference to strengthen conservation in Africa. The two impact areas of this strategy – Shared Space, that ensures co-existence between people and nature and Making Nature Everyone’s Business. debunking the myths that conservation and nature are the reserve of an elite few – have been echoed throughout the Africa Protected Areas Congress.
Alice Ruhweza, WWF Africa Region Director, said: “The urgency of meeting the needs of people and the planet sustainably has never been greater. Both are facing enormous pressures and hold significant promise too. But these pressures can not be overcome, or these promises realized, by one person or one organization alone. We must embrace these challenges and opportunities together – with diversity as our strength – a collection of voices across communities, countries, sectors and political perspectives coming together as one voice for people and planet.”
Building on WWF’s work at country, landscape, regional and global levels, WWF’s strategy leverages the power of people to transform lives and landscapes. Through ensuring coexistence in shared spaces, transforming Africa’s balance sheet, and an integrated and inclusive whole-of-society approach, we are committed to working together to transform the conservation narrative in Africa. To achieve this, we will create space for genuine discussion and learning, reach across boundaries to ensure voices are heard, strengthen our partnerships with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs), the private sector, governments, and civil society and implement robust environmental and social safeguarding frameworks
Ms Ruhweza added: “There is hope. Today there is unprecedented interest in nature. Individuals, communities, and governments are coming together across Africa to achieve net zero and reverse biodiversity loss. To build a better future for Africa.
“The challenges and opportunities for conservation in Africa – at scale – have never been greater.”
The WWF Africa Strategy 2021 – 2025 is available for download here and the summary here.
Notes to Editors
For media queries and interview requests, contact:
Susannah Birkwood: email@example.com; +447717430163
Rose Thuo: firstname.lastname@example.org
WWF spokespeople on the ground in Kigali include Marco Lambertini; Alice Ruhweza; Laurent Some, WWF Africa Head of Policy and Partnership; Margaret Kinnaird – Wildlife Practice Lead, WWF International; and Drew Mcvey – Wildlife Crime Initiative Technical Advisor for East Africa.
The overarching objective of the IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) is to position Africa’s protected and conserved areas within the broader goals of economic development and community well-being and to increase the understanding of the vital role parks play in conserving biodiversity and delivering the ecosystem services that underpin human welfare and livelihoods.
WWF’s engagement in establishing and managing protected and conserved areas has evolved to encompass a wide range of stakeholders, including local and national government, the private sector, local communities and other NGO partners. It includes various issues and approaches, including policy influencing, illegal wildlife trade, human-wildlife conflict, research and monitoring, restoration, ecotourism, law enforcement, and alternative and sustainable livelihoods.
WWF is an independent conservation organisation with over 30 million followers and a global network active in nearly 100 countries. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.