December 9, 2022

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Business As Usual Will Not Meet Our Conservation Ambitions – WWF

Kigali, Rwanda 21 July 2022: WWF in Africa has today 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 in Kigali, Rwanda this week.

This strategic plan fits with the objective of the Africa Protected Areas Congress 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, which is aimed at ensuring co-existence between people and nature, and Making Nature Everyone’s Business, which is designed to debunk the myth that conservation and nature are the reserve of an elite few, have been echoed throughout the 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, WWF is committed to working with partners, governments and communities 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.

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