Hear our voices
Our conservation successes and lived realities are not 'myths'
Our conservation knowledge, experiences, viewpoints and aspirations must feature in debates affecting our lives
Fishing is an important source of sustenance and livelihoods for us who live alongside southern Africa's watercourses
Hunting, fishing, sale of wild products and tourism supplement our livelihoods beyond agriculture
Successful conservation is dependent on us who live with our valued wildlife
Our natural resource heritage broadens tourism employment opportunities for young women and men
Daily chores like fetching water can pose dangers from elephants invading fields and predatory hyenas and lions
Children and adults alike are killed by elephants in fields and predators like hyenas
Rural and urban youth engagement is key to the future of nature and biodiversity
Rural development must prioritise investment in youth to boost economic resilience
Income from sustainable use of natural resources contributes to our children's access to health and education
In the absence of sustainable natural resource use rights, the alternative is land uses that destroy our treasured landscapes and wild resources.
Economic and social justice demand that ownership, access and use rights of natural resources are accorded regardless of gender, age or location
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Resource Africa supports rural African community efforts to secure their rights to access and use their natural resources in order to sustain their livelihoods. We help to build strong platforms for collaboration, knowledge, skills sharing, and joint advocacy to ensure community voices are heard in debates that materially affect their lives.

We believe that when rights are upheld and incentives for conservation are provided to those who live with wildlife there will be positive conservation outcomes benefitting people and nature.  

Our Work

Our News Our Voices

News, Videos, Podcasts and Webinars, Open Letters, Statements, and Opinion Pieces from the members of the Community Leaders Network, Resource Africa Partners and Affiliates, Youth Voices and Contributing Writers.

REsource Africa CEO Lesle Jansen

Leslé Jansen appointed RA Southern Africa CEO

Resource Africa is excited to announce the appointment of Leslé Jansen, our new Chief Executive Officer for Resource Africa Southern Africa. A lawyer specialising in Indigenous Peoples in International Law, Ms. Jansen brings to RA over 15 years' experience working with local communities on resource and related rights as these relate to environmental and social justice across southern Africa. She brings a wealth of experience and insight to RA from her perspective as a South African who identifies as indigenous, as a lawyer skilled at negotiation and policy, and her knowledge of the southern African region in particular, and indigenous and local communities across the African continent.

“It is partly my indigenous identify that drew me to law and specifically to indigenous resource rights. This is where I have spent the last eight years to ensure indigenous peoples get recognition in some form from their knowledge, which was, and in some cases continues to be appropriated,” she says. 

A major milestone in her career was, as one of a team of two lawyers, supporting a coalition of around 40 communities in South Africa to lay claim to high value traditional resource species such as Rooibos, and a share of the benefits. This was done in the context of the Nagoya Protocol policy framework on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

“Their [indigenous communities’] knowledge contributed to build successful industries. They were never recognised for this,” she says. The result was that key industries were brought into compliance with the Protocol and, as a form of restitution for some, the industry will pay a generational traditional knowledge levy to the communities who will set up community trusts to determine how the benefits will be shared and distributed. This has set a key precedent for other communities across the continent and the world. 

Ms Jansen has a strong commitment to Africa and African issues, particularly as they relate to the spiritual, material and cultural meaning of the continent’s resources to its people that the world has benefitted greatly from. She is an indigenous expert member to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ special mechanism – the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa. 

“RA aligns very well with my personal ethos and what I hope to do in the world. I hope to learn in terms of their work with the struggles of communities for their resource rights. I want to add my weight in these struggles. I see it as a way of weaving the tapestry back in a way that communities can benefit from their resources and knowledge that they offer the world,” says Ms Jansen.

Let Africans Decide

In the latest of Resource Africa’s series Let Africans Decide video series, Moreangels Mbizah, a member of the Community Leaders Network, reflects on her journey in wildlife conservation – from Zimbabwe’s Lowveld to Oxford University and back.

In the Media

Recent media coverage about conservation, COVID19, biodiversity, sustainable use, CBNRM, indigenous and local community rights.

Calendar 2021

World Wildlife Day 2021


Over 800 million people live in tropical forests and savannahs in developing countries. Indigenous and rural communities have a particularly close relationship with these natural systems. They rely on them to meet their essential needs, from food and shelter to energy and medicines, but they also maintain a strong personal, cultural and spiritual relationship with these environments. Indigenous peoples and local communities are also historic custodians of the planet’s most important reservoirs of biodiversity, including forests.



International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the cultural, economic, political and social achievements of women. enlighten and empower women and girls worldwide to choose to challenge stereotypes and oppose bias to help create the change we want to shape a fairer future in a more inclusive and gender equal world.

This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge As women we can be stronger and more powerful when we work together.


Location: Kunming, China

In spite of the ongoing efforts, biodiversity has continued to deteriorate worldwide, and this decline is only projected to worsen in the years to come. To prevent this, and ensure that the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity is integrated into policies that will guide the post-pandemic economic and developmental recovery plans, governments from around the world will convene at the UN Biodiversity Conference in May 2021. The event will see the setting of new goals for nature over the next decade, through the Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 framework process. It will also involve the planning of broad-based action to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity and to ensure that by 2050, the shared vision of living in harmony with nature is fulfilled.

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