Resource Africa
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


Are you ready for our exciting new podcast series #LetAfricansDecide, hosted by Moreangels Mbizah. African voices & views on African #biodiversity and conservation starting #AfricaDay 25 May.

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

Mr Masango, from the village of Mahenye in South East Zimbabwe’s Manicaland Province, tells his story of how, over the years, he embraced the idea of safari hunting as a means of food and income to transform his community by combining hunting, photographic tourism and conservation awareness and action. 

Watch ‘A Teacher’s Story’ Part 3 of the ‘Let Africans Decide’ series.

In the Media

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

Calendar 2021

Resource Africa World environment day

5 June WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.

World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5, to remind humans that they are not alone on this planet. There is a huge biological ecosystem that exists and humans survive because of that. The day is celebrated by millions of people and organizations across the globe to share their experiences, challenges, and solutions. The theme for this year will be ecosystem restoration, with a special focus on creating a good relationship with nature. This is our moment. We cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees, green our cities, rewild our gardens, change our diets and clean up rivers and coasts. We are the generation that can make peace with nature. Let’s get active, not anxious. Let’s be bold, not timid. Join #GenerationRestoration

World Oceans Day

The Ocean: Life & Livelihoods

The ocean covers over 70% of the planet. It is our life source, supporting humanity’s sustenance and that of every other organism on earth. The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, it is home to most of earth’s biodiversity, and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030. With 90% of big fish populations depleted, and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. To protect and preserve the ocean and all it sustains, we must create a new balance, rooted in true understanding of the ocean and how humanity relates to it. We must build a connection to the ocean that is inclusive, innovative, and informed by lessons from the past.



The 2021 Desertification and Drought Day to be held on 17 June will focus on turning degraded land into healthy land. Restoring degraded land brings economic resilience, creates jobs, raises incomes and increases food security. It helps biodiversity to recover. It locks away the atmospheric carbon warming the Earth, slowing climate change. It can also lessen the impacts of climate change and underpin a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.Avoiding, slowing and reversing the loss of productive land and natural ecosystems now is both urgent and important for a swift recovery from the pandemic and for guaranteeing the long-term survival of people and the planet.


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