COVID-19 ‘perfect storm’ threatens conservation in Africa
A new report calls for rapid collaborative global action to ensure Africa’s wildlife survives COVID-19’s devastating impact on tourism, threatening jobs and livelihoods for some of the most impoverished communities. It stresses the importance of adopting more resilient conservation models that benefit humans and wildlife for generations.
Published on November 12. 2020 in Africa Geographic the article opens with the observation:
“Much has been said and written about the devastating effects of COVID-19 on global economies, with the inevitable socio-economic impacts on all sectors of life and industry. The situation is not projected to improve any time soon, and for the already underfunded conservation industry in Africa, it spells disaster. A new report by renowned conservationists and scientists examines just how bad COVID-19 could be for Africa’s wildlife and protected areas and what needs to be done to save our wild spaces.
According to the report, Africa has nearly 2000 Key Biodiversity Areas and supports the world’s most diverse and abundant large mammal populations, with wildlife-based tourism generating over $29 billion every year and employing 3.6 million people. 7,800 terrestrial protected areas cover some 17% of the continent, most of which are state-owned but with considerable support from conservation NGOs and the private sector. Expanding conservation efforts on private and community land has seen increased available habitat for wildlife while simultaneously creating buffer zones. Vast transfrontier conservation areas protect wilderness areas across national boundaries.”
This article is a summary of an extensive report, and the full article can be accessed here: “Conserving Africa’s wildlife and wildlands through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond”, Lindsey, P., Allan, J., Brehony P., et al (2020), Nature Ecology & Evolution