Given African Parks’ competency and expertise in protected area management, we are securely positioned to achieve 20 parks by 2020. Some key and relevant achievements include:
- African Parks manages 16 parks covering over 12 million hectares, representing seven of the continent’s 11 ecological biomes. This is the largest and most ecologically diverse area in Africa under conservation management for any one NGO in Africa.
- We have established the largest counter-poaching force for a conservation organisation in Africa, with 1,000 rangers and growing. Our rangers are often the only stabilising force in some of the most remote and underserved areas in Africa. In 2018 alone, they confiscated 59,322 illegal wildlife products, removed 16,863 snares and made 797 arrests from across the parks.
- Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi has been transformed from a park once devoid of wildlife, income and staff to now being a ‘Big Five’ park, employing more than 490 people and generating over $560,000 in tourism revenue in 2018. Majete was one of the sources of the historical 500 elephant translocation, whereby 520 elephants and 2,000 game animals were translocated from Majete and Liwonde to Nkhotakota. To date Majete has not lost one rhino or elephant to poaching, and in 2018 the reserve received a founder population of 13 giraffe from South Africa.
- In Chinko in the Central African Republic, we have managed to keep the 20,000 km2 park free of cattle and associated poaching. For the first time in years buffalo, hartebeest, hippo and waterbuck populations are bouncing back. In 2017, 380 people, mainly women and children, fled into Chinko for protection; they were voluntarily relocated back to their homes in 2018 once the violence subsided, and 32 individuals have been hired as transhumance sensitisation officers to help reinforce the boundary of the park.
- Successful law enforcement efforts in Zakouma National Park, Chad, has enabled the elephant population to increase for the first time in over a decade with 560 individuals confirmed in 2018. Since 2013, 24 schools have been built and 6,646 children have received an education. More than 25,000 tourists have visited the park since 2010, 50% were Chadian nationals, and more than $1.7M has been generated through tourism revenue. Today, Zakouma is one of the largest employers in the region.
- Since 2010, Akagera National Park in Rwanda has become ecologically, socially and economically sustainable. In 2015, lions were reintroduced to the park after being poached out in the 1990’s, and the population has since tripled. In 2017, 18 Eastern black rhinoceroses were successfully reintroduced, granting the park its ‘Big Five’ status. As a result of flourishing wildlife populations, tourism in Akagera has increased by 550% since with more than 44,000 tourists visiting the park in 2018, half of whom were Rwandan nationals, generating a record of $2M in revenue making the park 80% self-financing that goes back to the park and local communities.
- In Garamba National Park, often referred to as ground zero in the elephant poaching wars, our 2016 revamped law enforcement strategy has resulted in a 98% reduction in elephant poaching and key wildlife populations are on the rise. With this increased security we have begun to implement a responsible Sustainable Development initiative that will impact more than 100,000 people living around Garamba, delivering reliable electricity, and developing educational, medical and clean water facilities.