The African Parks Model

Mandate to Manage: 100% Accountability

elephant © Jean Labuschagne
Key species are reintroduced to the parks and closely monitored

African Parks pioneered the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model for protected area management, whereby African Parks maintains the full responsibility and execution of all management functions and is accountable to the government, who is the owner and who determines the policy. This is achieved through three approaches: long-term agreements (mandates); putting in place funding solutions (money); and establishing good governance and management, by creating seperate legal entities registered in the host country, with a Board representing key stakeholders (management). 

Once the mandate, money and management are in place, African Parks implements the below five pillars encompassing a multitude of actions that lead to the restoration of protected areas, and ultimately their long-term sustainability. 

The Five Key Pillars of Our Work

  • Law Enforcement
    A foundational component for the long-term sustainability of any park
  • Biodiversity Conservation
    The active management of wildlife and their habitats
  • Community Development
    The process of building constituencies for conservation through economic development
  • Tourism and Enterprise
    Well-managed parks contribute directly to local and national economies
  • Management and Infrastructure
    These are essential for governance and effective park management

Our Key Principles

These guiding principles are essential to the successful long-term management of each protected area. They provide the instrumental foundation in realising these parks’ ecological, social and financial value so, at the end of our management agreement, we hope there is a clear choice to continue to protect that landscape for long-term.

  • Delegation of Management Responsibility
    African Parks requires a clear mandate to take operational responsibility for a protected area, to counter all threats and manage all revenues
  • Long-term Commitment
    We secure on average 20-year management contracts, which are essential for success given conservation is a long-term endeavour
  • Creation and Retention of Revenue
    We create revenue through tourism and associated enterprises compatible with conservation, aiding in the economic development and poverty alleviation, and reducing donor dependence over time.
  • Ecological Rehabilitation
    We actively manage wildlife populations and their habitats, including translocating and reintroducing entire species or individuals to a park to aid in the restoration and ensure healthy watersheds, clean air, carbon sequestration, food security and better health for wildlife and people.
  • Appointment of Management
    Managing protected areas requires expertise and we retain the right to appoint management and to discipline or remove non-performing members. All management is done in accordance with African Parks’ standard operating procedures.
  • Implementation of Governance Structures and Mechanisms
    Good governance is essential for success. Each park is established as a separate legal entity registered in the host country, with a Board of Directors representing partner institutions, key stakeholders and African Parks, and is accountable to the Government.
  • Law Enforcement
    The most critical and foundational component for the long-term sustainability of any park is law enforcement, and it is our top priority. We provide safety and security to the park, surrounding communities and the broader region, which is a pre-requisite for poverty alleviation, economic development and stabilising and increasing wildlife populations
  • Creating a Constituency for Conservation
    Parks are a choice of land-use and local people need to value and benefit from them in order for them to survive. We engage in collaborative decision-making, with local representation on all park Boards, as well as provide a range of social and economic benefits to build long-term support for the park.