Annual Report 2018
For wild landscapes to function and thrive, we need to ensure that people benefit from their existence.
This is why our long-term goal is to realise the ecological, socio-political and economic value of these landscapes.
By effectively managing these parks, we are preserving ecological functions, delivering clean air, healthy watersheds, carbon sequestration, food security, and better health for millions of people. Our model of delivering security not only allows wildlife to thrive but it is the primary foundation for addressing poverty alleviation, creating access to healthcare, education and other social benefits. And, our investments and actions help support national economies through jobs, income generation, tourism returns, taxes, and other means which create a conservation-led economy and builds a support-base for conservation.
As much as people need to benefit from these areas being conserved, these benefits do not just happen. They are strategically planned for and are the result of deliberate interventions which we have resourced and actioned.
But our advancements are only possible because of our partnerships with national governments who entrust us with managing their natural heritage. And this is only realized through the generous funding support we receive from people like you who rightfully expect results from your investments, which are executed with diligence and commitment by our teams in the field. These achievements we’ve been able to make, which are fleshed out in more detail in the report, are your achievements.
From everyone at African Parks we are grateful for your continued commitment to our mission, for remaining steadfast, and staying the course with us to change the trajectory for countless of people who rely on us as a stabilising force, and for paving a better way of life for humans and wildlife alike.
At the close of 2018, African Parks had 15 parks under management in nine countires, covering 10.5 million hectatres (40,540 square miles) and representing seven of the 11 ecological biomes in Africa. This is the largest and most ecologically diverse amount of land under protection for any one NGO on the continent.
Highlights from 2018
- 2018 saw us progress towards our goal of managing 20 parks by 2020. In February we signed a long-term agreement with the Government of Chad to formally manage Ennedi Natural and Cultural Reserve. Mangochi Forest Reserve was also added to the portfolio, a small but significant reserve contiguous to Liwonde National Park. This bought us to 15 parks in nine countries by the close of 2018.
- We kicked off 2018 with a ground breaking partnership with the National Geographic Society, joining us with the Government of Benin, the Wyss Foundation, and the Wildcat Foundation, in announcing a $23.5M joint commitment to support Pendjari National Park in Benin.
- In Chinko, CAR, we managed to keep the 20,000 km2 park free of cattle and associated poaching threats. For the first time in years, we witnessed populations of buffalo, hartebeest, hippo, waterbuck and bushbuck bouncing back. Importantly we saw the return of the 380 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) who were voluntarily relocated and safely reintegrated into their villages.
- In June we commemorated Garamba's 80th Anniversary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was a memorable and moving event, where we symbolically burnt part of Garamba's ivory stockpile. Our revised law enforcement efforts in the park have truly made a difference, as we reduced elephant poaching by 50% in the park in 2017 and in 2018 we saw further success in 2018 as we only lost two elephants.
- In Zakouma we counted a record number of elephant calves - 127 under the age of five years old - in 2011 we counted only one. As a result, the overall elephant population surpassed 560 individuals, which is the first time numbers have been on the rise in decades.
- Tourism surged in several parks, Akagera in Rwanda just exceeded a total income of $2M, a remarkable achievement as this represents 80% of the parks operating costs. Liuwa Plain in Zambia was solidified as a premiere wildlife and tourist destination and was listed as one of the 'top 52 places' to visit in 2018 by the New York Times.
- Several historic translocations were conducted this year. We completed two translocations to Malawi, bringing lions back to Liwonde in August for the first time in 20 years, and introducing a founder population of 13 giraffe to Majete in October.
You Can Help.
Because 100% of funding goes towards the parks, every dollar counts. You can make a difference and help support our work to counter poaching, protect more wild landscapes, and secure a future for Africa's wildlife.