In Zakouma National Park the elephant population dramatically declined between 2002 and April 2011 from 4,300 individuals to just 454. However since African Parks took hold of the park, poaching has nearly poaching has nearly ground to a halt, with only 11 elephants being killed soon after African Parks took over. Added to this, in 2013 the park saw the arrival of 21 new elephant calves and then 40 new calves in 2014. Elephants migrating into the park, have restored elephant populations to over 1,000; for the first time since the start of this dramatic decline, elephants are back on the increase.
Africa is in the process of losing the few remaining representative examples of its once abundant and unique wildlife heritage, however when effective management systems are in place, it is possible to ensure their survival. Globally, protected areas are the only places of hope for the world’s remaining fauna and flora species. Often, they are the epicentre for sustaining the very ecosystem services necessary for human survival, from mitigating and adapting to climate change, to vital applications in medicine and agriculture. African Parks is a non-profit organisation that takes on direct responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks, in partnership with governments and local communities.
The African Parks Foundation enables African governments to secure a sustainable future for their national parks, through effective management and innovative finance, for the benefit of local people.
African Parks was established in 2000 by a group of highly regarded conservationists, managers, and businessmen who were directly involved in protected area management. They were concerned with the decline in national parks across Africa, and sought to address the fundamental question of how to ensure their long term survival.
In Malawi, the President and Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture approved the public-private partnership with African Parks for the management of Liwonde and Nkhotakota.
In Mozambique, African Parks is in discussions with ANAC, the Mozambique Parks Authority regarding the possibility of managing the Bazaruto Archipelago National Marine Park.
In Ethiopia, a small camp, Puju, has been established as the first operating base, access roads to it have been built and an initial census was conducted. Early indications are that there are almost double the number of giraffe and elephant than previously thought.
Just ten years ago, Majete Nature Reserve in Malawi had no wildlife left at all. It employed just 12 people and the infrastructure was in a state of ruin. It had not received a single visitor in three years and did not generate a single dollar of income. Trees were being felled for building materials and charcoal and communities were beginning to settle within its formal boundaries. Today, this park has been fully restocked with the Big Five, including black rhino, hundreds of elephant and all other species including buffalo, waterbuck, sable, and impala. The park’s infrastructure has been fully restored, it has an active and successful community engagement plan including school support, a malaria eradication programme and visitation scheme for thousands of schoolchildren. Three tourism lodges employ some 250 people and host hundreds of tourists annually, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in entrance fees.
Its portfolio includes ten parks in seven countries: Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia, with a combined area in excess of 6 million hectares.
Goals And Objectives
African Parks’ objective is to become the leading player in protected area management on the African continent by being the benchmark of management excellence and park sustainability. As an objective, by 2020, African Parks aims to have responsibility for a portfolio of 20 parks covering an area of 10 million hectares. Because of the geographic spread and representation of different ecosystems, this will be one of the most ecologically diverse portfolio of parks in the world.