Africa can learn from China’s efforts to conserve wildlife: conservationists

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A picture taken on May 28, 2019 shows elephants feeding on scrub in the morning at Ol-Pejeta conservancy at Laikipia's county headquarters, Nanyuki Kenya. (Photo. TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on May 28, 2019 shows elephant feeding on scrub in the morning at Ol-Pejeta conservancy at Laikipia’s county headquarters, Nanyuki, Kenya. (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP) 

Africa can learn from China’s efforts to conserve its wildlife resources, a pan-African wildlife conservation body said on Friday.

Fred Kumah, vice president of external affairs at African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua in Nairobi that China has used a combination of conservation measures and community engagement to achieve wildlife conservation success which is an area Africa needs to keep in focus.

“The lessons from giant panda recovery are already present in Africa and being implemented across key endangered species,” Kumah told Xinhua in an email interview.

“Very critical to the recovery was the engagement of communities, both in protection and in projects that ensured benefits to communities as well as increased the habitat space of the species,” Kumah said.

According to AWF, a keen focus on securing habitat space, preventing further loss and fragmentation of wildlife space is going to be the next and most important factor in securing wildlife populations going forward in Africa.

Kumah added that most African countries need species recovery plans aimed at wildlife species identified as endangered or vulnerable because they will help in mobilizing stakeholders in support of actions that will lead the desired results.

He added that the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging to all aspects of society, especially the conservation sector where isolation measures have impacted revenues from nature tourism and protected areas.

“There is certainly an increased threat to biodiversity loss as communities turn to other forms of livelihoods sources to meet their needs,” he revealed.

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