Peace Parks Foundation

Creating sustainable protected areas with balanced ecosystems and thriving communities

Biodiversity

Peace Parks is rewilding eight protected area clusters, co-managed in innovative partnership models, to ensure biodiversity conservation, resilience of impoverished communities and long-term financial sustainability.

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Lead Organization

Peace Parks Foundation

Stellenbosch, Province of the Western Cape, South Africa

http://www.peaceparks.org

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

This intervention aims to impact eight under-resourced protected areas spanning five million hectares across four southern African countries, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. Thousands of indigenous plant and animal species, many of which are threatened or endangered, share these isolated border landscapes with over 350,000 vulnerable people who have limited access to services and livelihood opportunities.A solution is presented to improve protected area management, by establishing robust governance mechanisms, implementing strategic business cases and exploring innovative financing mechanisms to provide a platform for private sector partnerships, ultimately ensuring sustainability - developing the building blocks of Transfrontier Conservation Areas and generating success stories that can be globally showcased. Benefits will accrue to these impoverished communities and to the region’s biodiversity, essential for ecosystem services, such as the provision of clean water and air, and hence for human well-being. Biodiversity also fuels social benefits, such as ecotourism, and contributes to climate stability.

Problem Statement

Southern Africa is bestowed with an impressive array of natural assets and many of these have received the highest form of protection through the creation of national parks or reserves. Without these protected areas, our planet would be even hotter than it is and we would have lost thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of species still found on Earth today. Protected areas remain our best tool against mass extinction and ecological degradation. Unfortunately, limited resources are allocated to sufficiently maintain and develop these protected areas. As a result, many parks in Africa are managed sub-optimally and are exposed to high levels of poaching, human encroachment and degradation. The end result is biodiversity loss that leads to ecosystems collapses and even de-proclamation of these areas.Africa is also forecasted to be the continent with the highest population growth and by 2100 will be the most populous continent, surpassing both densities and numbers of Asia. This will result in ever-increasing pressure on natural resources as humans compete with wildlife for access to land and water.At the same time Africa’s vast landscapes and charismatic and unique large mammal species are the most important economic drivers for tourism - not only a sustainable industry (with 8 billion visitors to protected areas in 2015 – more than Earth’s total population) but also vital, as these large landscapes become the lungs of the world and critically important carbon sinks. To secure and preserve key areas for the benefit of man and nature is of global benefit.

Solution Overview

A solution is presented to improve protected area management, by establishing robust governance mechanisms, implementing strategic business cases for the development of eight national park clusters covering an area of approximately five million hectares and exploring innovative financing mechanisms to provide a platform for private sector partnerships, ultimately ensuring sustainability - developing the building blocks of Transfrontier Conservation Areas and generating success stories that can be globally showcased. This will be achieved by:Creation of at least five park co-management entities (Public Private Community Partnerships);Expansion of the habitat range for threatened, endangered and critically endangered species, including but not limited to the southern white rhino, African elephant, cheetah, lion, leopard, wild dog, giraffe, leatherback and loggerhead turtles.Permanent employment for approximately 1,000 rangers and permanent alternative livelihood creation for over 70,000 people from the communities living in these landscapes.Permanent employment for hundreds of staff in the lodges and tourist facilities that will be established in the various protected areas.Advancement and development of cross-border protocols and policies critical to ensure wildlife crime is impeded and cross-border natural resource extraction and exploitation is prevented.Halting of extensive poaching both on a subsistence and commercial level, the latter of which has escalated as a result of organised crime and exploits vulnerable local communities.Ensuring long-term sustainability post-project, through the attraction of impact investment.Ultimately these outcomes will lead to protected landscapes that are biodiversity and climate resilient in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda2063.

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Project Funders

  • KfW 2001 - 2021
  • Nationale Postcode Lotterij 2003 - 2022
  • Svenska Postkod Lotteriet 2008 - 2022

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