KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Experts on Thursday discussed ways that can help
stimulate the wildlife economy in Africa at a
conservation meeting held in Rwandan capital Kigali, but
the continent was also warned against habitat loss for
wildlife due to human encroachment.
of Conservation Conference, running from Oct. 31 to Nov.
2, draws top African chief executives, political
leaders, investors, entrepreneurs and innovative
conservationists to explore practical avenues to
economic growth in Africa through wildlife conservation.
conference, co-organized by the Rwandan government and
the School of Wildlife Conservation of Africa Leadership
University, with campuses in Rwanda and Mauritius, will
explore the intersection of business, economic
development and conservation, according to organizers.
Swaniker, founder and chief executive of the Africa
Leadership University, outlined key areas to stimulate
the wildlife economy.
include finding ways to attract capital into wildlife,
empowering communities around protected areas to
generate income from wildlife, creating a new generation
of leaders to drive wildlife economy, applying
technology to improve efforts against poaching and
illegal wildlife trade, setting appropriate economic
policies that stimulate wildlife and providing
incentives to invest in the wildlife economy to reap
benefits from it.
wildlife potential in Africa that can guarantee
sustainable wealth for the continent, he said.
promoting the wildlife-pillared economy, the conference
also heard that habitat loss due to agriculture,
infrastructure and urbanization is becoming a serious
threat to wildlife conservation efforts in Africa.
get rid of poaching have been at the center of wildlife
protection and conservation in Africa, “but the threat
remains the loss of natural habitat,” said Kaddu Sebunya,
president of African Wildlife Foundation, at a panel
discussion on the conference.
“If we don’t
act fast and save wildlife habitat from human
encroachment, wildlife in Africa will not survive, given
present rates of habitat loss,” said Gautam Shah,
founder and chief executive officer of Internet of
Elephants, a wildlife conservation company based in
of Africa’s wildlife is dependent on large, wild
protected lands and requires a deliberate choice by
African governments to protect habitat for them, he
African Wildlife Foundation, a rapidly rising human
population accompanied by infrastructure development and
rising levels of consumption will make it ever more
challenging to find room for wildlife in the next 100
aerial wildlife census in Selous-Mikumi ecosystem
DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua)
-- Tanzania on Wednesday
launched an aerial wildlife census in the Selous-Mikumi
ecosystem, targeting large mammals like elephants and
is conducted by state-owned Tanzania Wildlife Research
Institute (TAWIRI), the Tanzania Wildlife Management
Authority (TAWA), and the Tanzania National Park (TANAPA),
in collaboration with Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS).
targets large mammals, such as elephants and buffalo,
and will estimate wildlife populations, their
distribution as well as signs of illegal human
activities in the Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi National
Park and the Selous-Niassa corridor,” said an FZS
wildlife censuses in the Selous-Mikumi Ecosystem have
been conducted every three to four years since 1976.
coverage of the Selous-Mikumi Aerial Wildlife Census is
approximately 110,000 square km.
census was initially planned to be conducted in 2017,
but had to be postponed due to excessive tree canopy
cover that hampers aerial survey visibility, the
leading organization in the census, said the current
conditions allowed the assessment to be successfully
completed and provide reliable data for the estimate of
wildlife populations and trends in the Selous-Mikumi
Reserve has faced many conservation challenges in recent
decades, the statement said, adding that subsequent to
the massive decline of elephants in the late 1970s and
1980s, elephant population estimates dropped from
approximately 109,000 to 31,889.
numbers showed recovery later, reaching an estimated
65,000 individuals in 2006, it added.
recent surge in poaching occurred in the late 2000s and
early 2010s, driven by soaring demand for ivory, cut
elephant population estimates to 14,867 in 2014,
according to the statement.
Reserve was placed on the list of World Heritage in
Danger in 2014 mainly due to the poaching threat,” said
since made great strides in curbing poaching and
strengthening the Selous Game Reserve management and
protection, including the establishment of Tanzania
Wildlife Management Authority, improved law enforcement,
and intensive anti-poaching initiatives that include
regular aerial surveillance, the statement added.