Mounting human demand for land, protein, energy and wildlife commodities such as ivory and rhino horn is pushing many species and landscapes into rapid decline. Once these animals and their habitats are lost, they are lost forever.
In response, African Parks takes on the long-term management of protected areas in partnership with governments and local communities. In doing so, they not only focus on protecting and restoring biodiversity, but also on ensuring that local people truly benefit from the park's conservation.
To date, players of the People's Postcode Lottery have raised £2.3 Million for African Parks. This has helped the charity grow its protective footprint to 15 parks in 9 countries, covering an area approaching the size of England. African Parks' 1,000 rangers are safeguarding the largest and most ecologically diverse area under protection by any one NGO in Africa.
Our players' support has specifically been used for our conservation of three parks in Malawi, where African Parks protects over 90% of the country's elephant population. Here, in what is one of their greatest success stories, they have restored Majete Wildlife Reserve. It was completely devoid of wildlife in 2003, but is now a flourishing 'big five' ecosystem with over 12,000 animals. Revenue from the almost 10,000 tourists visiting the park is reinvested into the park and local communities, benefiting thousands of children with education and clean water.
The successful restoration of Majete laid the foundation for the Malawi government granting African Parks the management of Liwonde National Park and Nkhotkota Wildlife Reserve. Liwonde National Park was suffering under exceptionally high levels of human-elephant conflict which was eroding community support for conservation and causing casualties on both sides. Poachers had infiltrated the park to a point where more wire snare traps than animals existed in Liwonde. Liwonde has since been cleared from over 30,000 of these traps and seen a perimeter fence erected.
Nkhotakota was over decades depleted of wildlife by poachers and after erecting a sanctuary African Parks undertook a historic translocation of 500 elephants and 2,000 other animals, putting it on a trajectory of growth.
Not a single elephant nor rhino has been lost in Liwonde over a year, deeming the park safe enough for the reintroduction of cheetah and lion in 2017 and 2018. Liwonde is now Malawi's second big five park, and tourism is flourishing as a response.
Restoring these wild areas is about creating safe places for wildlife to thrive, so people can thrive - through added security, employment, health and educational benefits, leading to a better existence for all.
Thank you for helping African Parks continue to protect wildlife and their habitats, which benefits millions of people across Africa. For more information visit the African Parks website.