A Road Map for African Protected Areas

Why a road map for African protected areas?

RoadmapThe degradation of conditions for flora and fauna conservation in Africa is a recognised fact. The trend is clear and to ignore it on the basis of a few success stories would inevitably lead to general failure. Today, this trend must be reversed rapidly and to do so, a response commensurate with the challenge is needed (“a revolution?”); innovative strategies, urgent actions and longer-term actions. The challenge is to propose a pragmatic road map to stop the degradation of African ecosystems.

Imagine, develop and promote new courses of action, think about the long-term on the basis of lessons learned… This is the mind-set that prevailed in Burkina Faso in October 2011 during a workshop bringing together experts and professionals in biodiversity conservation in Africa and internationally who wanted to share their experiences, their skills and their commitment to conservation. It was an informal group of people from very different backgrounds bringing with them a great range of knowledge. “How can we reverse the degradation of biodiversity in Africa?” This was the main question underlying the Weotenga Meeting (see the full report, its debates and discussions with the clear objective of formulating practical recommendations to propose a road map to improve biodiversity and protected area management in the coming years.

The aim is to identify the major stakes for biodiversity conservation and to identify courses of action to draw up this road map. Let’s hope that the long-awaited change in conservation will benefit from its implementation…

The road map is made of 3 axes (each of them gathers 3 directions):

Axe 1: Healthy protected areas

Direction 1 : promote governance that involves a wide circle of stakeholders

Direction 2 : raise awareness by all partners of the conservation values of the PAs

Direction 3 : improve consultation in and around PAs

Axe 2: Efficient protected areas

Direction 4 :promote greater sense of responsibility among managers

Direction 5 : reinforce the competence of the management structures

Direction 6 : develop the managerial capacity of all stakeholders

Axe 3 : Sustainable protected areas

Direction 7 : optimise the effectiveness of support for protected areas

Direction 8 : ensure the resources available for management and governance are made permanent

Direction 9 : promote protected areas that show the way (Green List)