Community Conservancies are made up of fragmented landscapes, including derelict farmland, that have the potential to be rewilded and form part of a Community Conservancy.
What is a conservancy
CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY CONSERVANCY DEFINITIONS:
“ an area of land kept in its natural state, especially for wild animals and plants to live in and be protected”
“an organization whose aim is to protect natural areas or interesting and important places, and the animals and plants living in them”
How and why do we support the development of conservancies?
Our specialist implementation beneficiary, AFRICAN CONSERVANCIES (www.africanconservancies.org ), identifies fragmented landscapes that have the potential to be rewilded and form part of a Community Conservancy. A process of engagement with the community then develops a spatial development framework and land use plan for the establishment of conservation economy businesses to be located in and around the conservancy. Many of these fragmented parcels of land have been operating independently of each other, environmentally, socially, economically and ecologically. Bringing them together to operate within a single unified Conservancy based entity, means the sum of the parts is greater than the whole and provides crucial economies of scale.
The critical importance of building conservation economies
“Conservation Economy thinking represents a paradigm shift in traditional thinking and emphasis on wildlife crime preventative mechanisms and the ongoing financial, human and physical resources required to protect the globes remaining wildlife and their habitats. Building a Conservation Economy involves rather investing, empowering and developing wilderness communities , thereby enabling them to participate in and own the conservation economies established on the wilderness landscapes they habit, and in order for them to ultimately become the true and legitimate custodians of these landscapes and their natural resources. This in turn helps reduce wildlife crime and habitat destruction, as the value of these wilderness assets becomes theirs to lose if not looked after and protected”. – James Arnott – CEO
The vision of a united and significant global Conservation Economy is what brings us together. Continuing to fight wildlife crime without an innovative approach and long-term sustainability as a goal, is not the solution. We cannot continue to do the same things over again and expect a different result. A vibrant Community based Conservation Economy will reduce wildlife crime as it brings tangible and meaningful benefits to the communities around and within these Wild landscapes.
In order to solve the conflict over land, resources and ownership, and profitably share in this space, we need to do things differently or we will lose this fight for land, water, ecosystems, culture and society. The economy will then collapse.
Many landscapes are disconnected islands of private, community, or government land, operating in social, economic and environmental isolation from each other. This is a historic legacy of colonial mapping and privatization of landscapes. Our fauna and flora globally are under tremendous pressure for survival, as wildlife crime reaches epidemic proportions and population pressure increase. Migratory routes and large landscapes are increasingly being carved into small enclaves, surrounded by impoverished communities disconnected from their birth rights. This results in conflict.
A Conservation Economy is built on wildlife and biodiversity assets and incorporates the resources both inside and outside the protected Conservancy area. A Conservation Economy focusses equally on the people surrounding these areas, building a restorative economy based on ecological, social and economic principles. If our wild places and the neighbouring land and water, are managed responsibly they offer a variety of employment opportunities (including zoology, conservation, eco-tourism, hunting, agriculture and all secondary activities) thereby contributing to poverty reduction and economic growth, reducing pressure on resources within protected areas.
Building a Conservation Economy involves investment into assets that create long term, profitable returns. These assets, at a base level, are natural, social and economic capital. Restoring custodianship relations, building foundations of respect and trust, based on communal aspirations and values, will ultimately, we believe, be the manner in which we preserve culture, environment, society and the economy.
A Conservation Economy brings benefits to all stakeholders, reduces conflict, and therefore risk for investors and local communities alike.