Wildlife Economy

Hub

for Africa

Africa Wildlife Economy Research Project

Natural resources and wildlife are traditionally seen as inputs and not as assets in a national economy. This approach has seen limited government resources being invested in the wildlife economy or allocated to supporting wildlife resources. If this is to change there is a need to illustrate to governments and other stakeholders the economic contribution of wildlife resources to local, national and regional economies. Too little is currently understood about this contribution.

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Mission

To promote a growing, inclusive, sustainable wildlife economy in Africa

The Wildlife Economy Research Project

The overall aim of our research is to gather data and information to illustrate the value of wildlife to economies and through this to encourage investment in this important economic asset. The research process also highlights data gaps and encourages the collection of data related to wildlife economies in order to better understand the vast contribution of wildlife resources to national economies. The initial research was pulled together in a report on the State of the Wildlife Economy in Africa. This first report provides an overview of the current status of the wildlife economy in Africa, including data from as many African countries as possible with detailed data from selected case study countries. This overview includes:

Information on different wildlife
economy activities in Africa, with relevant
case studies

List of enabling factors and conditions for success in the development and growth of the wildlife economy in different countries

Overview of the current regulatory
frameworks governing the wildlife
economy​

Following on from our full report, we continue to work on country State of the Wildlife Economy case studies to highlight the value of the wildlife economy in each African country, including opportunities and challenges. Please see the publication list at the bottom for those already published and the map for the upcoming case studies.

Other Wildlife Economy Projects

In addition to our overall wildlife economy research project, we are also working on (or have completed) a number of other projects with various partner organisations.

Wildlife Economy Resource Database

While conducting the research for the State of the Wildlife Economy in Africa report the School of Wildlife Conservation (SOWC) collected and analysed data from numerous different sources and covering many different wildlife economy topics. This database includes a list of these references to allow for easy searching and locating relevant references for those interested in the wildlife economy in Africa. The database will be updated regularly and we encourage you to also share your own and other resources which we can add to keep the database up-to-date.

Wildlife Economy Investment Index (WEII)

The overarching objectives of this project are: To develop a Wildlife Economy Investment Ranking, based on relevant wildlife economy indicators, in consultation with relevant stakeholders. To create a sense of competition between countries to improve their ranking, through improving their enabling environment, ease of doing business, governance, and investing in wildlife. Where possible, through the rankings, provide recommendations for policy and practice to unlock the potential of the wildlife economy. To raise the profile of the wildlife economy and to highlight the importance of seeing wildlife as an asset in which to invest. To create buzz and stimulate discussion around the African Wildlife Economy, we will officially launch the ranking and disclose the first results at the Business of Conservation Conference 2022, to be followed by a short update report at the BCC every year. The reports will provide an overall analysis, as well as recommendations for policy and practice and guidance for countries to improve their ranking.

Wildlife Economy Best Practice Series

The SOWC Wildlife Economy Best Practice Series will provide case study examples of different wildlife economy activities across Africa, including an overview of the institutional arrangements, the economic, social and environmental impacts, the enabling conditions, challenges and opportunities, as well as ideas for scaling up or to other areas, if possible. We include case studies on ecotourism, hunting, wildlife ranching, forest products, carbon projects, as well as other innovations and mixed-use agro-ecological examples as well.

Wildlife Economy Debate Series

As part of our work on the wildlife economy in Africa at the School of Wildlife Conservation, we will be hosting a Debate Series on various wildlife economy topics to provide different perspectives and to allow for a facilitated, constructive discussion to present the facts and arguments from all angles. The aim of the Debate Series is to raise awareness and share information: there is no specific agenda in terms of a right or wrong perspective. There will be a presentation from each perspective for 10-15 minutes, then an audience Q&A session.

One of the first topics we will be looking at is hunting. Look out for the date and participants to be announced soon.

Stakeholder engagement and impact on policy and practice in Africa

As part of the research process we host stakeholder dialogues and stakeholder engagement workshops to get inputs, raise awareness and build capacity. Case studies and reports are externally peer-reviewed by key experts to ensure robustness and quality research outputs. To-date, our research has fed into the review of the Wildlife Act in Kenya, the review of the Tourism Revenue Sharing Policy in Rwanda as well as being widely sited in academic articles, as well as news articles and presented at the inaugural Africa Protected Areas Congress. The research has also been referenced in the Framework Strategy for a SADC Wildlife-Based Economy and the UNEP wireframe for a biodiversity economy in Africa, amongst others.

One of the first topics we will be looking at is hunting. Look out for the date and participants to be announced soon.One of the first topics we will be looking at is hunting. Look out for the date and participants to be announced soon.

The Wildlife Economy Research Project

Following on from our full report, we continue to work on country State of the Wildlife Economy case studies to highlight the value of the wildlife economy in each African country, including opportunities and challenges. Please see the publication list at the bottom for those already published

Upcoming Case Study Countries in 2022 & 2023

Facts and Figures

SOWC Publications

Other related publications

Snyman, S. (2022). Unlocking the potential of Africa’s wildlife economy to drive conservation. Current Conservation, 15.3.

Snyman, S. (2022). The COVID-19 pandemic and nature-based tourism in southern Africa. In Stone, L., et al. (2022) Protected Areas and Tourism in Southern Africa: Conservation Goals and Community Livelihoods”, Routledge.

Snyman, S. & Bricker, K. (2020). Living on the Edge: Benefit-sharing from Protected Area Tourism, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 27 (6), pp 705-719.

Snyman, S. & Bricker, K. (editors). (2021). Living on the Edge: Benefit-sharing from Protected Area Tourism. Routledge.

Our Policy

Vision

To become leaders in terms of promoting, supporting and facilitating policy- and practice- relevant research on the business of conservation in Africa, including specifically research on Africa’s wildlife economy.

Scope of the Policy

This policy applies to all those conducting research through ALU’s SOWC, irrespective of the source of their funding or the field in which they conduct their research or the site where the research is conducted. The policy provides structure and establishes a framework within which the African Leadership University (ALU) will support, facilitate and promote policy-relevant research through the School of Wildlife Conservation (SOWC).

Overall objective of the SOWC research programme

To promote a growing, inclusive, sustainable wildlife economy in Africa

If you would like to contribute data, a text box, case study or would like further information, please contact Sue Snyman.