Heads of State, business leaders and technical experts are in Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls for the 2019 Africa Wildlife Economy Summit, which aims to radically change the way the continent’s nature-based economy is managed.
The event which is convened by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the African Union (AU) and hosted by the President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, will launch the African Wildlife Economy Initiative.
The initiative is a new, Africa-led vision of conservation that links the private sector with national authorities and local communities to design and finance conservation-compatible investments that would deliver ecological benefits to countries.
A Working Paper by Space for Giants, supported by UNEP and the World Conservation Monitoring Center is scheduled o be released at the Summit.
This shows that consumer spending on tourism, hospitality and recreation in Africa, estimated at $124 billion in 2015, is expected to reach $262 billion by 2030.
“We must create a new and effective wildlife economy.”
“To save wildlife and preserve livelihoods, we must ensure that wild spaces remain a legitimate and competitive land-use option,” said Joyce Msuya, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP.
According to the AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Ambassador Josefa Correia Sacko, “it is high time to boost economies through Africa-led public-private partnerships that place communities at the heart of investment, while taking into account the need to continue the conservation pathway.”
“Africa has made significant headway in protecting natural spaces and conserving wildlife and ecosystems,” Ambassador Sacko added.
Major commitments and new projects are expected from the Summit from June 23-25 with workshops and symposiums to follow.