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Africa is changing: Should its Protected Areas evolve? Reconfiguring the Protected Areas in Africa

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This study analyses the configuration of protected areas in order to identify the points that will help them to tackle the challenges they encounter and to secure their future. The main recommendations involve improving their size and their boundaries, in order to help conserve species, as well as their functions and their natural balances. Today, it is of vital importance to have an adequate budget for managing a protected area: this is currently estimated at 7 to 8 US Dollars/hectare per year (in Africa). Whichever management mode is adopted, if this budget is not available, the protected area will not be able to play its role.
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AFRICA IS CHANGING: SHOULD ITS PROTECTED AREAS EVOLVE?
RECONFIGURING THE
PROTECTED AREAS IN AFRICA
Author: Bertrand Chardonnet
LET S TALK
ABOUT I T !
AUTHOR: BERTRAND CHARDONNET
A doctor in veterinary
medicine by training,
after a Doctoral Thesis in
Guinea Bissau on wildlife
management, he started
to work in Africa in 1985
as adviser for livestock
breeding in West Africa,
especially for sheep and
goat in Togo. Following
this practice with local
development, he was
appointed as Chief Game
warden of Bamingui-Bangoran National Park and then was
working as wildlife vet for the Rinderpest control in Cameroon.
After many consultancies for Protected Areas management,
he went back permanently to Africa as adviser to the Director
of Wildlife in Burkina Faso. Following, as a wildlife vet, he was
appointed as the head of Rinderpest eradication campaign for
West and Central Africa, working in 23 countries. At the same
time, he used to be regional co-chair for Western and Central
Africa of the IUCN Antelope Specialist Group.
He then moved to Chad where he was appointed as adviser to
the Minister of Environment (including wildlife) for four years.
Since then, he is working as a protected areas and wildlife
consultant, mainly concerned with ecological monitoring,
anti-poaching strategies, conservation strategies and
protected areas planning. Bertrand Chardonnet has worked
in 40 African countries, and today he focuses on training,
ecotourism and wildlife photography.
THE IUCN PROGRAMME ON AFRICAN PROTECTED AREAS &
CONSERVATION (PAPACO)
PAPACO aims at improving the management and governance
of protected areas in Africa and their positive results on
biodiversity conservation. They focus on 3 complementary
domains which are: equitable governance, efficient
management and long-term sustainability of PAs. PAPACO is
based in Pretoria, South Africa, and works closely with the
World Commission for protected Areas (WCPA).
THIS PUBLICATION HAS BEEN MADE POSSIBLE BY FUNDING
FROM THE FRANCE-IUCN PARTNERSHIP.
France has entered a partnership with the International
Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the oldest and
largest global organisation for nature conservation. Through
this partnership. France and IUCN intend to respond to the
global biodiversity crisis and act together for nature and
development.
Translated from French by Sheila Hardie.
Copyright: © 2019 International Union for the Conservation of
Nature and Natural Resources
DISCLAIMER
The designation of geographical entities in this publication and the
presentation of the material do not imply the expression of any
opinion whatsoever on the part of IUCN concerning the legal status
of any country, territory, or area, or of its authorities, or concerning
the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect
those of IUCN, WCPA and the donors who funded its preparation.
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
3
Foreword
is report is part of a series of studies commissioned
by IUCN-Papaco. e intention of these studies is to
contribute to the debate around topical issues related
to conservation in Africa, especially the continent’s
protected areas.
Context: in 2050, the African population will have
reached 2 billion inhabitants. e needs of the population
keep increasing, fragmentation is accelerating, “natural
land is becoming scarcer. In this context, pressures on
protected areas increase rapidly and their ability to
conserve biodiversity in the long run are more and more
limited.
What can we do to address these threats?
Our approach is simple: we ask an expert on the matter
to lay out an analysis to provide a basis for discussion.
is report can then be used for this purpose, shared,
commented on, criticised, expanded. e goal is that
all those involved in the conservation of these territories
raise questions, exchange and nally, we hope, envisage a
positive future for nature conservation on the continent.
is report is called: Africa is changing, should the
continent’s protected areas evolve?
e intention is to answer the following questions: should
we rethink the design of PAs and anticipate the future?
Must we redene their borders, their status, their role,
their management category? Should we conserve all of
them, create new ones or on the contrary abandon some
of them? What about the PADDD? Should we clarify
the rights of the dierent stakeholders involved and,
redene their roles? What principles must be followed
to set up eective protected areas in an altered context?
What risks must be avoided? What opportunities must
be taken?
ese questions are vital, and this report probably isnt
enough to cover the full complexity of answers - but it
most denitely will contribute to the debate.
Have a good read!
Dr Geoffroy Mauvais
PAPACO Coordinator
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
4
Summary
ere is a strong international consensus that when
protected areas, whatever their type of governance, have
sucient funding, political backing and management
skills, as well as the support of local communities, they
can conserve biodiversity eectively1. However, rapid
population growth leads in turn to a great increase in
the pressure placed on natural resources. e larger,
more ecologically intact protected areas are of vital
importance because they provide higher biodiversity
levels and greater ecosystem service benets than
smaller, more disturbed areas, including those required
for addressing the climate change crisis2.
is study analyses the conguration of protected areas
in order to identify the points that will help them to
tackle the challenges they encounter and to secure
their future. e main recommendations involve
improving their size and their boundaries, in order to
help conserve species, as well as their functions and
their natural balances. Today, it is of vital importance to
have an adequate budget for managing a protected area:
this is currently estimated at 7 to 8 US Dollars/hectare
per year (in Africa). Whichever management mode is
adopted, if this budget is not available, the protected
area will not be able to play its role.
It is no longer possible to increase the size and change
the boundaries by evicting populations. Instead, the
plan will be to resort to the reclassication of partially
degraded protected areas or to the classication of
land that helps conservation but is not recognised as a
protected area. For several years, with the great decline
in the big game hunting sector almost everywhere in
Africa, oering the possibility of joining up certain
hunting areas with protected areas –in line with the
Aichi Targets– there has been a major opportunity to
ensure that 17% of national territories are classied as
real protected areas. e challenge will be to nance
them.
1 Kormos, C.F., et al. 2017. World heritage, wilderness and large landscapes
and seascapes. Gland, Switzerland. IUCN: viii + 70 pp. https://portals.
iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/2017-028.pdf
2 Idem
e second opportunity is that of the creation of
community conservancies, the democratic expression
of local communities, which allow conservation and
development to be integrated right alongside protected
areas whilst managing human-wildlife conicts more
eectively. e global development of the tourism
industry is a great opportunity for participating in the
nancing of these community areas.
e main risk in the future will be the lack of political
commitment to conservation on behalf of governments
and also their lack of momentum in performing their
sovereign functions: security, rule of law, appropriate
legislation and control of its enforcement. e
functioning of protected areas can only be optimal in
the context of the rule of law and good governance. is
commitment should be extended to controlling respect
for the role and rights of each of the stakeholders,
without any one of them infringing on the role or rights
of their neighbours.
It would be very risky to separate a protected area from
its surrounding area. By integrating conservation and
development, encouraging conservancies currently
remains the best possible policy, by ensuring their
funding through the benets of tourism, funding for
conservation as a Global Public Good, but also the
funding of activities eligible for development.
Far from isolating the protected area through individual
management or through a geographical separation such
as fences, it is recommendable to coordinate the action
of all stakeholders and the planning of their actions in
a joint eort, going beyond the protected area (and not
looking inwards) in order to tackle future challenges.
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
5
Table of contents
Foreword .....................................................................................................................................................3
Summary .....................................................................................................................................................4
Introduction .................................................................................................................................................6
1. What is the global conservation status of the PAs in Africa? ....................................................................6
2. What are the problems? .........................................................................................................................8
3. Should the configuration of PAs be redesigned to anticipate the future? ...............................................10
3.1. Should the spatial design of PAs be improved? ............................................................................11
3.2. Should the management category be changed? ..........................................................................12
3.3. Should legislative and regulatory texts be changed? .....................................................................12
4. How should their surface areas, boundaries, status, roles and management categories be redefined? .13
4.1. Surface area .................................................................................................................................13
What is the ideal surface area?
Where can the space be found for increasing the size of PAs?
What selection criteria should be used to increase the surface area of PAs?
4.2. The boundaries ............................................................................................................................16
4.3. Buffer zones .................................................................................................................................17
4.4. The role of PAs .............................................................................................................................18
4.5. Management categories ...............................................................................................................20
5. In this context, how should the periphery be managed? .......................................................................21
6. Should all the PAs be conserved, should new ones be created or, on the contrary, should some be
abandoned? .............................................................................................................................................23
Should they all be conserved?
Should more PAs be created?
Should some PAs be abandoned?
7. What is happening with the PADDD phenomenon currently underway? ................................................26
8. Should the rights and duties of the different stakeholders involved be redefined? .................................27
9. Recommendations ...............................................................................................................................29
9.1. Global context ..............................................................................................................................29
9.2. Reconfiguration principles ............................................................................................................29
9.3. Configuration elements .................................................................................................................29
9.4. The management of peripheral zones ...........................................................................................30
9.5. Configuration of the PA network ...................................................................................................30
9.6. Relations between the stakeholders .............................................................................................31
Appendix 1 ............................................................................................................................................... 33
Appendix 2 ............................................................................................................................................... 34
Appendix 3 ............................................................................................................................................... 38
Appendix 4 ............................................................................................................................................... 42
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
6
Introduction
Africa will have around 2 billion inhabitants by 2050.
e populations needs are constantly growing, the
fragmentation of the environment is accelerating,
and there are fewer and fewer “natural” areas. In this
context, the pressure on protected areas (PAs) is rising
rapidly and their ability to conserve biodiversity in the
long term is increasingly uncertain.
e results of protected areas in terms of conservation
are very uneven in Africa, in general poor, and the
studies on biodiversity carried out in recent years show
a sharp decline in the latter all over the continent,
including in protected areas.
erefore, we need to consider the relevance of protected
area networks as they exist today, and the options that
may exist in order to make these protected areas evolve
and to ensure they are more eective within the context
of the predicted changes.
is study aims to examine how well prepared Africa’s
protected area systems are for dealing with current
and future challenges. e plan is to provide a global
overview that can be used for reexion, aimed in
particular at decision-makers and the managers of PAs
and protected area networks.
1. What is the global conservation
status of the PAs in Africa?
In order to answer this question, the rst step is to
establish the conservation status in Africa. To be more
precise, we shall discuss nature conservation here, in
other words, following the explanations given by IUCN3,
we shall examine biodiversity conservation at genetic,
species and ecosystem levels. Ecosystem conservation
involves the issues of protecting the composition, the
structure, the function and the evolutionary potential
of biodiversity4.
3 Dudley, N., 2008, Guidelines for Applying Protected Area Management
Categories, IUCN : x+96 p. https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/
files/documents/PAG-021.pdf
4 Idem
erefore, it is not just a matter of protecting genes and
species, but also of protecting functional relationships
between species (whose ecological pyramids show
the relationships between dierent types of species
corresponding to dierent trophic levels). Conservation
must therefore protect balances and pseudo-balances
(these are the developments around points of
equilibrium that are rarely constant) between animal
and plant species.
ese balances, which allow for development and
adaptation to new conditions, are often hard to
assess, and we frequently have to monitor them by
characterising:
the number of species present, and thus the number
of species that have disappeared,
the populations of each species and their changing
trend (upward or downward),
the species’ potential for survival in the medium
to long term, in order to maintain its role in the
balances.
us, for example, we could characterise a population
of elephants in dierent ways depending on whether
the animals are still present (= the species has not
disappeared, three individuals remain, for example), or
whether they still full their role eectively as a modeller
of the landscape and of the forest-savanna mosaic,
which implies that their density is suciently high to
be able to inuence the ecological balance. ese are
the most important balances for us in the medium and
long term.
In this context, the global conservation status is clearly
poor in Africa. One only has to look at maps of human
population density, of urban development, or of the
size of agricultural areas to see that Africa has been
almost entirely anthropised except for the zones where
the environment is too hostile. If one looks closer and
examines satellite photos, one can see that most non-
anthropised areas in zones where the environment is not
hostile are in fact protected areas, and their boundaries
are often clearly visible on these photographs.
is is obviously a good point in favour of PAs and
should be noted. However, these photographs do not
tell us whether all the PAs have been conserved and/
or whether only the habitat has been conserved, or
whether in fact all the species (animal and plant) they
contain have survived too. However, it is clear that
habitat conservation is the rst essential step towards
the conservation of species and balances, and that
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
7
PAs are sometimes quite successful at achieving this
in anthropised environments; in any case, these areas
survive better than if they had not been protected. is
therefore justies their existence, and the aim is for
17% of the Earth’s land surface to be conserved through
protected areas (Aichi Biodiversity Target 11).
It is also clear that some PAs have disappeared or their
intact surface area has decreased, since they have not
been able to withstand the pressure placed on them
by human encroachment (agriculture, pastoralism,
industry, etc.). It is signicant that, in areas where
no specic conservation work has been carried out,
the habitat and the species that live there, as well as
the functional balances, are clearly declining in the
face of human development. is in turn leads to a
signicant decline in the areas inhabited by numerous
species, as shown on maps, for example those in the
Red List of reatened Species5. us, the lion is a
species of interest because, in addition to being one of
the most emblematic species in Africa, it is a predator
that needs a wide variety of prey and thus a large home
range in which to nd these animals, within a suitable
habitat. Moreover, it comes into conict with human
populations. is is a key factor that must be considered
today. Maps state that the species is found in 28 African
countries, but it is probably now extinct in 7 others
and it has already disappeared from 14 other African
countries, whilst the reference lion populations have
declined by 43% over the last 21 years6. e distribution
maps indicate signicant fragmentation (in other words
the species is no longer distributed in contiguous areas)
and the largest populations survive in places where the
lion populations are managed in a suciently active
manner7, and, in particular, these zones largely overlap
the PAs.
e study of aerial photos reveals that, even if a zone
is classied as a PA, this is not sucient to ensure
the protection of a species, a habitat or the ecological
balance: the PA must be properly managed. PAs are
thus necessary but insucient in cases where they are
not managed eciently.
With regard to emblematic species, a 50% decrease in
the number of lions in West, Central and East Africa has
been observed over the last 20 years, a 50% decrease in
Africas cheetahs over the last 40 years, a 30% decrease in
5 www.iucnredlist.org
6 http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/15951/0
7 Bauer, H., et al., Lion populations are declining rapidly across Africa
except in intensively managed areas, PNAS 2015. http://www.pnas.org/
content/112/48/14894
the number of African elephants over the last 10years,
and a 40% decrease in the number of giraes over the
last 30 years8. e same applies to a large number of
other, less emblematic species. is is largely linked to
the reduction in the size of distribution ranges available
for these species due to human encroachment, which
leaves “fragments” of ranges inhabited to a greater or
lesser extent by animal populations, and aected to a
greater or lesser extent by human activities.
In short, we could therefore say that nature conservation
in Africa is not doing very well on a global level, but that
nature is doing better in locations where it is protected,
thus within PAs, and that it is doing better in places
where the management of the area is suciently active.
PAs are therefore important, but they must be managed
properly and suciently. is means that the more
the pressure increases (the disturbance that aects the
well-being of nature in the PAs), the greater the means
required to oset it. Naturally, this pressure is of human
origin and, in particular, but not only, comes from the
inhabitants of the areas surrounding PAs.
8 Packer, C., WildCRU 2018. https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=STaqmtIZfcU
Figure 1: Distribution map of the African lion (Panthera leo).
Source: iucnredlist.org
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
8
2. What are the problems?
Over 7,000 PAs are recognised in Africa, to which we
should add the areas that help conservation (conserved
areas) and are mainly managed for economic purposes,
such as hunting areas, classied forests, natural resource
management areas, etc.
Of these areas, the following are of note:
Areas that are simply virtual: they only exist on
paper now (the famous “paper parks”). ese
include areas located in conict zones (past or
present), like many parts of the Sahel, Somalia,
Sudan, Angola, etc. ese are areas that have
not been managed at all or have been managed
insuciently. ey are areas aected by agricultural
or pastoral encroachment, areas where land use
policies have not allowed natural resources to be
preserved. In these areas, both the habitat and
wildlife species have been lost, due to the absence of
management, poor management or unfavourable
political conditions.
Areas that have been stripped of some of their
biological values: thus we nd “empty forests”,
which are forests that are mainly managed for
timber production, but where the protection or
exploitation of wildlife has not allowed for the
conservation of some or all wildlife species9. e
uncontrolled exploitation of some species for
domestic consumption, in particular when there
are monetised sectors that target urban areas, which
sell “bushmeat”, has thus led to relict populations
of numerous forest species in the Congo Basin
and elsewhere in both forests and on savannas10.
In this case, the PA still exists, but its biological
values (that were the very reason why it was
protected) have declined. is is the result of poorly
conceived management from the very outset (for
example uncontrolled exploitation), or insucient
management: it generally costs more to protect
wildlife than trees and an insucient budget will
lead to the latter being protected but not the former.
9 The empty forest revisited. Wilkie, D.S., et al. 2011. Annals of the
New York Academy of Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-
6632.2010.05908.x
10 Lindsey, P.A., et al. The bushmeat trade in African savannas: Impacts,
drivers, and possible solutions, Biological Conservation, 160, (80), (2013).
Areas that have only conserved part of their classied
space. Often, the part in contact with the periphery
has been partially colonised and the habitat has been
replaced by areas inhabited by humans, farmland
or grazing land. is is often linked to the absence
of law enforcement in connection with poor
conservation policies, insucient human means,
material means or ill-conceived management.
Whilst this habitat loss is clearly visible on satellite
photographs, the loss of animal biodiversity often
extends far beyond the colonised zone11. In these
cases, the means available have generally made it
possible to provide more protection for the central
zone, which is further away from the pressure.
Areas that have only conserved some of the animal
species present. In these cases, some species are
more dicult to protect that others because they
create conict with the population (the large
carnivores, for example), they are species that are
sought after for the protable trade in their body
parts (elephants for ivory, rhinoceroses for their
horns, pangolins for their scales, etc.), they are
protected by local cultures (as is often the case for
the Chimpanzee or the Gorilla), or else they simply
require large ranges (such as the African hunting
Dog or the Cheetah), and the area can no longer
provide the space they need. is shows that the
cost of conservation varies from one species to
another and that a budget that might suce for one
species may not be sucient for another. us, the
protection of lions is very expensive due to the large
areas of land that need to be protected, the need
for suciently numerous preys, the need to work
specically with the human populations living in
the zones around the protected areas so as to reduce
conicts and take into account the opportunity
costs12.
In conclusion, the fate of a protected area is largely
dependent on:
e political context: conicts, of course, but also
the political commitment to nature conservation.
Its design: an area that is too small or too large, in
a bad location (too close to centres of pressure), in
an inappropriate management category, with poor
governance or legislative texts that have not been
adapted, will nd it hard to live up to expectations.
11 UICN Papaco. La grande chasse en Afrique de l’Ouest: quelle contribution
à la conservation? ISBN: 978-2-8317-1204-8. https://portals.iucn.org/
library/efiles/documents/2009-074.pdf
12 Packer, C., et al. Conserving large carnivores: dollars and fence. Ecol Lett.
2013 May; 16(5):635-41. DOI: 10.1111/ele.12091
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
9
Its management mode: this stems from its design
but, more specically, some species require
less disturbed nature in order to be conserved
properly. e management mode is directly linked
to the management category for a protected
area, or through its method of usage for an area
contributing to conservation. e most complete
protection (more natural conditions) is ensured by
the lowest management categories, as shown in the
gure above13.
e reality of its management: ere is no point
in creating suitable PAs if they are badly managed.
e assessment of the management eciency is
the tool that will make it possible to evaluate and
monitor the evolution in the management of PAs14.
ere are often many things that still need to be
done to ensure that PAs are properly managed; the
quality of PAs is however more important than the
quantity15.
e pressures it faces: the pressures are caused by
humans and increase exponentially in line with
demographic pressure. is explains why PAs
are harder to manage today than they were a few
decades ago, and why solutions that would work
13 Dudley, N., 2008, Lignes directrices pour l’application des catégories de
gestion aux aires protégées, Gland Switzerland, IUCN: x+96 p. https://
portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/PAG-021.pdf
14 Hockings, M., Stolton, S., Leverington, F., Dudley, N. and Courrau, J.
(2008). Evaluating Effectiveness: A framework for assessing management
effectiveness of protected areas: IUCN. xiii + 105pp. https://portals.iucn.
org/library/efiles/documents/PAG-014.pdf
15 Steiner, A.: Are protected areas failing us? New Scientist, 18 October
2003. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18024172-900-are-
protected-areas-failing-us/
with human population density of 2 people per km²
in the area surrounding the PA would probably not
work with a population density of 30 or 50 people
per km². is also explains why some conservation
tools used in the past no longer work today, and
will be even less likely to work tomorrow, as we
shall see later on. e following gure presents the
evolution in human population density per km²
from 1960 to 2017 in ve African countries. So, a
solution suitable in Kenya might work today and in
the future in countries that tend to have the same
demographic values. On the contrary, solutions
that work in Namibia will no doubt not work in
countries with a far higher population density. is
explains why PAs created decades ago often face
diculties today, if their management and their
conguration have not been adapted gradually to
cope with today’s pressures.
Its budgets: e rise in the pressure created by the
growth in the human population around the PA,
increased by global phenomena such as climate
change or insecurity, leads to a great increase in
the cost of countering the pressures. In the 1990s
and at the start of the 2000s, the cost of managing
a savanna PA was often estimated at around 2
USD16/ha/year17
18. Publications that appeared
16 USD = United States dollar
17 UICN Papaco. La grande chasse en Afrique de l’Ouest: quelle contribution
à la conservation? ISBN: 978-2-8317-1204-8. https://portals.iucn.org/
library/efiles/documents/2009-074.pdf
18 Baghai, M., et al. Models for the collaborative management of Africa’s.
Biological Conservation, 2017. https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/
S0006320717314106
Figure 2: Natural character and IUCN protected area categories
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
10
during the period 2015-2018 indicated that for the
same PAs the cost was generally 7 to 8 USD/ha/
year19, but this varied, depending on the problems
that had to be solved (for example in the case of
lions, as mentioned above) and could reach sums of
around 20 USD/ha/year20. It is important to note
that the cost of managing a fenced PA is far higher
than managing a non-fenced PA; 7 times higher
according to a recent publication21.
In conclusion, demographic growth leads to an increase
in direct or indirect pressures, which in turn leads
to higher management costs. Ecient conservation
solutions devised several decades ago will no longer
work today. e budgets required for good conservation
today are far higher than those that were needed in the
past. Numerous protected areas are thus suering as a
result of the application of solutions that were used in
the past with budgets that are far too low. It is therefore
not surprising that they do not achieve the expected
conservation results. So, it is important to identify
which budgetary and technical solutions can be used to
improve the conservation results.
19 Lindsey, P.A., et al. Life after Cecil: channelling global outrage into funding
for conservation in Africa. Conservation Letters, July/August 2016, 9(4),
296–301 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/conl.12224
20 Packer, C., et al. Conserving large carnivores: dollars and fence. Ecol Lett.
2013 May; 16(5):635-41. DOI: 10.1111/ele.12091
21 Creel, S., et al. Conserving large populations of lions- The argument for
fences has holes. Conservation letters 2013. DOI: 10.1111/ele.12145
3. Should the configuration of PAs
be redesigned to anticipate the
future?
In this study, we are not going to cover several of the
points mentioned above, which have an impact on the
future of PAs, because they will be discussed elsewhere
(see other Papaco studies): the reality of management,
funding, political will or governance… Here, we
are simply going to look at the points linked to the
conguration of a PA. ere are several dierent aspects
to this conguration:
e spatial design of the PA: this is the PA’s location,
its surface area, its boundaries, its zoning and how
it ts into the landscape (surrounding area). e
design should favour the best possible conservation,
by protecting the populations of species interacting
with one another over the long term, throughout
their own cycles. It is only by doing this that we
can ensure that the protection will allow species
to be conserved, and therefore the ecosystem. e
design must provide permanent protection for the
species present in the PA, and it must facilitate
management tasks.
Figure 3: Evolution in the human population density in five Africa countries from 1960 to 2017
Source: http://countrymeters.info/fr/
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
11
e management category: this species directly
which type of management will be carried out
in the PA, in particular in terms of planning or
management of human populations and their
activities. IUCN describes six management
categories, and the proper use of these management
categories enables the expected conservation results
to be described and, consequently, allows them to
be achieved.
Legislative and regulatory texts: in particular, those
that classify the PA, describe it, detailing how it
works (in other words texts that reect its design)
or texts that have a direct inuence on the PA by
dealing with the management of the surrounding
area or the regulation of pressures. Legislative
texts reect national legislation and can dier
from international standards (for example for the
denition of a national park or reserve). ese texts
must allow for the spatial design and the choice of
management category to express their full values in
order to achieve the expected conservation results.
3.1. Should the spatial design of PAs be
improved?
We need to ask ourselves whether the protection
provided by PAs to areas that are to be protected is
indeed permanent. For example, if a high percentage of
certain populations live outside the PA, it will only enjoy
partial protection. is land may gradually be colonised
by agriculture for example and the home range essential
for the population will be reduced by the same amount.
is will not allow the PAs to play the role they have
been assigned: to conserve the composition, structure,
function and evolutionary potential of biodiversity22.
e PA must be large enough to ensure that the dierent
populations to be conserved contain the minimum
number required to guarantee the viability of the species.
is number is often estimated at 200 individuals. e
dierent species also need to be able to interact in order
to ensure the balances required to allow the ecosystems
to function. e guidelines for national parks (Category
II) also state that “the area should be of sucient size and
ecological quality so as to maintain ecological functions
and processes that will allow the native species and
communities to persist23. us, a large national park will
be able to protect “larger-scale ecological processes that
22 Dudley, N., 2008, https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/
documents/PAG-021.pdf, Gland Switzerland, IUCN: x+96 p. https://
portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/PAG-021.pdf
23 Idem
will be missed by smaller protected areas”, and “protect
particular species and ecological communities that require
relatively large areas of undisturbed habitat24. So, it is
important to think about how the size of PAs should be
increased. is point has become particularly important
due to climate change: in a large PA, the climate may
be favourable in one location only, and the movements
made by animal species to benet from this will always
take place within the PA. If the PA were smaller, the
animals would have to move outside the PA to benet
from the favourable conditions and thus no longer be
protected.
Another key point is that, by increasing the size of the
PA, we also increase the length of the boundaries, and
the latter are thus located further from the centre of
the PA. is decreases the density of human-wildlife
conicts, which have increased signicantly as a result
of demographic growth.
e advantages of increasing the size of a PA are
summed up very well in the policy document for the
management of South African PAs25:
e maintenance of ecological integrity,
An enhancement of biological representation,
An enhancement of biological diversity,
An improvement of economic viability,
A minimisation of threats,
An enhancement of management eectiveness.
e modication of a space encompassed by a PA
naturally leads to a rethinking of the boundaries. ey
should be determined in order to ensure they contain the
highest possible number of home ranges permanently
over annual cycles. In many African countries, reserves
were created as “game reserves” and they were adjacent
to hunting zones, with a river (a natural boundary easy
to visualise) separating the reserve from the hunting
zone. During the hunting season, the same game species
could thus be protected in the reserve and hunted if it
crossed the river. If the hunting was carried out in a
responsible, sustainable manner, this could provide the
species with a certain degree of sustainable protection.
As we shall see later on, the recent drastic decline in
the big game sector in Africa has largely changed this
system, due to the abandoning of many hunting zones,
meaning that “semi-ecosystems” were protected, with
24 Idem
25 SANParks, Coordinated policy framework governing park management
plans, July 2006. 60 pp. https://www.sanparks.org/docs/conservation/
cpfjanuary2010.pdf
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
12
one bank of the river no longer being “protected”. is
can be found in numerous countries, for example along
the rivers Pendjari and Arly (Benin and Burkina Faso),
Faro and Bénoué (Cameroon), Luangwa (Zambia),
Zambezi (Zimbabwe-Zambia-Mozambique), etc.
Reconsidering these boundaries and this zoning, with
the increase in the global surface area protected, is a
priority action in order to improve conservation.
3.2. Should the management category be
changed?
It is important to remember that before determining
the category of a PA, it is essential that rst of all the
latter corresponds to IUCN’s current PA denition.
ere are six PA management categories, whose specic
features are summarised in Appendix I:
Ia. Strict nature reserve
Ib. Wilderness area
II. National Park (ecosystem conservation,
protection of cultural values)
III. Natural monument or natural element
IV. Habitat/species management area
V. Protected landscape/seascape
VI. Protected area with sustainable use of natural
resources.
Whilst all the management categories are useful, it is
clear that, in Africa, in terms of conservation of wildlife
species, three categories are particularly common. II
(National Park), IV (“specially managed reserves”) and
VI (with sustainable use of natural resources in part of
the surface area only). As we saw previously (Figure2),
and due to the gradual inuence of humans, the
conditions are more natural in categories I and II, and
less natural when we move towards categories V and VI,
which allow the environment to be modied to a certain
degree. is is important because the more natural an
ecosystem is, the better it functions. Moreover, we can
see that the right-hand part of the graph in Figure 2
includes the words, “Outside the protected areas”: these
zones can also evolve and change from being areas that
contribute to conservation (conserved areas) to true PAs
respecting the laws.
e change of management category can thus have
a major inuence on the fullment of conservation
objectives. We sometimes speak of “raising the
conservation status” when the management category
changes from VI to I or II, in order to recall that the
conditions will be more natural. is also involves
the classication of areas outside the PAs. Clearly,
proceeding to a reverse evolution (towards categories V
or VI) potentially reveals a weakening in the ecosystem’s
real conservation conditions.
3.3. Should legislative and regulatory texts be
changed?
As the area occupied by a PA changes and its management
category evolves, it is essential that the texts also evolve
in order to legalise the changes and allow the law to be
enforced as required. If the proposed modications are
provided for by law, a regulatory text will suce. If they
are not, a modication of the law should be studied, and
this should accompany the evolutions in the situation
in order to ensure the PA is managed properly. is is
why the texts should be reviewed periodically.
Finally, since the PA management plans are validated
by the relevant authority in the form of a decree or
an order (or if appropriate a formal decision made by
a local authority), any new management plan (and
potentially the accompanying internal regulations)
drafted in accordance with the new choices, should also
be validated ocially, and this constitutes a modication
of the texts.
In conclusion, the PAs need to be developed so that
they can perform their function in a changing context.
e conguration of PAs that was sucient 50 years
ago, may no longer be appropriate today and will be
even less so in the future.
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
13
4. How should their surface
areas, boundaries, status, roles
and management categories be
redefined?
Now we are going to look at the main technical points
that it would be desirable to develop.
4.1. Surface area
We have seen that in order to provide better protection
for functional balances, to allow the population viability
threshold of many species to be crossed, to decrease
the intensity of human-wildlife conicts and take
into account the problems caused by climate change,
it would be advisable to increase the size of some PAs.
A twofold question therefore arises: up to what surface
area should they be extended? Where is the necessary
space going to be found?
Once these problems have been discussed, we shall look
at the selection criteria used for this increase in size.
What is the ideal surface area?
e reply will obviously vary greatly depending on the
ecosystem, the habitats and the species to be protected,
but also on the current level of the populations, which
is hard to increase in view of the corresponding rise in
pressure. us, in order to obtain a population of 200
lions, there must be a suciently high number of prey
(ungulates mainly). is explains why, in many locations,
the lion density does not exceed 2lions/100 km² whilst,
theoretically, there could be 5or 10/100km². In these
dierent cases, so as to protect a minimum population of
200 lions, a total of 10,000km² (= 1 million hectares),
4,000 km² or 2,000 km² (=200,000 ha) would be
required respectively. Similarly, large surface areas are
required for wide-ranging species, such as the African
hunting Dog (total population for the whole of Africa:
3,500 individuals) or the Cheetah (total population
for the whole of Africa fewer than 8,000 individuals),
and the small PAs cannot conserve these two species
properly. For the forest elephant, whose population
densities are low, it is thought that at least 5,000 km²
are required for the species’ long-term conservation.
So, it can be seen that there is no standard answer, not
even for each individual species. However, we saw above
that the cost of managing a savanna PA is currently
around 7 to 8 USD/ha/year. Attempting to protect
a PA without this budget is like trying to drive a car
without fuel. Likewise, claiming that a PA management
mode does not work when this budget is not available
is just as wrong. So, the question is, for a PA measuring
5,000 km², which remains a desirable average size: do
you have an annual budget of 4 million USD/year?
If you dont have this budget, you can expect to see
some populations in a conserved habitat disappear, as
was the case in Northern Cameroon for example with
the black Rhinoceros, the Cheetah and the African
hunting Dog26, or with the Lion In Mole National Park
(Ghana) and Comoé National Park (Côte d’Ivoire)27.
ese species require a budget that is suciently high
to address the pressures they are faced with.
As the old saying goes, “you should not bite o more
than you can chew” and, as we saw above, the quality
of PAs is more important than their quantity. Finance
is thus the basis for PA management. Moreover, if
5,000 km² are beyond reach due to lack of funding,
it would probably be wise to limit the size of the
conservation area to 3,000 km², which seems a good
compromise between the eect of conservation and
the cost of conservation. And it would be advisable to
organise the 2,000 km² conceded, so that this land also
contributes to conservation less exclusively, and thus at
a lower price.
Where can the space be found for increasing the
size of PAs?
is issue is also essential, because one only has to look
at a map of human population density in Africa to know
that all zones that have surface water resources (essential
for virtually all mammal species) are occupied by
humans. Even in arid areas, zones near to water (basins,
low-lying areas, etc.) are already occupied. Today, it is
no longer possible to evict people who are already living
in a given area, as occurred in the past. All extensions
should be carried out voluntarily in collaboration with
the owners or the holders of the rights to the land. In
numerous African countries, and given the land tenure
system, these are often local communities. It seems hard
to ask local communities to give up their land to the
State that will own the PA. A community is instead
willing to manage its land itself, often by reserving an
area for the management of natural resources. In some
countries, this corresponds to a “conservancy”, as we
shall see later. Sometimes, as in the case of the creation
26 Brugière, D., et al. Large-scale extinction of large carnivores (lion
Panthera leo, cheetah Acinonyx jubatus and wild dog Lycaon pictus) in
protected areas of West and Central Africa. 2015. Tropical Conservation
Science Vol.8 (2): 513-527, 2015 http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/
pdf/10.1177/194008291500800215
27 Henschell, Ph., et al. The Lion in West Africa Is Critically Endangered. PLoS
ONE 9(1): e83500. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0083500 http://
journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0083500
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
14
of Sena Oura National Park in Chad, the communities
are the ones to take the initiative and classify the land,
because the category has been judged by them to be
more suitable for conserving the habitat from agro-
pastoral encroachment. In this case, the communities
negotiated a certain number of limited and regulated
land use rights28.
Another promising way forward today is that of
reclassifying land that belongs to the State, by changing
the management mode and sometimes the status or
category. A recent example of this is the case of the
reclassication of the NG42 hunting zone in Botswana
as a National Park, increasing the surface area of Chobe
National Park until it adjoined Nxai Pan National Park
(see Figure4 below), thus creating a protected corridor
along the migration route for zebras and wildebeest29.
is means that the State-owned land adjoining a PA
can be analysed to see whether the type of management
such as that carried out in a Category II PA would
be benecial for conservation. Traditionally, these
peripheral areas are reserves (wildlife or forest), classied
forests (as in 2018 in Malawi where Liwonde National
Park and Mangochi Forest Reserve30 were linked up
and managed jointly, in order to increase the space
available), big game hunting zones, etc.
e case of big game hunting zones is particularly topical,
given the rapid decline of this sector in Africa in recent
years. is process is described in detail in Appendices
No. 2 and No. 3. In Tanzania, 72% of the big game
hunting zones have now been abandoned because they
are no longer protable for hunting organisations,
due to the decrease in the number of animals that
can be hunted and agro-pastoral encroachment. is
represents a surface area of around 140,000 km² in
which hunting no longer takes place, in other words
around four times the surface area of Tanzania’s national
parks (38,365 km²). Economic factors lie behind the
halt in hunting management, because the organisation
of big game hunting obeys the rules of the private
sector, and an excessive decit leads to the activity being
discontinued. is conrms the fact that, henceforth, it
will not be possible to self-fund wildlife conservation by
28 http://pfbc-cbfp.org/docs/rapports_act/CCRKinshasa_2010/10_
SENAOURA.pdf
29 Naidoo, R., et al. A newly discovered wildlife migration in Namibia and
Botswana is the longest in Africa. Oryx, 2016, 50(1), 138–146 https://
www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/2
E54A55B5EB63E70E4FE918CDD904704/S0030605314000222a.pdf/
newly_discovered_wildlife_migration_in_namibia_and_botswana_is_the_
longest_in_africa.pdf
30 Liwonde National Park in Malawi will expand to include Mangochi Forest
Reserve. http://www.tourismupdate.co.za/article/178845/Key-Malawi-
wildlife-reserves-link-up
a consumer activity, invalidating the paradigm popular
in the period from 1970 to 2010, “if it pays, it stays”.
Faced with the cost of the ght against pressures,
management through consumer activities is not
protable enough and the areas are thus released,
potentially for the creation and management of new
PAs. It should also be noted that in Zambia, 40% of
the big game hunting zones are aected by agricultural
encroachment31.
So, it is only in very recent times that a new opportunity
has been available for PA managers: to restructure their
PAs so that they are more ecient and by enlarging
them and improving their boundaries, integrating all
or part of former hunting zones that are no longer
viable. Naturally, this absence of economic viability,
which removes the big game hunting’s function as a
conservation tool, is not the same everywhere. In places
where there is less pressure and where there is still
sucient wildlife density for hunting, the latter can still
act a conservation tool for a few more years (see Box
No. 1 for details on the current situation of the decision
point). However, huge areas are already available, as
long as action is taken quickly enough, because if not
they will be aected by agro-pastoral encroachment.
What selection criteria should be used to
increase the surface area of PAs?
e increase in the surface area mainly aims to take
greater account of the ecological features of the dierent
species that are to be protected. is may include:
Conserving all the hotspots for wildlife species
and sensitive habitats. ese are more often than
not watercourses, which constitute an almost
essential concentration point, especially in the dry
season, and which beyond providing drinking water
are also a source of food (low-lying areas, perennial
grazing land, aerial pastures for grazing animals),
and aord shade, protection, etc. We have seen that
very often watercourses, natural boundaries, have
been used to demarcate PAs, in particular in the
initial approach to “game reserves”. us, only half
of the watercourse is protected when the hunting
activity is not sustainable. Protecting only half of
an ecosystem is a real gamble, because pressure is
placed directly on the centre of the most important
biodiversity zones. It is thus a priority to classify
both banks of the rivers in PAs as quickly as possible,
31 Watson, F.G., et al. Human encroachment into protected areas network in
Zambia. Reg environ change 2014. DOI: 10.1007/s10113-014-0626-5
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
15
preferably with the same management category or
at least the same type of land use. is will allow
the ecosystem to work in optimal conditions,
distance the vulnerable centre of the PA from areas
of pressure and provide better protection to the
distribution ranges of wildlife species. At the same
time, by distancing the boundaries of the PA from
the species hotspot at the origin of the human-
wildlife conict, the latter will be reduced. is
measure involves a large number of PAs in Africa,
in particular in places where there are (or used to
be) peripheral big game hunting zones.
Conserving all the home ranges of the main
species. Most wildlife species have a home range
that they use throughout the year. Due to the great
disparity between the dry and the rainy seasons,
home ranges often change. In the dry season, they
are generally concentrated around water points
(rivers, ponds, etc.) whilst in the rainy season,
taking advantage of the surface water available all
over, they extend to areas that cannot be used during
the dry season (in other words beyond the distance
that an animal of a given species can cover by
walking each day) to exploit food resources that are
conserved during the dry season. is phenomenon
is sometimes called “partial migration32 33. By
taking these environmental features into account,
we will protect a higher percentage of these species
with large home ranges that vary over the course of
the seasons for longer. It is thus important to know
these home ranges and their variation upstream,
for example by carrying out remote monitoring
using telemetry tracking collars. An important
additional point is that we will thus reduce some
of the human-wildlife conicts, the home range no
longer extending beyond the PA, which is generally
an area in which human activities are carried out.
It should be noted that in some species, certain
individuals move very far from their family’s home
range34. Generally, it is not possible to predict these
movements, which in most cases are not repeated.
ese movements generally involve young males
looking for females, the males being known for
spreading their genes more widely in spatial terms
than the females, even if they do tend to return to
the area close to their birthplace (philopatry)35. It is
clearly impossible to protect all locations where one
32 Tshipa, A., et al. Partial migration links local surface-water management
to large-scale elephant conservation in the world’s largest transfrontier
conservation area. Biological Conservation 215 46-50 (2017). https://
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320717309047
33 Naidoo, R., et al. Home on the range: factors explaining partial migration
of African buffalo in a tropical environment. PlosOne 7 (5): e36527. DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone0036527
34 Loveridge, A. Lion hearted, p. 150-151. Regan Arts. New York, April 2018.
ISBN 978-1-68245-120-5
35 Greenwood, P.J., Mating systems, philopatry and dispersal in birds and
mammals. Anim. Behav. 1980, 28 1140-1162. https://doi.org/10.1016/
S0003-3472(80)80103-5
Figure 4: Extension of Chobe and Nxai Pan National Parks in Botswana reclassification of the NG42 hunting zone as a National
Park.
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
16
individual of a species is found! Attempts will be
made to protect most of a populations (and not an
individual’s) home ranges, whilst being limited by
land availability and management costs.
Contributing to connectivity. Here we prefer
to talk about connectivity rather than corridors.
Indeed, a corridor is not always functional, since
this depends on whether the species use it. It must
correspond to a real movement that is suciently
important. Connectivity involves a continuity of
home ranges36, and generally corresponds more to
the reality of the distribution of species, through
continuity rather than migration. With regard
to large animal species, there are only ve true
migrations in Africa (the elephants of Gourma -
Mali/Burkina Faso; South Sudan/Ethiopia with
the white-eared Kob mainly; the migration in the
Maasai area – Kenya/Tanzania – with wildebeest,
zebras, gazelles, etc.; the migration in Barotseland/
the Barotse Floodplain – Angola/Zambia – for
wildebeest and zebras; and, nally, the migration
in Northern/Central Botswana for zebras and
wildebeest above all). Some corridors are moreover
only used as an extension of an animal’s habitat
and not for movements, as was recently noted in
the case of the Mount Kenya elephants37.
It will be particularly important to maintain
connectivity, in other words retain a suciently
large connection in order to encompass home
ranges, in places where human encroachment
is increasing and risks isolating two PAs. is is
notably the case in places where big game hunting
zones are situated between two PAs, as in Zambia
for example between Luangwa North National Park
and Luangwa South National Park, or in Northern
Cameroon between Boubandjida, Bénoué and Faro
national parks. Earlier, we saw that Botswana had
just classied hunting zone NG42 as a national
park, to ensure connectivity (for true migration)
between Chobe and Nxai Pan national parks.
36 Benett, A.F. (1998,2003). Linkages in the landscape: The role of corridors
and connectivity in wildlife conservation. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and
Cambridge, UK. Xiv + 254 pp. https://portals.iucn.org/library/efiles/
documents/fr-021.pdf
37 Green, S., et al. Patterns of use and movement in the Mount Kenya
Elephant Corridor: is it an effective corridor or simply an extension of
habitat? September 2016 Conference: EAZA Annual Conference 2016
At: Belfast Affiliation: Marwell Wildlife, University of Southampton https://
www.researchgate.net/publication/311426529_Patterns_of_use_and_
movement_in_the_Mount_Kenya_Elephant_Corridor_is_it_an_effective_
corridor_or_simply_an_extension_of_habitat
It should be noted that, by maintaining this
connectivity, we can also reduce human-
wildlife conicts, by avoiding farmland
encroaching on wildlife habitats.
However, it is important to note that it is not
always possible to maintain this connectivity. is
is particularly the case when the human density
becomes too high. us, since 2006 South Africas
ocial policy has recognised that the free movement
of animals in a fragmented PA network, with areas
with human presence, is no longer possible and
it is carrying out the required genetic transfers
by translocation and not by creating corridors38.
is case will become increasingly common in
many countries with population growth.
e classication of connectivity areas rather than
corridors is thus a very interesting instrument, in
particular because the natural state is the best, since it
allows for a larger number of natural functions39 and
will have a better impact on conservation. Ideally,
of course, the connectivity area should be classied
as a PA, but this is not always possible.
Moreover, the connexion between two PAs plays an
essential role in the framework of climate change,
allowing species to “follow” the habitat that suits
them if it is aected40.
4.2. The boundaries
One of the consequences of the modication of the
size of a PA is the change in its boundaries. As we saw
earlier, the main point is to avoid the boundary being
a line such as a large river where there is a high wildlife
density. Ideally, in order to protect and reduce human-
wildlife conict, areas of high wildlife density and large
rivers should be situated at the centre of the PA. Ridge
lines thus make better boundaries than rivers. However,
the latter are very often used as “natural boundaries”.
It is also important to correct boundary lines in order
to attain a more regular shape and thereby eliminate
any boundaries that are too long with regard to the PAs
surface area. is reduces both entry areas for poachers
38 SANParks, Coordinated policy framework governing park management
plans, July 2006. 60 pp. https://www.sanparks.org/docs/conservation/
cpfjanuary2010.pdf
39 Worboys, G.L., et al. (2016) Advanced draft, Areas of connectivity
conservation guidelines. IUCN. http://conservationcorridor.org/wp-
content/uploads/acc_advdraft_guidelines_28may2016-1.pdf
40 Idem 37
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
17
and human-wildlife points of contact at which conicts
can arise. is is particularly important when the
boundary has indentations that allow inhabited areas
to “penetrate” the PA, greatly increasing the risk of
poaching and also human-wildlife conict when animal
species cross the indentation to get from one part of the
PA to another. is aspect is even more important for
inhabited enclaves within a PA.
With regard to the management of PAs, the monitoring
of boundaries is of key importance: in a certain number
of cases, the boundaries (and even sometimes the PA
itself) have disappeared as a result of human activities.
For everyday management, it is occasionally necessary
to create a large mark (using machinery) at the end
of the undisturbed natural zone, below the legal
boundary, in order to dene the area where any human
activities should stop. is does not bode well for the
modication of the PA’s status, as we shall see later on.
e last resort for demarcating a threatened boundary
is the installation of a fence along the problematic
boundary line.
A key point concerns the peripheral boundary of a PA
complex, which constitutes a conservation block and
may contain a national park, a reserve, hunting zones,
community natural resource management zones, etc.
is complex will be demarcated by a common external
boundary, which is monitored by dierent bodies, with
dierent legal statuses and a wide variety of budgetary
means. ese components will evolve in dierent ways,
the national parks generally resisting more than the
other bodies, as we can see in Chad where practically
all the reserves and classied forests have disappeared,
but where the national parks remain intact41. is
phenomenon occurs in many countries, where there is
a progressive disappearance of hunting zones and some
reserves, whilst the national parks are not threatened
by human encroachment, as in Northern Cameroon,
for example42. is means that the boundaries and
conservation potential of a conservation block made
up of dierent bodies will be threatened by humans
in varying intensities. Boundary management is thus
also a question of status and management category. It
will thus perhaps be necessary to consider this point in
order to contemplate a long-term conservation eect. A
41 UICN Papaco. Evaluation de l’efficacité de gestion des aires protégées
de la République du Tchad, 2008, 56 pp. http://papaco.org/wp-content/
uploads/2015/09/Rapam-Tchad.pdf
42 Omondi, P., et al. Total aerial count of elephants and other wildlife species
in Faro, Benoue and Bouba Ndjidda NPs and adjacent hunting blocks in
Northern Cameroon, WWF 2008, 75 pp. http://www.elephantdatabase.
org/system/population_submission_attachments/files/000/000/060/
original/svyFCCMNOR2008AT.pdf
PA cannot be isolated from its peripheral context. is
point is even more valid for conservation areas within
a block, which do not correspond to the denition of
a PA. In other words, their management is not assured
in the long term, like a community area in which the
community decides, legitimately, to modify the internal
zoning boundaries in its management plan. is point
leads us to buer zones.
4.3. Buffer zones
Historically, most PAs were provided with a buer
zone around their ocially classied area. is is most
often a strip, measuring 3-10 km wide, for example,
in which the inhabitants are not allowed to carry out
certain activities judged to be harmful for the PA.
ese activities may include hunting, deforestation,
farming, grazing, the permanent installation of houses
or industrial buildings, etc.
In the vast majority of cases, these buer zones have
disappeared. e reason for this is that the inhabitant
(who has the land use or property rights) cannot do
whatever they want on their land. is is in fact a matter
of a limitation of their rights, which is imposed on them
by the PA management authority (often the State), and
this is seen as being inacceptable. Rather than opposing
the authority directly, the inhabitants often preferred
to allow development encroachment (agro-pastoral in
most cases) to advance silently, especially in the rainy
seasons when movements and controls are dicult.
Finally, the manager is faced with a fait accompli: the
buer zone has disappeared.
e alternative is to favour a peripheral area over a
buer zone: this is a legal spatial entity that species
the activities that can be carried out (such as grazing
in a reserve, or hunting in a hunting zone), which is
created centrally by the State or in a participatory
manner by local communities. is worked quite well
whilst hunting was a conservation tool, but it is far
from being the case today43. e creation of community
areas, sometimes called “conservancies” is currently
being developed on the periphery of some PAs, such
as in Kenya for example where 160 conservancies
manage 6.36 million hectares for the benet of 700,000
households44. We shall study this later on in this study.
43 UICN Papaco. La grande chasse en Afrique de l’Ouest: quelle contribution
à la conservation? ISBN: 978-2-8317-1204-8. https://portals.iucn.org/
library/efiles/documents/2009-074.pdf
44 https://kwcakenya.com/conservancies/status-of-wildlife-conservancies-in-
kenya/
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
18
4.4. The role of PAs
It is important to dene the role assigned to a PA.
First of all, we need to bear in mind the denition of a
protected area: a protected area is “a geographical space
managed “to achieve the long-term conservation of nature
with associated ecosystem services and cultural values45.
Consequently, “for IUCN, only areas where the main
objective is conserving nature can be considered protected
areas; this can include many areas with other goals as
well, at the same level, but in the case of conict, nature
45 Dudley, N., 2008, https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/
documents/PAG-021.pdf, Gland Switzerland, IUCN: x+96 p. https://
portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/PAG-021.pdf
conservation will be the priority.46 is means that even
if PAs contribute to the economy and to development,
this is not their priority goal and they must rst and
foremost be managed to conserve nature.
Next, we must keep in mind how the categories are
assigned: “e choice of category should be based on the
primary objective(s) stated for each protected area…
All categories make a contribution to conservation but
objectives must be chosen with respect to the particular
situation; not all categories are equally useful in every
situation47.
46 Idem 44
47 Idem
Box 1: Beyond which threshold is big game hunting no longer a
conservation tool?
Big game hunting works like a private financial company, which generates the money it needs for its
investments and its operations. It should be noted that a wild animal forms part of the biodiversity that
constitutes a public good. However, when the animal is killed by a hunter, it becomes a private good.
Hunting cannot therefore be funded by donations of public money. Hunting is profitable when the expenses
incurred for a given income are low: safaris can be sold without spending a lot of money to carry them
out. This was the case for many years, when the human density was low, in very remote areas. Today,
population pressures have increased considerably, as has the cost of curbing them.
When the hunting organisation
does not spend (or cannot
because the cost is too high) the
amounts required to maintain
the desirable conservation
status faced with agro-pastoral
encroachment and poaching,
the size of habitats decreases (=
a decrease in the size of hunting
zones), animal populations
decrease in number (= decrease
in the number of animals that can
be shot), the number of hunters
decrease (not enough animals
to shoot, price of hunting too
high), and, finally, the hunting
organisation’s income decreases.
The calculations (see Appendix 2) show that to conserve a lion for hunting costs around 4 million USD,
whilst the market price for its hunt is around 50,000 USD. And, in the absence of the hunting of flagships
species, hunters are no longer interested in the area in question. This distortion reveals the incapacity of
big game hunting to fund conservation and its activity. This is summed up in the following figure.
All areas do not cross the efficiency threshold at the same time. It depends on the human density, the
geographical location of the zone and its context, as well as the State’s political will to support conservation,
etc. Many countries and zones have already exceeded this threshold and cannot go back. This is what
we are seeing in many places nowadays. This sea change is often difficult for people to understand and
accept, because it has many political and behavioural implications.
It is important to use this change as an opportunity and also to use it to achieve protected areas with better
configurations, which will conserve nature better.
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
19
e role played by a PA thus depends primarily on
the objectives it is assigned, and we will recall that
the conditions become less natural as we move from
Category I to Category VI, since the extent to which
the environment has been modied increases (Figure1).
Now let us try to imagine some of the possible roles PAs
can play and let us look at how the conguration of the
PAs can allow them to achieve this:
Main role: Protection of ecosystem services. In
order to achieve this, we need to preserve as many
ecosystem functions and balances as possible, which
requires nature to be undisturbed by humans (close
to its primary state). e PA must thus ideally
contain within its boundaries an entire watershed
(water production) including wetlands (ltration,
purication, ght against ooding) or an entire
forest (signicant carbon stocks, the absence of
nuisance eects on forest edges). Categories I and
II are probably those that best full this role.
Main role: wildlife tourism. is is an activity that
is widespread in African PAs, given the presence of
this continent’s iconic species and its landscapes.
e turnover from tourism in sub-Saharan Africa
was 66 billion USD in 201648, with wildlife tourism
generating a signicant percentage of that total. So,
it plays a very important role. We should also note
the key social role it plays, with tourism in sub-
Saharan Africa in 2016 accounting for 8.4 million
direct jobs, and 20.7 million indirect jobs49. is
implies that the tourists’ expectations are met, since
generally they can see the iconic or rare animals in
good conditions, in “virgin” nature and are able to
understand and appreciate nature, etc. e “wild,
open spaces” aspect is very important and it is not
a coincidence that one of the main companies to
organise ecotourism in Southern and East Africa is
called Wilderness Safaris, referring directly to these
wild open spaces. erefore, any association with
hunting is out of the question, as is the presence
of human infrastructures and activities other
than traditional ones and in limited numbers. So,
Categories I to IV are probably the most relevant.
48 WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) 2018, www.wttc.org
49 Idem
Main role: use of natural resources. is is
possible in Category VI, but the PA must rst
correspond to the IUCN denition. We have seen
that some hunting zones, no longer managed when
the allocated quotas are reduced, do not correspond
to the denition of a PA. e main objective of
Category VI is “to protect natural ecosystems and
use natural resources sustainably, when conservation
and sustainable use can be mutually benecial50. If
our area is indeed a PA, the use must also comply
with certain rules. “In general, IUCN recommends
that a proportion of the area is retained in a natural
condition, which in some cases might imply its
denition as a no-take management zone. Some
countries have set this as two-thirds”. “Category
VI protected areas aim to conserve ecosystems and
habitats, together with associated cultural values and
natural resource management systems51. is means
that modern and industrial exploitations are not
desirable or accepted. Category VI PAs certainly
have an important role to play in landscapes and
help conserve ecosystem services.
In conclusion, the choice of the role to be played by the
PA is thus essential, in particular at present when the
economy for PA management is evolving. e increase
in pressure due to population growth has changed
the consumer management paradigm, as summed up
by Professor Packer (University of Minnesota - USA,
University of Oxford - United Kingdom):
From 1920 to 1960, the paradigm was: “wildlife
pays for its conservation”,
From 1960 to 2010, the paradigm was: “wildlife
must pay for its conservation”,
In 2010, the paradigm became: “wildlife cannot
pay for its conservation52
is point is discussed in detail in appendices 2 and
3. is paradigm shift is of crucial importance when it
comes to allocating roles to our PAs: the consumptive
use of wildlife is far less favourable than we thought,
and that must be taken into account when allocating
roles to PAs. is thus leads directly to a revision of the
choice of management categories.
50 Idem 46
51 Dudley, N., 2008, https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/
documents/PAG-021.pdf, Gland Switzerland, IUCN: x+96 p. https://
portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/PAG-021.pdf
52 Packer, C., 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STaqmtIZfcU
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
20
4.5. Management categories
e above points will lead some to wonder which
management categories will be best able to protect
nature in the future. ere is no clear-cut answer, but
we can think about this issue considering the following
priority issues
Habitat conservation and respect for boundaries.
We saw earlier how in many countries, a number
of wildlife reserves, hunting reserves and classied
forests have been colonised by humans. is was
noted in a previous study by IUCN-Papaco53.
Let us take the case of Côte d’Ivoire, for example:
deforestation and the inuence of farming activities
have aected classied and non-classied forests
and reserves that have practically disappeared. e
phenomenon has also aected some small national
parks, mainly during political conicts. However,
two of the country’s larger national parks (T
and Comoé) are virtually undisturbed and only
slightly degraded54. is trend is repeated in many
countries. Moreover, the management budget is
not always a criterion that explains the respect for
the area: in Northern Cameroon, hunting zones
surrounding Bénoué National Park managed by
the private sector have budgets per hectare that
are higher than those of the park, but the latter
has not been colonised whilst the hunting zones
have been colonised and can no longer be used
for hunting. However, we must compare like
with like and note that some national parks are
not managed as Category II protected areas. is
is the case, for example, of the Boucle du Baoulé
National Park (Mali), which was managed as a
Category VI area and this led to the degradation
of the habitat, agro-pastoral encroachment
and a sharp decline in the wildlife present55.
is shows the real need for a “true” national park
to be managed as a Category II protected area.
Some leading experts such as R.Leakey, the former
chairman of the board of the Kenya Wildlife
Service, believe that in the future the only areas that
53 UICN Papaco. La grande chasse en Afrique de l’Ouest : quelle contribution
à la conservation ? ISBN: 978-2-8317-1204-8. https://portals.iucn.org/
library/efiles/documents/2009-074.pdf
54 UICN-Papaco, Evaluation de l’efficacité de gestion des aires protégées de
Côte d’Ivoire, 2007. http://papaco.org/fr/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/
Rappam-Ivory-Coast.pdf
55 Lauginie, F., 2009. UICN-Papaco & Afrique Nature International. Evaluation
externe indépendante de la gestion des Aires protégées du Mali. 109 p.
https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/Rep-2009-
021.pdf
will still be protected and capable of contributing to
conservation in Africa will be the national parks56.
He may well be right.
Conservation of wildlife species. With regard to
this point and, more specically, to large animals
(weighing over 10 kilos, for example), it is clear that
in many countries they are generally only found in
national parks, at least in terms of populations (a
few isolated individuals can still be found in other
locations). We have just discussed Côte d’Ivoire
but this is also the case in Senegal (Niokolo Koba
National Park), Togo, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, the
Far North Region of Cameroon, Sudan, Ethiopia,
Uganda, DRC, Malawi, etc. It can be seen that these
are mainly countries with a high human population,
and this foreshadows the future. A Papaco study
showed that, where management levels are similar,
the national parks have higher wildlife densities
than those of the peripheral conservation zones57.
e Great Elephant Census showed the importance
of protected areas. Broadly speaking, 84% of the
350,000 elephants counted on the African savannas
in 18 countries surveyed were in PAs58, but equally,
with an average density twice as high, there were
0.44 elephants/km² in the PAs compared with
0.23 /km² outside the PAs. More specically, in
Tanzania, the same Great Elephant Census revealed
the sometimes enormous dierences between a
national park like the Serengeti whose elephant
population rose from 2,143 in 2003 to 6,087 in
2014, whilst the number of elephants in the Selous
Game Reserve dropped from 70,400 in 2006 to
13,200 in 2014. erefore, this means a 16.7%
annual increase for the Serengeti National Park
and an annual decrease of 9% for the Selous Game
Reserve. e dierences in management for two
management types, in the same country, are thus
clear and favour national parks.
56 https://www.iucn.org/crossroads-blog/201803/protected-areas-hope-
midst-sixth-mass-extinction?utm_campaign=2055382_Protecting%20
the%20Planet%20-%20March%202018&utm_medium=email&utm_
source=IUCN&dm_i=2GI3,181XY,40EIEG,3VLOV,1 and http://papaco.
org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/lettreNAPA-119-0518-EN.pdf
57 UICN Papaco. La grande chasse en Afrique de l’Ouest: quelle contribution
à la conservation? ISBN: 978-2-8317-1204-8. https://portals.iucn.org/
library/efiles/documents/2009-074.pdf
58 http://www.greatelephantcensus.com/final-report/
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
21
Socio-economic impacts. is is an important
point. Since the pressures are of human origin, it is
important that a signicant number of people have
nancial interests in the proper functioning of the
PAs in order to encourage a larger number of people
to respect them. us, in Kenya, tourism, with
the country’s wildlife being the main attraction,
generated a turnover of 2.8 billion USD in 2017,
which directly supported 429,500 jobs59. Similarly,
in Botswana, in 2017 wildlife tourism generated
a direct turnover of 687 million USD for 26,000
direct jobs60. e socio-economic impacts will
play a key role in the future of PAs, by involving
a large number of people (one paid job providing
a livelihood for around ten people in Africa) who
have a vested interested in ensuring that the PAs
are in good condition. is is particularly the case
thanks to wildlife tourism, which is mainly carried
out in PAs and especially in Category II protected
areas (national parks). us, in June 2018,
Tanzania announced that it was going to upgrade
ve wildlife reserves to national parks, in order to
develop wildlife tourism61.
Running cost. e cost of technical management,
including development (trails, bush re
management, etc.) and monitoring, in order to
achieve the same management result, is the same
for a given surface whatever the management
category or even outside the PA (this is the case
of areas that contribute to conservation). is cost
currently stands at around 7 to 8 USD/hectare/year
in unfenced savanna zones, as seen above. A fenced
zone costs much more (as much as 7 to 8 times
more, as mentioned earlier), due to the cost of
installing the fences (in Namibia, in 2018, the cost
of 1 km of fence in Etosha National Park to stop
wildlife escaping, including elephants and large
carnivores, is 700,000 Namibian Dollars, in other
words 53,000 USD62), and then one has to add the
costs of the daily monitoring and maintenance. It
has also been estimated that one dollar protects
more lions in an unfenced zone than in a fenced
59 https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/
countries-2018/kenya2018.pdf
60 https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/
countries-2018/botswana2018.pdf
61 The East African, 5 June 2018. http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/business/
Tanzania-woos-tourists-to-parks/2560-4596772-otv8wwz/index.html
62 New Era, Namibia, 4 June 2018. https://www.newera.com.
na/2018/06/04/completion-of-etosha-fence-to-cost-government-over-
n490-million/
zone63. For the future, it is important to fund the
conservation of PAs with the highest potential,
in other words those with the greatest chances of
success in conserving natural values in accordance
with the current and future levels of pressure and
threats.
In conclusion, there is no easy answer; each case
is unique. However, all things being equal, the
Category II protected areas appear to have a series
of advantages, which puts them in a good position
for the future. Since pressures on natural values
mainly originate in the periphery, it is important
to know how to manage them as well as possible,
in order to conserve both the interests of the PA
and those of the surrounding communities. It is
impossible to separate these two entities.
5. In this context, how should the
periphery be managed?
e periphery of a PA starts at the boundary. More
often than not, the State-owned property stops at the
boundary and, depending on the case and the country,
the private sector or communities have jurisdiction
over the periphery. ere may or may not be a land
title, and sometimes only usage rights are vested in the
communities. As we have seen, most PA buer zones
have disappeared. Mainly due to the usage restrictions
imposed by the State on the rights holders. For several
years now, we have seen peripheral areas emerge that
were created on a voluntary basis by the rights holders,
who continue to govern and manage them. ey lay
down the rules and reap the benets.
ese voluntary, democratic peripheral areas are of
great interest because they make it possible to create
a transition zone between the conservation area (PA)
and the development zone, whilst retaining the natural
features that favour the sustainability of the PA’s values,
and also foster the development of communities and
the private sector. In many cases, these areas are called
“conservancies”. Moreover, it should be noted that a
conservancy is sometimes situated on the periphery
of a PA, but not always. ere is a detailed analysis of
conservancies in Appendix 4.
63 Creel, S., Ecology Letters 2013, DOI: 10.1111/ele.12145. http://www.
mjkelly.info/Publications/Creel%20Lions%202013.pdf
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
22
ere are private conservancies for which an owner
has a land title and devotes his/her property to the
management of natural resources and fauna. Sometimes
several owners get together and manage their land using
the same management type. In accordance with the
country’s land tenure, we can thus nd this kind of
entity right on the periphery of a PA. Examples of these
entities include those anking the western boundary of
the Kruger National Park in South Africa (Sabie Sands
Game Reserve, Timbavati Game Reserve, etc.).
ere are also community conservancies in which
community land is governed by a democratically
elected body, which adopts a management plan for
its land, reserving part for the management of natural
resources and wildlife, part for cattle breeding, part
for farming, part for houses and infrastructures, and
part for development. e zone reserved for natural
resources only represents a part, a variable proportion
of the conservancy.
In other cases, such as on the periphery of the Maasai
Mara National Reserve in South-Western Kenya, the
communities have individual land titles and the owners
met to create conservancies, which are managed for
wildlife and cattle, thanks to a grazing land management
plan that evolves over the course of the season and in
accordance with periods of drought. is thus allows
for adaptation to the vagaries of the climate. In this
case, thanks to tourism, wildlife management generates
the majority of the conservancy’s funding. ese
conservancies are of great interest because they are
created voluntarily and democratically, and increase the
amount of protected land on a voluntary basis, funded
by wildlife tourism, without excluding development.
A key point is the importance of the economic benets,
as communities will take ownership of conservation
action only when benets are signicant for them.
In Namibia, there are 82 conservancies, which cover
165,000 km², in other words 20% of the country’s total
land area. However, this does not imply that 20% of the
country is covered by additional PAs: it means that 20%
of the country is subject to community management
with a natural resources management plan. e parts
that are really conserved (the central or core areas) only
represent a (variable) part of this 20%. More often than
not, they are not adjacent to a PA, and conservation areas
between neighbouring conservancies are not generally
joined. is does not favour the conservation of large
species that are of interest in wildlife tourism, but it can
increase the number of human-wildlife conicts, since
human habitats are scattered among the areas assigned
to fauna. e economic benets for the 200,000 people
inhabiting the conservancies are generated by the
association of wildlife tourism with big game hunting,
which generated 7.4 million USD. e most protable
activity is tourism (although this only concerns less
than 50% of the conservancies), generating 58.3% of
the income and creating 950 jobs. e analysis shows
that the income is insignicant per person, with big
gaming hunting providing around 1.5 million USD/
year to all the conservancies64, in other worlds 0.09
USD/ha per conservancy or 7.5 USD/person per year.
ese very low gures are perhaps still of interest in the
context of Namibia, which is very sparsely inhabited,
but they would not be in the vast majority of other
African countries.
is analysis allows us to draw the following conclusions
that can improve the management of PAs in the future,
whilst making populations a more integral part of their
management:
Favour the creation of community conservancies on
the periphery of protected areas wherever possible.
Favour the development of wildlife tourism on the
basis of these conservancies, in the conservancies
but also (and especially) in PAs, promoting private
sector-community partnerships.
Favour the hosting structures in these conservancies
and not within the PAs, in order to maximise the
prots from tourism for local communities, thereby
maximising the eect of the conservancies.
We must not only favour the conservancies that
adjoin a PA (plus those that do not), but, during
the planning stage, we must also ensure that the
conservation zone (core area) is directly adjacent
to the PA. If this is not the case, the conservation
eect will be reduced and human-wildlife conicts
will increase.
e coordination between conservancies must also
be promoted to ensure that, when they are being
planned, their conservation zones are adjacent. is
will favour the conservation eect by increasing the
global useful surface area conserved and encourage
connectivity. It will also favour tourism and thus
the economic returns and, nally, the sustainability
of the action.
64 Naidoo, R., et al. Complementary benefits of tourism and hunting to
communal conservancies in Namibia, 2016. Conservation Biology. DOI:
10.1111/cobi.12643. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26537845
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
23
e governance must be planned at several levels:
for each conservancy, for all the conservancies, for
all the protected landscapes, and by linking the
conservancies and the PAs.
6. Should all the PAs be conserved,
should new ones be created or,
on the contrary, should some be
abandoned?
In order to answer this question, rst of all we need to
remember the objective: to expand the global protected
area network to 17% of the Earths land surface,
irrespective of the category. Areas not considered as PAs
(classied forests, most hunting zones, etc.) are added to
this 17% without contributing to it. e next question
is logically: what percentage of PAs do we have in our
country?
Let us take the example of a country like Tanzania,
which has 57,000 km² of national parks for a total
national land surface area of 945,000 km², in other
words 6.0%65. Additionally, there are 176,300 km² of
other types of PA (in accordance with Tanzanian law),
including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, 28
wildlife reserves (that are all or partially hunting zones)
and 43 Game Controlled Areas66 (which are hunting
zones), in other words 18.7%. However, much of this
land is in fact used for hunting and does not match the
IUCN denition of a PA. Additionally, there are other
types of PAs, making a total of 233,000 km², in other
words 24.65% of Tanzanias land surface area. us, we
can see that the 17% objective has been substantially
exceeded, but that many of these PAs (18% of the
country’s surface area)67 are not PAs in the international
65 Tanzania National Parks, 2018. http://www.tanzaniaparks.go.tz/index.
php/2016-02-03-12-30-54/2016-02-03-12-31-41
66 Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania http://www.mnrt.
go.tz/about/category/ministry-overview
67 Big game hunting is possible on 300 000 km² of land in Tanzania, all
categories combined, in other words 31.7% of the country! ! http://www.
conservationforce.org/tanzania-hunting-operator-report
Figure 5: Map of conservation areas in Namibia.
Source: NACSO
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
24
sense, and they are largely degraded or unused, as
mentioned earlier.
We can thus ask ourselves whether it is appropriate to
exceed the 17%, and nally note that these PAs are not
protected areas, or they have become degraded and are
no longer protected. It seems important:
1. To cover 17% of a country’s land surface in PAs
that correspond to IUCN recognised categories.
2. at this 17% of the land is made up of real,
eciently managed PAs. is implies that the
necessary budget needs to be available. Managing
17% of the surface area of Tanzania eciently
requires a budget of at least 120 million USD per
year to manage 16 million ha.
In reality, very little money is spent outside of national
parks for conservation in Tanzania (see Appendices 2
and 3): the hunting advocacy group “Conservation
Force” stated that between 2013 and 2015, 27 hunting
operators exploiting 121,400 km² spent 2.24 million
USD, in other words 0.18 USD/ha/year68. Today, no
one can achieve proper management with such modest
management budgets.
is example clearly shows the importance of choosing
the role, the status, the category of a PA and nally of
having a suciently large budget for the management
before deciding whether it is desirable to realign a
protected area network. We can propose several simple
elements in response to the questions below, to serve as
a basis for reection:
Should they all be conserved?
If we analyse the real management categories of all the
PAs, country by country, we will reach the conclusion
that, for most countries, the 17% target has not been
reached. However, countries present as PAs, areas that
do not meet the IUCN PA criteria, even though they
contribute to conservation on another level. us, the
total number of PAs wrongly represents an extremely
high percentage of the national surface area.
68 Conservation Force, Tanzania Hunting Operator Enhancement Audit, 2016,
http://www.conservationforce.org/tanzania-hunting-operator-report
So, according to Lindsey69: Central African Republic,
Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana have totals (PAs + Big
game hunting areas) of 43%, 40.5%, 29.2% and 41%
respectively of the country’s land surface area supposedly
devoted to conservation.
As we have seen, the income generated by wildlife
does not fund its conservation, since it is extremely
inadequate. is means that no State can budget the
sums of money required for the management of 40% of
its land simply for conservation. Moreover, the benets
for the communities are very limited: between 2013
and 2015, the above-mentioned 27 hunting operators
in Tanzania distributed to the communities an average
annual sum of 1.04 million USD, in other words 0.08
USD/hectare per year70. So, hectares of land with
extremely low productivity for conservation (or hunting
in this case) are taken from the populations71. In these
conditions, it is inconceivable that 40% of a country
could be devoted to an activity that does not generate
the well-being expected by its inhabitants. It would
probably even be counterproductive. Many people
believe it is legitimate to take back from the State what
it is giving to wildlife to the detriment of its population.
us, except perhaps in very sparsely populated
countries that are also quite rich, such as Botswana,
the response will be not to exceed the 17% threshold,
but rather to manage it properly, starting by funding it
suciently.
69 Lindsey, P.A., et al. Economic and conservation significance of the trophy
hunting industry in Sub-Saharan Africa. Biological conservation 134
(2007) 455-469. https://www.perc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/
Economic-and-conservation-significance.pdf
70 Conservation Force, Tanzania Hunting Operator Enhancement Audit, 2016,
http://www.conservationforce.org/tanzania-hunting-operator-report
71 Tanzania has an average human population density of 62 people per Km²,
in other words 0.62 per hectare. http://countrymeters.info/fr/Tanzania
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
25
Should more PAs be created?
A simple map of Africas human density shows us that it is
practically impossible to nd signicant areas to classify
in order to extend the PA network further. Nowadays,
it is no longer conceivable to remove inhabitants from
their land in order to create a PA. e only land that
can still be categorised as PAs is land that is considered
marginal for humans. But is this land important for
conservation beyond what has already been classied?
It would appear preferable to carry this process out in
two stages:
Analyse the gaps in the PA network72, and identify
the biological features (habitats, species, etc.) not
covered properly by the network. en, study to
what extent it is possible to take them into account
in the PA network. Bearing in mind what we have
seen above, there is surely a need for a greater focus
to be placed on the reclassication of protected
areas and areas that contribute to conservation
(conserved areas) than on the creation of new zones.
Analyse the current network of PAs and areas that
contribute to conservation to see to what extent it is
possible to make them more eective by improving
the conguration (surface area, boundaries,
management category, real PA). In many cases, we
may only focus on part of the existing area to take
the realities into account: the eective agricultural
encroachment, human settlements, balancing
the land with the available management budget,
the need to straighten boundaries (avoiding
indentations, for example).
e taking into account of realities (human
density, existing human settlements, the available
management budget, etc.) will probably lead more to
the reconguration of a certain number of PAs, the
classication of part of the areas that contribute to
conservation as PAs, than to the creation of new PAs,
within the threshold of 17% of the country’s land
surface.
Should some PAs be abandoned?
e two above-mentioned analyses should give us a
good idea of the utility and the reality of numerous PAs.
It is clear that some have already disappeared, and others
are simply paper parks. In a context where the available
budget is essential and fragmentation leads to the
72 Identification and Gap Analysis of Key Biodiversity Areas. 2011. Gland,
Switzerland: IUCN. xiii + 128pp. https://portals.iucn.org/library/efiles/
documents/PAG-015.pdf
deterioration of the whole, it is clear that prioritisation
should be carried out by allocating the necessary
budgets to the main PAs. e question is therefore to
nd out how one determines whether a PA is of high
priority, if all the PAs contribute to the quality of the
network? If they are not prioritised, there is a risk that
everything will be lost. In other words, should one car
be given enough fuel to allow it to reach its destination
or should all cars be given a little fuel so that none of
them arrives? In practice, it is likely that some PAs will
be better funded than others. e objective remains rst
of all to increase the budget available for the network.
us, in Kenya, in 2015 the Kenya Wildlife Service
(KWS) had a budget of 68 million USD73 to manage a
network representing 8% of the country’s 580,000-km²
surface area, in other words 46,400 km². e budget
therefore corresponds to 14.65 USD/ha/year. Whilst
this level is already excellent, very few countries have
budgets of this size (above the recommended average).
It should also be noted that all PAs are not funded in
the same way: national parks are under the exclusive
jurisdiction of KWS, whilst national reserves are
controlled by the regions (decentralisation), which have
to nance them. Moreover, KWS provides support for
community and private conservancies, whose surface
area extends beyond the 8% of the proportion of the
national PA network. So, this example shows that the
budget must be suciently large but that it must also
take the periphery and the communities into account.
e budget must therefore be dierentiated without the
PAs being prioritised, since they are all important.
We must stress that the act of abandoning PAs is not
insignicant. When the latter were gradually colonised
illegally by agro-pastoral encroachment, degazetting the
PAs and allowing them to be encroached by agriculture
was a victory to illegality and was thus validated. Since
the rst condition of nature conservation is respect for
the state of law, we put future wildlife conservation on
the wrong track by degazetting illegally colonised areas.
In terms of communication, it is the worst possible
message you could send. It is a clear incentive to
continue the degradation of the PAs.
To address this issue, we need to focus on reclassication
rather than degazettement, and on budgetary
prioritisation rather than the prioritisation of categories.
73 http://www.kws.go.ke/content/annual-reports
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
26
To sum up, the objective is indeed to ensure that 17%
of a country’s land is covered in real PAs (and not areas
contributing marginally to conservation). In many
densely populated countries, the additional percentages
of so-called conservation areas are not well received
by the population, especially when we know that the
economic benets they generate are not sucient
to ensure conservation. In an insucient budgetary
context, they may even have a negative eect, causing
the whole network to be underfunded. is would not
allow priority conservation to succeed and would incite
communities to remove illegally these excessively large
parts of the land that they need to live. is point now
leads us to discuss the PADDD phenomenon (“Protected
Area Downgrading, Downsizing and Degazettement”
in other words the decrease in categorisation, in surface
area and the declassication of PAs).
7. What is happening with the
PADDD phenomenon currently
underway?
e phenomenon of the downgrading, downsizing
and degazettement of PAs refers to the modication in
the legislation that decreases the land use restrictions
(human activities) on PAs, the boundaries of a PA
or totally eliminates the legal protection74. It is an
important phenomenon and over 3,000 cases have been
documented in 70 countries75.
Listed below are a few real cases from Africa that were
published in the literature76.
In Central African Republic, the authorisation
given to the Ba’Aka pygmies to use 2/3 of the
former Dzanga-Sangha National Park led to
the classication texts being changed and the
protected area being called the Dzanga-Sangha
Special Reserve. is is classied as downgrading.
Changing usage rights in conservation is thus not
insignicant.
e surface area of Akagera National Park in
Rwanda was reduced (downsizing) after the
invasion by the population during the events of the
1990s, the North of the park having ceased to be an
eective conservation area.
74 https://www.conservation.org/projects/Pages/PADDD-Protected-Area-
Downgrading-Downsizing-Degazettement.aspx
75 http://www.padddtracker.org/
76 Mascia, M.B., et al. Protected area downgrading, downsizing, and
degazettement (PADDD) and its conservation implications. Conservation
Letters 2010, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1755-
263X.2010.00147.x
In Tanzania, the Ruvu Game Reserve was abolished
after being encroached by the population and
in order to develop agro-pastoral activities
(degazettement).
In addition to these actions that have been implemented,
we should mention those that have been proposed
and often concern planned industrial infrastructures.
For example, this is currently the case of the planned
hydroelectric dam in the Selous Game Reserve77, a
World Heritage Site in Tanzania. is construction
would signicantly change the ecological functioning
of this reserve. Another example is the case of a planned
uranium mine78 in the same reserve, which would
reduce the size of the latter by 0.7%.
Many well-known infrastructure development projects
and other legal actions are undertaken within the
framework of PADDD. However, they probably only
represent a tiny part of the insidious phenomenon
resulting from the gradual occupation by local
communities of numerous PAs or areas that contribute
to conservation. Let us take the example of Zambia:
we mentioned earlier that 40% of the hunting areas
in Zambia, which represent 21.3% of the country,
were occupied by agriculture79, in other words 8.5%
of the entire country. Although this downsizing is not
recognised in the ocial texts, it is highly signicant.
Moreover, it is accompanied by downgrading, which
was not ocially recognised in the regulations (in other
words, the authorisation given to the communities to
farm in hunting areas) but was recognised in 2008, in
its consequences, by the ocial classication of areas
rich in wildlife (Category I), moderately rich in wildlife
(Category II) or depleted of wildlife80.
It is however unusual for national administrations to
recognise they have failed to conserve what they were
responsible for, just as they are very reluctant to admit
that an animal they were supposed to protect has
become extinct. Extinctions are generally announced
by the international community rather than national
administrations81. Moreover, it should be noted that
when PAs or areas that contribute to conservation
are concessioned for exploitation (consumptive or
77 https://www.wwf.de/fileadmin/fm-wwf/Publikationen-PDF/WWF-Report-
Selous-True-Cost-Of-Power.pdf
78 https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13989264
79 Watson, F.G., et al. Human encroachment into protected areas network in
Zambia. Reg environ change 2014. DOI 10.1007/s10113-014-0626-5
80 Lindsey, P.A., et al. Underperformance of African Protected Area Networks
and the Case for New Conservation Models: Insights from Zambia, 2014.
PlosOne. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.
pone.0094109
81 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5167266.stm
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
27
otherwise), for their entire surface area or part of it,
the price is often based on the number of hectares
allocated. Accepting that the land to be rented out (very
often State land) has decreased entails accepting that
the administration has not protected the land it was
meant to manage properly and accepting a reduction
in the State resources from the concession, which is
problematic. is results in these degradations not being
reported or even being hidden. ese areas account for
a considerable amount of land in Africa.
e main question conservationists are asked is: what
should be done with these degraded areas and zones?
Should their loss be legalised by introducing a legal act?
Let us consider rst of all the case of part of a PA,
which makes an important contribution to nature
conservation. It will be important to keep it in the
network, either by increasing its protection status to
ensure that its natural resources are less degraded, or by
adding another PA adjacent to this area. e boundaries
of this new body must be clearly dened, for example
via a large track created mechanically or, in extreme
cases, by a fence (not to “enclose” the PA, but instead to
mark out one of its threatened boundaries).
So, what should be done with the other part of the
PA that has been degraded? We have seen that ocial
degazettement would send out the wrong message,
inciting populations on the periphery to continue to
encroach on the PA. We have also seen that it was not
easy for the administration to admit to its management
failures through an ocial act in cases where it had not
carried out its mandate properly. In many instances,
maintaining the status quo is not a bad solution. e
absence of a solution could be a practical and acceptable
way out.
In some cases, it will be possible to implement community
management of the periphery, but the crucial point
remains the voluntary approach: good community
management is an emanation of the community, and
not of the central government. A top-down approach
has every chance of failing and, after a few years, we
will be faced with agro-pastoral encroachment instead
of a community area. If, on the other hand, there is a
real community demand, on the land for which they
are the rights holders, it will be appropriate to support
the approach. However, community management is not
designed for being implemented on land that belongs
to the State.
In short, the wisest course of action seems to be to
reclassify what is required for the functional PAs and
not degazette what is less important.
8. Should the rights and duties of
the different stakeholders involved
be redefined?
In the eld of PAs, discussions are constantly being held
on who has the right or the duty to do or not to do
something, regarding the dierent stakeholders. e
dierent stakeholders mainly include:
e State: in charge of sovereign functions
(legislation, safeguarding public order, control and
justice), and it is the State that is nally responsible
for management of State land.
Technical and nancial partners that include the
international donors, who provide funding, which
is sometimes accompanied by technical support.
Conservation NGOs: they take care of technical
implementation and governmental advocacy, and it
is hard to balance these two tasks.
Private sector: it carries out certain activities within
its area of interest, since the private sector cannot
carry out loss-making activities.
Local communities: these are the neighbours of the
PAs, supporting their opportunity cost and more
often than not they receive very little in exchange.
Most of the pressures that are placed on PAs come
from these communities.
However, in practice, this distribution is not so simple
and one of entities frequently does not play its part or
encroaches on land belonging to others. Numerous
management problems then arise. As the saying goes:
“good fences make good neighbours”. us, if the State
is unwilling to exercise its sovereign functions, no other
body will be able to replace it. Good governance is the
basic element of conservation82. e desire to replace it
cannot be a guarantee of success in the long term.
82 Minister Tshekedi Khama, Botswana, May 2018. https://www.
facebook.com/WeAreAfricaTravel/videos/1534375810001231/
UzpfSTE3Mjg4NTI4MzMwOToxMDE1NTU5ODQ4OTEzODMxMA/
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
28
On the ground, it is common to see an entity wanting
to have more power and trying to take the place (and
the rights) of others. ey give many reasons for
this: “e State is not doing its work”, “such-and-
such organisation does not have the skills”, “the local
communities are being robbed and should have more
power”, “the local communities are indigenous and thus
know more about how to manage the land”, etc.” ese
arguments show no sign of stopping. As the essayist La
Rochefoucauld once said, “Quarrels would not last long
if the fault were only on one side83.
It is the States duty to establish the governance
framework, in other words for each geographical entity,
to specify who makes the decision and how. It is then
its duty to ensure the rules are enforced properly. us,
the management rules for the State’s land are established
for the smooth running of the State: for example, the
central bank’s safe is not managed by people in the
street. e PAs, the safes of biodiversity, will therefore
not be managed by their opponents who, in ne, want it
to disappear. Similarly, community land is meant to be
managed by the community itself and not by another
community, an association of communities or another
body. It is the principle of subsidiarity. A private
property will be managed by its owner, respecting rules
(legislation).
In this context, the main aspects that we feel it is
important to improve are, for each of the partners:
e State: it should achieve good governance and
the rule of law. It should prevent socio-political
conicts, which are the prelude to the destruction
of nature and of PAs. It should draw up a PA
strategy that can be funded and to build capacities
at all levels in order to implement it. Finally, it must
manage the State land, which is a public good.
Technical and nancial partners: they should take
into account the real nancial needs of the PAs and
help nance them. ey should provide funding in
accordance with the PAs’ national strategy in order
to maintain a uniform approach and fund all the
PAs and activities that deserve it. Public funding
is essential for nancing public goods such as
PAs, the intention being that a global public good
(biodiversity in this case) should be nanced by
international public funds.
83 François de La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions ou sentences et maximes
morales, Paris, 1665
Conservation NGOs: they should not mix the search
for funding, political lobbying, environmental
advocacy, and technical substitution, or follow
short-term trends.
Private sector: it should devote itself to the
implementation of operations from which it
will benet nancially, which is its mission. It is
an occasional service provider for indispensable
infrastructures, its role in tourism, etc. Besides,
private companies (private goods) are not eligible
for the donation of public funding.
Local communities: they should be able to govern
themselves, and thus choose what they want to do
with their land. Forcing them to make a choice
would be synonymous with failure. Imposing a
method of implementation on them (without
respecting the principle of subsidiarity, for
example), would also lead to failure. e actions
chosen by the community must be compatible with
those implemented in the neighbouring PA. One
important point is that the local communities are
eligible for public funding for development. is
development must be conservation-dependent, in
other words the funds really must depend on the
conservation result generated.
In this context, there needs to be a consultation
framework between the partners. is framework
must be set up by the State and comply with good
governance. is is a key point and everyone
should have the chance to express themselves and
to be heard, in particular via forums represented in
decision-making boards of directors. Transparency
is essential, as is the absence of corruption and any
dictatorial excesses. Each entity should feel that
they are a partner in the PA’s global policy, because
if any of them feels left out this will inevitably
generate frustration and a feeling of rejection, to
the detriment of conservation and biodiversity.
is consultation framework must be situated at a
local level, for each PA, bringing together all the
partners involved in the PA and on its periphery,
allowing them all to express themselves, and for
the decisions to be taken in accordance with the
governance and after they have all been able to
express themselves (representative and inclusive
character).
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
29
9. Recommendations
9.1. Global context
Nature conservation in Africa is in a bad state, but
it is improving in areas where nature is protected, in
particular within PAs. It is important to develop PAs,
so that they can perform their role more eciently in
a changing context. e main causes of this change
are population growth (locally) and climate change
(globally).
Having a PA is therefore important, but it is not
enough: they must be managed properly and
suciently.
Since the pressure is increasing, we also need to
increase the means required to oset it, with the
budget being the essential element.
Numerous protected areas are thus suering today,
as a result of the application of solutions used in the
past with budgets that are far too low. It is therefore
not surprising that they do not achieve the expected
conservation results. So, it is important to identify
which budgetary and technical solutions can be
used to improve their results.
9.2. Reconfiguration principles
e function assigned to PAs is to conserve the
composition, structure, function and evolutionary
potential of biodiversity. e PA must be large enough
to allow the dierent populations that are to be
conserved to have sucient numbers in order to ensure
their viability, and to ensure that the dierent species
can interact to guarantee the necessary balances in the
functioning of ecosystems. is takes climate change
into account: in a large PA for example, the rain may
only fall in only one location and the movement of
animal species to benet from this will always take place
within the PA.
In order to provide better protection for functional
balances, to allow the population viability threshold
of many species to be crossed, to decrease the
intensity of wildlife-human conicts and take into
account the problems caused by climate change, it
would be advisable to increase the size of some PAs.
Up to what surface area should the size of PAs
be extended? e cost of managing a savanna
PA is currently around 7 to 8 USD/ha/year.
Budgetary availability is essential in order to
dene the extension of a PA. In practice, and in
accordance with the budget, in a savanna zone, a
surface area of 3,000 to 5,000 km² brings together
numerous environmental objectives and budgetary
requirements.
Where will we nd the necessary space? Nowadays,
it is no longer conceivable to evict human
populations in order to make PAs larger. Today,
we can restructure part of former PAs or favour
the emergence of zones protected by communities,
which are voluntary instruments (conservancies).
Recently, a new opportunity arose: to integrate into
the PAs all or part of former hunting zones that are
no longer viable.
9.3. Configuration elements
e size of the surface area and the redenition of the
boundaries of a PA should take the following points
into consideration:
e conservation of all the hotspots for wildlife
species and sensitive habitats.
e conservation of all the distribution ranges of
the main species.
e contribution to connectivity. e classication
of connectivity areas rather than corridors is a very
interesting instrument, in particular because the
natural state is the best, since it allows for a larger
number of natural functions and will have a better
impact on conservation. Naturally, the ideal is for
the connectivity area to be classied as a PA, but
that is not always possible.
e main point is to avoid the boundary being
a line such as a large river where there is a high
wildlife density.
e alternative is preferring a peripheral area to a
buer zone.
e choice of the role to be played by the PA is
essential, in particular at present when the economy
of the consumptive management of wildlife has
been undermined.
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
30
e consumptive use of wildlife is less favourable
that we thought, and that must be taken into
account when allocating roles to PAs. Today,
wildlife cannot pay enough for its conservation.
e change of management category can have a
major inuence on the fullment of conservation
objectives. We sometimes speak of “raising the
protection status” when the management category
changes from VI to I, as a reminder that the
conditions will be more natural.
All things being equal, Category II protected areas
appear to have a series of advantages, which put
them in a good position for facing the future.
Since pressures on natural values mainly originate in
the periphery, it is essential to know how to manage
them in order to conserve both the interests of the
PA and those of the surrounding communities. It is
impossible to separate these two entities.
Fencing a PA is one solution that is sometimes
recommended. We should bear in mind that one
dollar protects more lions in an unfenced zone than
in a fenced zone. e fence will rst of all be seen
as a tool for limiting local conicts more than for
isolating the PA from the periphery.
It is important to fund the conservation of PAs
with the highest conservation potential, in other
words those with the greatest chances of success in
conserving natural values in accordance with the
current and future levels of pressure and threats.
9.4. The management of peripheral zones
Community conservancies have many advantages and
it would be a good idea to promote their creation and
functioning:
To promote conservancies on a truly voluntary
and democratic basis, respecting the principle
of subsidiarity (small entities), which favours
improved appropriation.
To favour conservancies directly on the periphery of
a PA because they can benet from the natural and
economic value of this PA (if there are no consumer
activities, so as to avoid limiting the natural values
of the PA).
ese conservancies can be largely nanced by
wildlife tourism, which increases the conservation
eect. In the absence of benets generated by the
wildlife, the development role of the conservancy
will take precedence over the conservation role.
When the main income comes from wildlife, the
communities are able to see the benets of their
actions to protect the wildlife directly. is is a
“conservation-dependent” action, which is very
important.
ese conservancies are going to allow for the
creation of an ideal peripheral area for the
neighbouring reserve, by integrating development
and conservation, if the management plans are well
designed and applied.
If these community management structures are
elected, representative and inclusive, they will allow
for greater insight into the management of human-
wildlife conicts, improving agro-pastoral practices
by basing them on prevention.
We shall promote the importance of the economic
benets (therefore tourism) because, depending
on whether they are signicant or not for local
communities, the latter will take ownership of the
conservation action or not.
us, we shall promote the development of tourism
structures (that respect the environment) inside
conservancies instead of inside PAs. e tourists
will thus visit PAs starting o in the conservancies.
9.5. Configuration of the PA network
e objective is to classify 17% of the Earth’s land
surface as PAs, irrespective of the category. e areas
not considered as PAs (classied forests, most hunting
reserves, etc.) can be added to this 17%, without them
contributing to it. erefore, it seems important:
To ensure 17% of a country’s land surface is
classied as internationally recognised PAs.
at this 17% is made up of real, eciently
managed PAs. is implies that the necessary
budget needs to be available.
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
31
We shall be able to attain these objectives by answering
the following questions:
Should they all be conserved? We shall try to avoid
exceeding the threshold of 17% of the country’s
land surface, and attempt to manage it well, starting
by nancing the PAs properly.
Should more PAs be created? Taking the realities
into account will probably lead more to the
reconguration of a certain number of PAs, the
classication of part of the areas that contribute to
conservation as PAs, than to the creation of new
PAs, within the threshold of 17% of the country’s
land surface.
Should some PAs be abandoned?
Priority will be given to reclassication over
degazettement, and to budget prioritisation rather
than prioritising management categories.
- e percentages over 17%, in many densely
populated countries, are not well received by the
population, especially now that we know that the
economic benets they generate are not sucient
to ensure conservation.
- In an insucient budgetary context, zones over
17% may even have a negative eect, dragging the
whole network towards an underfunding situation,
which will not allow priority conservation to
succeed and will incite communities to remove
illegally these excessively large parts of the land
that they need to live.
What should be done with the part of the PA
that has been degraded? We have seen that ocial
degazettement would send out the wrong message,
inciting populations on the periphery to continue
to encroach on the PA. e wisest course of action
seems to be to reclassify what is required for the
functional PAs and not to degazette what is less
important.
9.6. Relations between the stakeholders
e operation of a PA is ensured thanks to the joint
actions of dierent stakeholders. Discussions about
the rights and duties of the dierent stakeholders are
ongoing and sources of conict and ineciency. e
essential points to implement are that:
Each stakeholder should respect their role and not
encroach on other people’s role.
e State must be willing to exercise its sovereign
functions, since no other body can replace it.
Good governance is the basic element of
conservation.
It is the States duty to establish the governance
framework, in other words for each geographical
entity, to specify who makes the decision and how.
It is then its duty to ensure the rules are enforced
properly.
ere needs to be a consultation framework
between the partners. is framework must be set
up by the State and comply with good governance.
More specically, the following recommendations
concern each category of partner:
e State should:
- Achieve good governance and the rule of law.
- Prevent socio-political conicts, which are the
prelude to the destruction of nature and of PAs.
- Draw up a PA strategy that can be funded and to
build capacities at all levels in order to implement
it.
- Finally, it should manage the State land.
e technical and nancial partners should:
- Take into account the real nancial needs of the
PAs and help nance them.
- Finance the activities in accordance with the PAs’
national strategy in order to maintain a uniform
approach and fund all the PAs and activities that
deserve it.
- Play their part; public funding is essential for
nancing public goods such as PAs.
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
32
Conservation NGOs.
- ey should focus on their core activities and not
mix dierent types of action such as the search
for funding, political lobbying, environmental
advocacy, technical interventions, or follow short-
term trends. us, they lose their independence
and therefore their capacities.
e private sector.
- Should devote itself to the implementation of
operations from which it will benet nancially,
which is its mission.
- Its role is above all that of an occasional service
provider for indispensable infrastructures, its role
in tourism, etc.
- Private companies (private goods) are not eligible
for the donation of public funds.
Local communities.
- Should be able to govern themselves, and
thus choose what they want to do with their
land. Forcing them to make a choice would be
synonymous with failure.
- Forcing on them a method of implementation
(without respecting the principle of subsidiarity,
for example), would also lead to failure.
- e actions chosen by the community must
be compatible with those implemented in the
neighbouring PA.
- One important point is that the local communities
are eligible for public funding for development.
- is development must be conservation-
dependent, in other words the funds generated or
received really depend on the conservation result
generated.
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
33
Appendix 1
e PA management categories:
Protected area
management category
and international name
Management objectives
1a - Strict nature reserve Strictly protected areas set aside to protect biodiversity and also possibly
geological/geomorphological features, where human visitation, use and impacts
are strictly controlled and limited to ensure protection of the conservation values.
Such protected areas can serve as indispensable reference areas for scientific
research and regular monitoring.
1b - Wilderness area Large unmodified or slightly modified areas, retaining their natural character and
influence, without permanent or significant human habitation, which are protected
and managed so as to preserve their natural condition.
II - National park (ecosystem
protection, protection of cultural
values)
Large natural or near natural areas set aside to protect large-scale ecological
processes, along with the complement of species and ecosystems characteristic
of the area, which also provide a foundation for environmentally and culturally
compatible spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities.
III Natural monument or feature These are areas set aside to protect a specific natural monument, which can be a
landform, sea mount, submarine cavern, geological feature such as a cave or even
a living feature such as an ancient grove. They are generally quite small protected
areas and often have high visitor value.
IV Habitat / species management
area
These areas aim to protect particular species or habitats. Many category IV
protected areas will need regular, active interventions to address the requirements
of particular species or to maintain habitats..
IV Habitat / species management
areaz
These areas aim to protect particular species or habitats. Many category IV
protected areas will need regular, active interventions to address the requirements
of particular species or to maintain habitats.
V Protected landscape / seascape A protected area where the interaction of people and nature over time has
produced an area of distinct character with significant ecological, biological,
cultural and scenic value: and where safeguarding the integrity of this interaction is
vital to protecting and sustaining the area and its associated nature conservation
and other values.
VI Protected area with sustainable
use of natural resources
These protected areas conserve ecosystems and habitats, together with
associated cultural values and traditional natural resource management systems.
They are generally large, with most of the area in a natural condition, where a
proportion is under sustainable natural resource management and where low-level
non-industrial use of natural resources compatible with nature conservation is seen
as one of the main aims of the area.
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
34
Appendix 2: The decline of big
game hunting in Africa
e dire state of the big game hunting sector in Africa
and its low potential for conservation in the future were
highlighted in a study published by IUCN-Papaco in
200984 and later conrmed by other publications85 86.
is decline, beyond any partisan discussions, is
characterised by the evolution in three indicators:
e progressive disappearance of big game
hunting zones faced with agro-pastoral
encroachment linked to population growth. In some
countries, big game hunting zones have practically
disappeared, and have lost over 90% of their
surface area (Senegal, Niger, Chad, CAR, DRC,
Sudan, Malawi, Angola…), in other countries, the
choice was made to close big game hunting (Kenya,
Gabon, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire…), nally, in
countries where big game hunting is still carried
84 UICN Papaco. La grande chasse en Afrique de l’Ouest : quelle
contribution à la conservation? ISBN: 978-2-8317-1204-8. https://
portals.iucn.org/library/efiles/documents/2009-074.pdf
85 Economists at large, the lions share? On the economic benefits of trophy
hunting, 2017. Melbourne, Australia. http://www.hsi.org/assets/pdfs/
economists-at-large-trophy-hunting.pdf
86 Economists at large, The $200 million question. How much does trophy
hunting really contribute to African communities? 2013. Melbourne,
Australia. http://www.ecolarge.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/
Ecolarge-2013-200m-question-FINAL-lowres.pdf
out, the degradation of both the biotope and the
populations of game species has led to the non-use
of 40% of big game hunting zones in Zambia87,
and 72% in Tanzania88. In addition to these unused
areas, in Zambia, for example, certain active zones
contain no game species. ese include zones
classied as “depleted”89. is disappearance of
hunting zones is linked to population growth, as
shown in Figure A1: human density (in blue) does
not leave any room for big game hunting (in red, %
of the country’s land occupied by big game hunting
zones) and they evolve inversely90.
87 Watson, F.G., et al. Human encroachment into protected areas network in
Zambia. Reg environ change 2014. DOI 10.1007/s10113-014-0626-5
88 Packer, C., 2018. Minnesota University & Oxford WildCRU. https://www.
youtube.com/watch?v=STaqmtIZfcU
89 Lindsey, P.A., et al. Underperformance of African Protected Area Networks
and the Case for New Conservation Models: Insights from Zambia, 2014.
PlosOne. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.
pone.0094109
90 UICN Papaco. La grande chasse en Afrique de l’Ouest: quelle contribution
à la conservation? ISBN: 978-2-8317-1204-8. https://portals.iucn.org/
library/efiles/documents/2009-074.pdf
Figure A1: Evolution in human densities and the national land allocated to big game hunting
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
35
e decrease in the number of shot animals. is
phenomenon started several years ago. us, in the
Northern Cameroon, the hunting taxes paid by
hunters to the State when they kill an animal halved
between 2008 and 201691 indicating a 50% decrease
in the numbers harvested with a similar number of
hunters. In Tanzania, the leading country for big
game hunting in unfenced areas, the evolution
in the number of lions shot per year is shown in
Figure A2 below92. e decline is highlighted by
the trend line (the red dotted line). It can be seen
that, although the country introduced a 6-year
minimum age limit for shooting lions, in 2015,
66.7% of the lions shot were 5 years old or under,
underlining the fact that there were simply no lions
of the correct age left to be shot. During the same
period, the annual quota attributed by the Wildlife
Division was 315 up to 2015 and 207 since 2016.
ese quotas are not at all in line with sustainable
management and this mismatch is what has led
certain Western countries to controlling or banning
imports of sport-hunted lion trophies.
is same thing occurs with elephant hunting, as
shown in Figure A293: the decline in the numbers
harvested started in 2011, with the large upsurge
in poaching focusing on hunting zones, targeting
91 Lescuyer, G., et al. Does trophy hunting remain a profitable business model
for conserving biodiversity in Cameroon? (2016). International Forestry
Review Vol.18(2) https://agritrop.cirad.fr/582098/1/IFR%20Lescuyer%20
et%20al.pdf
92 Source: Wildlife Division & TAWA, Ministry of Natural Resources & Tourism,
Tanzania
93 Source: Wildlife Division & TAWA, Ministry of Natural Resources & Tourism,
Tanzania
elephants with ivory tusks. Since Tanzanian
law requires that only elephants with tusks over
1.6 m long or weighing over 20 kg can be shot,
hunting has practically stopped due to the absence
of individuals possessing these characteristics.
Given the slow growth rate of tusks, it will take
several decades of protection with no hunting
before elephant hunting can start again respecting
minimum measures, which is not sustainable for
hunting operators from a commercial point of view.
It can be seen that the authorised hunting quota for
elephants was 200 up to 2013, and has been 100
since 2014, which is completely inconsistent with
reality. e suspension of imports of sport-hunted
trophies to the USA dates back to 11 August 201494,
and thus occurred after the decline. erefore, this
decision only sanctioned the reality and is not the
cause of the decline in big game hunting, as is
claimed by big game hunting operators.
In Tanzania, the income from lion and elephant
hunting represented 23.5% of the global revenue
from tourism operators before 2010, in other words
around 1 USD/ha/year on a turnover of 4.24 USD/
ha/year. is is therefore a signicant loss, and not
the only one, which turns the economic operation
into a loss maker, the prot margins already being
low or even negative95.
94 https://cites.org/sites/default/files/notif/E-Notif-2014-037.pdf
95 Lindsey, P.A., et al. The Significance of African Lions for the Financial
Viability of Trophy Hunting and the Maintenance of Wild Land, PlosOne,
January 2012. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/
journal.pone.0029332&type=printable
Figure A2: Evolution in the number of lions (left) and elephants (right) shot each year in Tanzania, and trend lines (in red)
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
36
e decrease in the number of hunters. Above
all, this decrease involves the hunters’ countries of
origin. In the USA, the main country of origin,
the number of hunters dropped from 14.1 million
in 1991 to 11.5 million in 2016, in other words
a decrease of 18.5% in 25 years, with only 4.4%
of the population hunting96. e same is true for
France for example, where the number of hunters
dropped from 2.3 million in 1975 to 1.15 million
in 201697, in other words a decrease of 50% in 40
years.For African countries the number of hunters
is sometimes hard to ascertain. However, in South
Africa the number of foreign hunters dropped
from 16,594 in 2008 to 6,539 in 2016, in other
words a decrease of 60.5% in 8 years. Since there
are 9,000 hunting game farms in South Africa, that
total does not even represent one hunter per game
farm per year. Some game farms have started to get
rid of their game and return to cattle breeding98.
In Tanzania, the latest statistics are not available,
however, at the start of 2018, the former President
of the Tanzania Hunting Operators Association said
that the number of lion and elephant safaris had
been reduced to a handful99. In Namibia, Figure A3
shows the decline curve (in red) of the number of
foreign hunters from 2007 to 2013100.
96 USFWS, 2016. https://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/subpages/nationalsurvey/
nat_survey2016.pdf
97 Ministère de la transition écologique et solidaire, France, 2018. https://
www.ecologique-solidaire.gouv.fr/chasse-en-france
98 Flack, P., 2018. https://www.peterflack.co.za/hunting-statistics-2016/
99 Interview E. Pasanisi, www.fieldsportschannel.tv/us-trophy-ban-starts-to-
kill-wildlife/
100 Source NAPHA-NACSO in: Venter, R., Impact of a hunting ban on
commercial cattle farms in Namibia, 2015. http://www.theeis.com/
data/literature/Impact%20of%20a%20hunting%20ban%20on%20
commercial%20cattle%20farms%20in%20Namibia.pdf
e decline is thus clear for the three indicators, and
explains why the big game hunting economy, which was
already precarious during the 2000s101 102, has become
so bad that the situation has declined rapidly in recent
years.
e causes of this decline are poaching and agro-
pastoral encroachment, since hunting associations did
not invest the necessary amount of money to counter
these phenomena. It has been seen that in Tanzania,
the average expenditure for anti-poaching was 0.18
USD/ha/year in hunting zones, much lower than the
current standards of 7 to 8 USD/ha/year and the Kenya
Wildlife Service’s gure of 14 USD/ha/year. By only
nancing 2% of the necessary operations, big game
hunting has not been able to maintain biodiversity
in these areas. It has not contributed signicantly to
the well-being of Tanzanian communities either, with
an average redistribution of 0.08 USD/ha103, whilst
in the same period the Maasai Mara conservancies in
Kenya pay 40 USD/ha/year without counting the
redistribution linked to the entry-fees and employees’
salaries. Moreover, the amounts collected were not
all used in Tanzania, as highlighted in the Panama
Papers104 nancial scandal, which underlined the poor
governance of the sector.
e hunting market does not have the means to pay
the real price of safaris. A very good hunting zone has a
lion density of 2/100 km² and thus it needs a hunting
surface area of 5,000 km² (= 500,000 ha) to shoot one
lion per year sustainably105. e annual upkeep alone
of this area costs around 4 million USD (and probably
more for a lion population of this type, due to the
management of conicts with the populations). e
sales price of a safari to hunt lions is on average 50,000
USD (the price paid by the hunter who killed the lion
called Cecil in Zimbabwe in 2015106), in other words
1.25% of the cost price.
101 Idem 111
102 Lescuyer, G., et al. Does trophy hunting remain a profitable business
model for conserving biodiversity in Cameroon? (2016). International
Forestry Review Vol.18(2) https://agritrop.cirad.fr/582098/1/IFR%20
Lescuyer%20et%20al.pdf
103 Conservation Force, Tanzania Hunting Operator Enhancement Audit,
2016, http://www.conservationforce.org/tanzania-hunting-operator-report
104 https://corpwatch.org/article/panama-papers-leak-reveals-safari-
companies-africa-use-tax-havens
105 Bauer, H., et al. 2017. Lion trophy hunting in West Africa: a response
to Bouché et al. PlosOne 12 (3). http://journals.plos.org/plosone/
article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0173691
106 Loveridge, A. Lion hearted, p. 150-151. Regan Arts. New York, April
2018. ISBN 978-1-68245-120-5
Figure A3: Evolution in the number of foreign hunters in
Namibia from 2007 to 2013
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
37
No one will pay 4 million USD to shoot a lion, and
this shows how hunting is powerless to fund its
conservation. Moreover, since a dead lion becomes the
private property of a hunter, the donations from public
funds are not normally eligible for funding hunting.
In conclusion: the facts and indicators reveal a very
rapid decline in big game hunting in Africa over several
years: it does not protect the natural habitat from agro-
pastoral encroachment, it can only nance a small
percentage of the sum required for its conservation, and
its socio-economic benets are too low.
Hunting used to be a conservation tool, but in the great
majority of cases it no longer plays this role and will not
do so in the future either. Before many hunting zones
are colonised, it is important to recover part of some of
them to improve the conguration of certain protected
areas and, through this, nature conservation.
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
38
Appendix 3: Main spatial and
socio-economic parameters
of big game hunting in Africa
in 2018
1. Example of Tanzania
Tanzania is the African country with the highest annual
turnover in “open” (in other words not fenced) areas
for big game hunting and the killing of the highest
number of emblematic animal species (elephants, lions,
leopards, etc.).
Tanzania has 154 big game hunting zones, but 72%
of them, in other words 110 zones, have now been
abandoned because they are no longer protable
for hunting organisations, due to the decrease in the
number of animals that can be hunted and agro-pastoral
encroachment. is represents a surface area of around
140,000 km² in which hunting no longer takes place,
in other words around four times the surface area of
Tanzania’s national parks (38,365 km²).
Economic factors are at the origin of the hunting
management decision: the cost alone of the “correct
management of 200,000 km² devoted to hunting in
Tanzania would be over 150 million USD, without
counting the administration, tourism operation and
marketing fees, whilst the annual turnover is around 30
million USD, since the virtual ban on elephant hunting
following the huge upsurge in poaching in the 2010s,
which led to the killing of 70,000 elephants in ve years
(in other words a 60% decrease) most in the big game
hunting zones (Selous)107.
e organisation of big game hunting obeys the rules of
the private sector, and an excessive decit leads to the
activity being discontinued. is conrms the fact that,
henceforth, it will not be possible to self-fund wildlife
conservation by a consumer activity, invalidating the
paradigm popular in the period from 1970 to 2010, “if
it pays, it stays”. Faced with the cost of the ght against
pressure, management through consumptive activities
is not protable enough and the areas are thus released,
potentially for the creation and management of new
PAs.
107 Chase, M.J., et al. Continent-wide survey reveals massive decline
in African savannah elephants (2016). PeerJ 4:e2354 https://doi.
org/10.7717/peerj.2354
Moreover, it can be seen that the fact that the management
of hunting zones stopped when insucient game
numbers were killed, makes it contradictory for these
areas to belong to the family of PAs: a PA is dened as “a
geographical area” managed “to achieve the long-term
conservation of nature108. is is clearly not the case for
hunting zones in Tanzania.
In Tanzania and elsewhere, such as Zambia where 40%
of the big game hunting zones have been colonised by
agriculture109, or in the Northern Cameroon where a
large part of the big game hunting areas are no longer
used and where the number of animals killed in sport
hunting decreased by half between 2008 and 2016110,
there is therefore a real possibility of recovering large
areas, on the periphery of existing PAs.
2. Example of game farms in South
Africa
e phenomenon that wildlife conservation cannot
be self-nanced through a consumptive activity is
also conrmed by some of the best specialists in this
consumptive wildlife management.
us, in 2011, Peter Flack, currently one of the leading
authors on hunting and a defender of hunting and
game farms, published a study entitled, “e South
African conservation success story”111. However, in
2018 he wrote in his blog that after a 50% decrease
in the number of foreign hunters in just a few years,
many game farmers were killing their wild animals and
replacing them with cattle, given the poor economic
situation of the game farming sector112.
is follows the attempts to manipulate the wild, ethical
character to keep these exploitations economically viable
using articial means, rst of all through the hunting of
lions kept in small enclosures (canned hunting), widely
criticised in an international campaign that has led to a
sharp decrease in this phenomenon113, then through the
108 Dudley, N., 2008, https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/
documents/PAG-021.pdf, Gland Switzerland, IUCN: x+96 p. https://
portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/PAG-021.pdf
109 Watson, F.G., et al. Human encroachment into protected areas network
in Zambia. Reg environ change 2014. DOI 10.1007/s10113-014-0626-5
110 Lescuyer, G., et al. Does trophy hunting remain a profitable business
model for conserving biodiversity in Cameroon? (2016). International
Forestry Review Vol.18(2) https://agritrop.cirad.fr/582098/1/IFR%20
Lescuyer%20et%20al.pdf
111 https://www.peterflack.co.za/hunter-conservationist-books-dvds/south-
africa-conservation-success/
112 “He asked whether there was anything that could be done to reverse the
current situation as he was aware of a number of game ranches reverting
to domestic livestock, as evidenced by the large amounts of game meat
on the market – shot to make way for the re-introduction of cattle”.
https://www.peterflack.co.za/hunting-statistics-2016/
113 http://www.bloodlions.org/
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
39
genetic manipulation of ungulates to produce animals
with dierent colours or larger trophies sought after
by hunters. ese manipulations have also been
met with international condemnation, including by
groups of IUCN specialists114 and the prices of these
animals have now dropped to their lowest level115. is
leaves numerous game farms without real sources of
income and thus without any means of funding their
conservation.
3. Example of bushmeat in dense
forest
e particular case of areas of dense forest where the
bushmeat trade is omnipresent is not very dierent.
e harvesting of animals for bushmeat is not
considered sustainable when the human density exceeds
1 inhabitant/km² 116 (a density that is far exceeded
in very many regions) and the products are exported
to monetised urban centres. e decrease in animal
densities greatly increased the size of urban supply
basins and led hunters to opt for non-discriminatory
hunting methods (metal snares), killing both females
and their young, eliminating any possibility of
sustainability. In a virtually general regional context
of poor governance117, and sometimes of conict
such as in those in Cameroon118, DRC119 or CAR120,
we need to be particularly optimistic to think that a
rational management of this widespread phenomenon
will be possible in the future at a signicant scale for
conservation.
Conclusion of these three examples.
is paradigm shift is essential in order to assign a role
to our PAs: the consumptive use of wildlife is far less
promising than we thought, and that should be taken
into account in the role we assign to PAs. is therefore
leads us directly to reviewing the choice of management
categories.
114 https://www.iucn.org/sites/dev/files/import/downloads/asg_igm_
posnsment_2015_final_19may_2015.pdf
115 https://www.peterflack.co.za/hunting-statistics-2016/
116 Robinson, J. & Benett, E., Hunting for Sustainability in Tropical
Forests, Columbia University Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780231109772,
https://cup.columbia.edu/book/hunting-for-sustainability-in-tropical-
forests/9780231109772
117 https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/a_redefining_moment_for_
africa
118 http://www.africanews.com/2018/03/03/cameroon-s-south-west-region-
imposes-curfew-amid-anglophone-crisis//
119 https://www.worldvision.org/disaster-relief-news-stories/drc-conflict-facts
120 https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/06/world-neglected-
conflict-rages-car-170601100006071.html
4. Socio-economic impacts.
is is an important point, since the pressures are
created by humans, it is important that a signicant
number of people have nancial interests originating
in the proper operation of PAs to encourage a larger
number of people to respect them. e more animals
can be seen, the more tourism can be developed, as can
its associated eects.
us, in Kenya, tourism, which is mainly generated by
the country’s wildlife, recorded a turnover of 2.8 billion
USD in 2017 for 429,500 direct jobs121.
In the neighbouring country, Tanzania, the gures
were 1,975 billion USD and 446 000 direct jobs
respectively122. In the case of Tanzania, 100,000 km² of
wildlife reserves and 100,000 km² of classied hunting
zones are reserved for hunting (compared with 57,800
km² for wildlife tourism, including 38,300 km² in
national parks) but only generate a turnover of around
30 million USD, with around 4,300 direct jobs123. It is
clear that, in this case, the vast surface areas of hunting
reserves and zones do not have a signicant socio-
economic impact.
is has also been proven in Botswana, which closed big
game hunting in 2014, which at that time represented
a turnover of under 20 million USD/year (and 1,000
jobs) for a surface area of 134,500 km² 124, for the
promotion of wildlife tourism. In 2017, Botswana
generated a turnover of 687 million USD from tourism
for 26,000 direct jobs125.
121 https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/
countries-2018/kenya2018.pdf
122 https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/
countries-2018/tanzania2018.pdf
123 Lindsey, P.A., et al. Economic and conservation significance of the trophy
hunting industry in Sub-Saharan Africa. Biological conservation 134
(2007) 455-469. https://www.perc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/
Economic-and-conservation-significance.pdf
124 Idem
125 https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/
countries-2018/botswana2018.pdf
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
40
e socio-economic impacts will play a key role in the
future of PAs in Africa, by involving a large number
of people (a paid job providing a livelihood for around
ten people in Africa) who have a vested interest in
ensuring that the PAs are in good condition. is is
particularly the case thanks to wildlife tourism, which
is mainly carried out in PAs and especially in Category
II protected areas (national parks). us, in June 2018,
Tanzania announced that it was going to upgrade ve
wildlife reserves to national parks, in order to develop
wildlife tourism126.
5. The real and optimal cost of
managing hunting zones
It should be noted that that the land assigned to hunting
in Tanzania under the aegis of the Tanzania Wildlife
Management Authority -TAWA-, in other words around
150,000 km² (TAWA that currently manages the
wildlife outside PAs has a mandate for 170,000 km² or
18% of the surface area of Tanzania)127 has a theoretical
annual management cost for the private companies that
use them of around 112 million USD (retaining an
average management cost of 7.5 USD/ha/year), whilst
they generate a turnover of around 30 million USD. No
private company can lose such a large amount of money
each year: they could not spend this amount of money
and nature has clearly become degraded.
e amount actually spent to combat poaching was even
lower: the Friedkin Conservation Fund that manages
1.1 million hectares for 6 hunting associations spent 1.5
billion Tanzanian Shillings per year on the ght against
poaching between 2013 and 2015, in other words 0.6
USD/ha/year128.
is is also the case for the Tanganyika Wildlife Safaris
(TAWISA) hunting zones, whose president said he
spent 650,000 USD each year to protect half of the
Selous Game Reserve, which represents 0.25 USD/ha/
year129. ese two groups of big game hunting operators
announced that they stopped their hunting activities.
e rst is now focusing on upmarket photographic
safaris130, whilst the second group surrendered its
126 The East African, 5 June 2018. http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/
business/Tanzania-woos-tourists-to-parks/2560-4596772-otv8wwz/
index.html
127 Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority, http://www.tawa.go.tz/
128 The Citizen, 27. February 2018, http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/News/
How-Sh4-5bn-initiative-helped-net-2-617-suspected-poachers/1840340-
4321148-nim7u/index.html
129 Interview Eric Pasanisi, Chasses Internationales n° 10 (May-July 2018), p.
14. http://www.editions-lariviere.fr/chasses-internationales/
130 http://www.legendaryexpeditions.com/
hunting blocks to the Tanzanian Government131.
e hunting advocacy group, “Conservation Force”,
also stated that, between 2013 and 2015, 27 hunting
operators exploiting 121,400 km² spent 2.24 million
USD, in other words 0,18 USD/ha/year132.
Today, no one can achieve proper management
with such modest management budgets. e lack of
management expenditure thus led to a lack of nature
conservation results, since the private sector cannot
cover the required budget. It should be noted that
hunting concerns a private good (the trophy), which
cannot be nanced freely by public money.
6. Percentage of each country’s land
in big game hunting zones and socio-
economic benets for the population
According to Lindsey133, CAR has allocated 11.5% of
its land to national parks and 31.5% to hunting zones,
Tanzania has allocated 14.1% of its land to national
parks and reserves and 26.4% to hunting zones, Zambia
has allocated 7.9% of its land to national parks and
21.3% to hunting zones, and Botswana has allocated
18% of its land to national parks and 23% to Wildlife
Management Areas (WMA) (former hunting zones).
ese represent the respective totals of 43%, 40.5%,
29.2% and 41% of the countries’ land supposedly
allocated to conservation.
As we have seen, the income generated by wildlife does
not fund its conservation, as it is extremely inadequate.
is means that no State can budget the sums of money
required for the management of 40% of its land.
Moreover, the benets for the communities are very
limited: between 2013 and 2015, the above-mentioned
27 hunting operators in Tanzania distributed an average
annual sum of 1.04 million USD to the communities,
in other words 0,08 USD/hectare per year134. So,
hectares of land with extremely low productivity
for conservation (or hunting in this case) are taken
from the populations135. In these conditions, it is
inconceivable that 40% of a country could be devoted
to an activity that does not generate the well-being
131 www.fieldsportschannel.tv/us-trophy-ban-starts-to-kill-wildlife/
132 Conservation Force, Tanzania Hunting Operator Enhancement Audit,
2016, http://www.conservationforce.org/tanzania-hunting-operator-report
133 Lindsey, P.A., et al. Economic and conservation significance of the trophy
hunting industry in Sub-Saharan Africa. Biological Conservation 134
(2007) 455-469. https://www.perc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/
Economic-and-conservation-significance.pdf
134 Conservation Force, Tanzania Hunting Operator Enhancement Audit,
2016, http://www.conservationforce.org/tanzania-hunting-operator-report
135 The average human population density of Tanzania is 62 people par Km²,
in other words 0.62 per hectare. http://countrymeters.info/fr/Tanzania
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
41
expected by its inhabitants. It would probably even be
counterproductive. Many people believe it is legitimate
to take back from the State what it is giving to wildlife
to the detriment of its population.
Conclusion
As was already stated in the Papaco study published
on this subject in 2009136, the economic returns from
big game hunting are not sucient to ensure its
sustainability. e gures mentioned here clearly show
that the sums spent by the companies that organise big
game hunting are insucient and that this leads to the
degradation of wildlife resources and their habitat in the
face of the growing pressures. Moreover, the benets
for the populations are so low that they cannot accept
classications over and above the 17% of the national
PA network (often on a scale of 20% more) without
receiving actual nancial compensation.
e absence of the economic protability of big game
hunting, conrming that consumptive management
(and thus big game hunting) cannot generate sucient
income to conserve nature, does not make this
management an adequate conservation tool for the
future.
e solutions thus now involve the funding of public
goods, which involves living animals, and not the
development of conservation actions based on the
commercialisation of dead animals.
136 UICN Papaco. La grande chasse en Afrique de l’Ouest: quelle
contribution à la conservation? ISBN: 978-2-8317-1204-8. https://
portals.iucn.org/library/efiles/documents/2009-074.pdf
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
42
Appendix 4: Analysis of
different types of conservancy
e periphery of a PA starts at the boundary. More
often than not, the State-owned property stops at the
boundary and, depending on the case and the country,
the private sector or communities have jurisdiction
over the periphery. ere may or may not be a land
title, and sometimes only usage rights are vested in the
communities. As we have seen, most PA buer zones
have disappeared. Mainly due to the usage restrictions
imposed by the State on the rights holders. For several
years now, we have seen peripheral areas emerge that
were created on a voluntary basis by the rights holders,
who continue to govern and manage them. ey lay
down the rules and reap the benets.
ese voluntary peripheral areas are of great interest
because they make it possible to create a transition
zone between the conservation area (PA) and the
development zone, whilst retaining the natural features
that favour the permanence of the PA’s values, and
also foster the development of communities and the
private sector. In many cases, these areas are called
“conservancies”. Moreover, it should be noted that a
conservancy is sometimes situated on the periphery of a
PA but not always.
1. Different types of conservancy
ere are:
Private conservancies for which an owner has a land
title and devotes their property to the management
of natural resources and wildlife. Sometimes several
owners get together and manage their land using
the same management type. In accordance with the
country’s land tenure, we can thus nd this kind
of entity right on the periphery of a PA, such as
for example those anking the western boundary
of the Kruger National Park in South Africa (Sabie
Sands Game Reserve, Timbavati Game Reserve,
etc.). e fence that used to form the boundary of
the park was moved to the West of these private
reserves, thereby making the protected area larger,
whilst maintaining the governances specic to each
land tenure.
Figure 3.1: Map of the conservancies and the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
43
Community conservancies whereby community
land is governed by a democratically elected body,
which adopts a management plan for its land,
reserving part for the management of natural
resources and wildlife, part for cattle breeding, part
for farming, part for houses and infrastructures, and
part for development. e zone reserved for natural
resources only represents part, a variable proportion,
of the conservancy. e conservancy management
plan species which objectives are democratically
adopted. Natural resources are not necessarily the
main objective of a conservancy. Often, the main
objective is development; for example in the case
of the management plan for the Nakuprat-Gotu
Conservancy137 in Northern Kenya where wildlife
conservation is in 9th place in its list of objectives,
with the rst three being cattle breeding, health
and the ght against drought. e improvement of
grazing for cattle is the conservancy’s main objective.
us, one should not expect the benets of natural
resources management to nance the conservancy:
it is a development operation and is traditionally
nanced by development partners. Optimal
conservation benets should not be expected either,
as shown by the results of the latest censuses for
Grevy’s Zebra (whose distribution range is mainly
within these community conservancies), which
revealed that its numbers dropped from 2,400
individuals in 2008 to 1,897 in 2012 then 1,621 in
2017. Conservation is not the top priority138.
In the neighbouring Sera Conservancy, the priorities
are not classied but are all presented as important,
with water, health and education being listed as
those of greatest importance. e management
plan139 provides for a conservation zone of 51,740
ha for a total surface area of community land of
340,450 ha, in other words 15.2%. is is a
substantial area that has allowed the Kenya Wildlife
Service to reintroduce a black Rhino population,
since the communities had secured the area
perfectly, and to develop tourism there140 through a
137 Plan de gestion du conservancy de Nakuprat-Gotu 2015-2019,
Northern Rangeland Trust. https://static1.squarespace.com/
static/5653e896e4b0a689b3fafd97/t/56bdd06f22482eca1588
4d64/1455280257418/ConservancyManagementPlan_NakuprattGotu_
A5_FinalDraft_Jan2015.pdf
138http://www.kws.go.ke/content/results-censuses-elephant-buffalo-giraffe-
and-grevy%E2%80%99s-zebra-counted-five-key-ecosystems
139 Plan de gestion du conservancy de Sera 2015-2019, NRT. https://
static1.squarespace.com/static/5653e896e4b0a689b3fafd97/t/570615
8f7c65e471991586b1/1460016570659/ConservancyManagementPlan_
Sera_October2015.pdf
140 http://www.sarunirhinotracking.com/en-gb/the-community
private sector-community partnership. In this case,
the prots from the wildlife management are added
to the funding from development aid.
In other cases, such as on the periphery of the
Maasai Mara National Reserve in South-Western
Kenya, the communities have individual land
titles and the owners met to create conservancies,
which are managed for wildlife and cattle, thanks
to a grazing land management plan that evolves
over the course of the seasons and in accordance
with periods of drought. is thus allows for
adaptation to the vagaries of the climate. Here, we
also nd a private sector-community partnership,
with the private sector renting the land to owners
for a lump sum decided democratically. is
currently amounts to 42 USD/ha/year for the Mara
North Conservancy. is sum is paid by the 12
tourist camps that the conservancy was given the
authorisation to set up on 20,000 ha of its land,
which represents 154,800 USD/month, paid each
month to the 750 owners141. In addition, 560 jobs
are generated by tourism, mainly for members of
the community, which aects around 4,500 people
including the families. Moreover, the conservancy
employs 41 community guards, and each foreign
tourist pays a daily entry fee of 80 USD. In this
case, thanks to tourism, the wildlife management
generates the majority of the conservancy’s funding.
Today, there are 13 conservancies in the area
around the Maasai Mara, which represent 179,200
ha, involving 102,000 households, and (excluding
tourism) employing 241 community guards and 64
management sta. As can be seen in the following
map142 (Figure A4), the conservancies (in brown)
have added a conservation area larger than the
Maasai Mara National Reserve (that covers 151,000
ha, in green on the map), and this is carried out on
a voluntary basis and by integrating development.
141 Mara North Brochure. http://maranorth.org/wp-content/
uploads/2017/09/Mara-North-Conservancy-Brochure.pdf
142 Maasaï Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association, https://kwcakenya.
com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Maasai-Mara-Wildlife-Conservancies-
Association.jpg
Reconguring the protected areas in Africa
44
In Namibia, there are 82 conservancies, which cover
165,000 km², in other words 20% of the country’s
total land area. However, this does not imply
that 20% of the country is covered by additional
PAs: it means that 20% of the country is subject
to community management with a management
plan for natural resources. As in Kenya, the parts
that are really conserved (the central or core areas)
only represent a (variable) part of this 20%. More
often than not, they are not adjacent to a PA,
and conservation areas between neighbouring
conservancies are not generally joined. So, it is
more like a series of (small, dispersed) conservation
points than a conservation area. is does not
favour the conservation of large species aimed at
by wildlife tourism, but it can increase the number
of human-wildlife conicts, since human habitats
are scattered among the areas assigned to wildlife.
e economic benets are obtained by 53
partnerships between the private sector and the
communities143 (joint ventures), which generated
an income of 111 million Namibian Dollars in the
conservancies in 2016, 52 million of which was
in cash, in other words 7.4 and 3.5 million USD
respectively. e most protable activity is tourism
(even though it only involves 38 conservancies),
providing 58.2% of the income and creating 950
jobs. Consumptive activities (hunting + harvesting
of meat + sale of live animals) carried out in 55
conservancies provided 38.7% of the income (in
decline by 9% compared with 2015) and created
136 permanent jobs. e amounts distributed in
cash to Namibian citizens for the whole country
was 2.15 million USD for wildlife tourism and 0.24
million USD for hunting. Since the population of
these conservancies was 200,000 people, the analysis
shows that the income per person is tiny. us, big
game hunting generates approximately 1.5 million
USD/year for all conservancies144, (around the same
amount as that generated by a single 25,000-ha
conservancy in Kenya) in other words 0.09 USD/
ha per conservancy or 7.5 USD/person per year.
ese very low gures are perhaps still of interest in
the context of the very sparsely inhabited Namibia,
but they would not be in the vast majority of other
143 NACSO, State of Community Conservation 2016. http://www.nacso.org.
na/sites/default/files/State%20of%20Community%20Conservation%20
book%20web.pdf
144 R. Naidoo et al. Complementary benefits of tourism and hunting to
communal conservancies in Namibia, 2016. Conservation Biology. DOI:
10.1111/cobi.12643. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26537845
African countries. e combination of hunting and
wildlife tourism appears complementary, but it is
not, because whilst it is possible to hunt in a wildlife
tourism area, it is not possible to carry out wildlife
tourism in a hunting zone. Besides, hunting only
accounts for 1 to 2% of the tourism turnover in a
given country145
2. Analysis of three types of
community conservancies
Within the framework of the improvement of the
eciency of PAs that we were aiming at, these
conservancies like the Maasai Mara have many
advantages, with the main ones being:
ey are created on a voluntary and democratic
basis.
ey are largely funded by wildlife tourism, in
other words communities receive the benets of the
presence of wildlife directly, but only if they protect
the wildlife as a result of the nancial mechanism
put in place. is is thus a benet that is perfectly
dependent on the success of conservation, which
is ideal.
ey constitute an ideal peripheral area for a
neighbouring PA, by integrating development and
cattle breeding, through management and grazing
plans and their application.
ey increase the amount of land protected on a
funded, voluntary basis, and without excluding
development.
ey create an elected, representative community
management structure, which allows for greater
insight to be gained into the management of
human-wildlife conicts, improving agro-pastoral
practices by basing them on prevention.
ey generate benets from the wildlife, which are
highly signicant for the communities, and this is
thanks to wildlife tourism.
One key point is the importance of the economic benets,
because if they are signicant or not, communities will
take ownership for conservation or not.
.
145 Economists at large, The $200 million question. How much does trophy
hunting really contribute to African communities? 2013. Melbourne,
Australia. http://www.ecolarge.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/
Ecolarge-2013-200m-question-FINAL-lowres.pdf
Africa is changing: should its protected areas evolve?
45
3. Conclusion for improving the
management of PAs
is analysis allows us to draw the following
conclusions that could improve the management of
PAs in the future, whilst making populations a more
integral part of their management.
Favour the creation of community conservancies on
the periphery of protected areas wherever possible.
Favour the development of wildlife tourism based
on these conservancies, in the conservancies but
also (and especially) in PAs, promoting private
sector-community partnerships.
Favour the hosting structures in these
conservancies and not within the PAs, in order
to maximise the prots from tourism for local
communities and thus maximise the eect of the
conservancies.
We must not only favour the conservancies that
adjoin a PA (plus those that do not) but, during
the planning stage, we must also ensure that the
conservation zone (core area) is directly adjacent
to the PA. If this is not the case, the conservation
eect will be reduced and human-wildlife conicts
will increase.
e coordination between conservancies must
also be promoted to ensure that, when they are
being planned, their conservation zones are
adjacent, which will favour the conservation
eect by increasing the global useful surface area
conserved and encourage connectivity. is will
also favour tourism and thus the economic returns
and, nally, the sustainability of the action.
e governance must be planned at several levels:
for each conservancy, for all the conservancies, for
all the protected landscapes, and by linking the
conservancies and the PAs.
... Venter et al. 2016a). In developing areas, such as African countries (Chardonnet 2019), human influence and the effect of cumulative pressures on the environment is lower compared to those in Europe (e.g. Sanderson et al. 2002). ...
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... However, these numbers constantly vary due to the increase in the extension of the PAs, causing underestimates of the area due to the delay in updating the geographic data of the area (Fig. 4.10). According to Chardonnet (2019), biodiversity conservation in Africa is unsustainable, since many PAs are islands of once intact ecosystems where the numbers of some species (including most of the emblematic animal species such as lions, elephants and other antelopes) are decreasing rapidly. They are either state or privately owned, or established under public-private partnerships, and their management, influenced by Western conservation models in which ecosystems are set aside for conservation without considering human activities, is being widely recognised as a bottleneck in their survival. ...
Chapter
The miombo woodlands play a critical role in providing livelihood services and mitigating the effects of climate change. However, the woodlands are increasingly at risk from human-induced pressures that remove woody species, deplete soil nutrients and alter their ecological integrity. There are also indications that climate change will alter plant reproductive processes. The ability of the woodlands to continue to provide goods and services, therefore, hinges on the adoption of sustainable management practices, which address the woodland ecology–food–energy nexus and land tenure complexities under a changing climate. Biodiversity conservation is important and protected areas play a key role in doing so, but appropriate management systems are needed. Many of the dominant woody species are able to regenerate after harvesting by resprouting from the stump. Additionally, species may regenerate through the germination of seed from the soil seed bank. Sustainable management of the miombo, in order to mitigate anthropogenic disturbances, requires the development and application of integrated silvicultural systems, opening the canopy to stimulate and enhance germination of the soil seed reserves and promote the growth of seedlings that have remained dormant under the canopy. Furthermore, there is a need to incorporate local communities and their indigenous knowledge systems in active management.
... Protected areas (PAs) are the cornerstones of all national and regional biodiversity conservation strategies (Chardonnet 2019). In the miombo woodlands where conversion and ecosystem degradation is advancing quickly, PAs represent in some cases the last remnants of intact ecosystems. ...
... However, these numbers constantly vary due to the increase in the extension of the PAs, causing underestimates of the area due to the delay in updating the geographic data of the area (Fig. 4.10). According to Chardonnet (2019), biodiversity conservation in Africa is unsustainable, since many PAs are islands of once intact ecosystems where the numbers of some species (including most of the emblematic animal species such as lions, elephants and other antelopes) are decreasing rapidly. They are either state or privately owned, or established under public-private partnerships, and their management, influenced by Western conservation models in which ecosystems are set aside for conservation without considering human activities, is being widely recognised as a bottleneck in their survival. ...
Chapter
We describe the current land cover of the miombo woodlands and review both current and future drivers of change that may influence land cover in years to come. We also explore possible future ecological and socio-economic outcomes for the miombo in light of the projected futures for the miombo countries in particular, and for the continent in general. Finally, we assess pathways towards desirable trans formations (i.e. just and sustainable transformations) that secure in the long term the contributions of the miombo to improved quality of life. Climate change, human population growth, urbanisation, agricultural expansion and energy production are the major drivers of change in the miombo. The projected futures (2050) show significant temperature rise coupled with a decline in rainfall, a considerable increase in cropland and urban areas, and a decline in the extent of miombo woodlands. We explore options for decision-makers to support conservation and sustainable development in the miombo woodlands and to facilitate fair and equitable access and sharing of benefits arising from ecosystem services produced in these woodlands. Lastly, our analysis suggests that the combination of three pathways (scenarios) is more likely to lead to just and sustainable futures in miombo woodlands, supporting empowered and thriving local communities.
... While PAs are recognized as one of the most effective conservation strategies in the world for protection of species and their habitats, [12][13][14] even in developing countries with intense human population and development pressures, 15 financing PAs remains a significant challenge, 16,17 notably in developing countries, 18 and especially in Africa. 19 The funding crisis has only been exacerbated by the global COVID pandemic, as it wreaked havoc on the global tourism industry, with catastrophic consequences for African PA systems that relied primarily (and in some cases, almost exclusively) on tourism revenue. 20,21 Given that African PAs are chronically underfunded, a fundamental question remains: Where would new funding come from to address these financial shortfalls and reduce, stabilize, or potentially reverse the land degradation and associated species declines that face savanna PAs in Africa? ...