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African Wildlife Conservation Strategy

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Philippe Mayaux13 January 2015

An EU response to the African Wildlife Crisis


Larger than Elephants Synthesis cover image (November 2015)Larger than Elephants Regional Analysis cover image (May 2016)


DEVCO has developed a holistic strategy to plan its activities in support of African wildlife conservation. "Larger than Elephants: inputs for an EU strategic approach to wildlife conservation in Africa" (synthesis and regional analysis publications) was recently produced. This technical document will form the basis of the EU activities in the area for the next 10 years. It details priorities in the following domains: site protection of 80 Key Landscapes for Conservation, local development projects in periphery, law enforcement and capacity-building of national services, fight against illegal trafficking.

The strategic approach is primarily targeted at the conservation of large functioning ecosystems or landscapes supporting key African wildlife populations. It contributes to wider goals of biodiversity conservation by, for example, protecting many small areas of outstanding importance to particular threatened taxa where those small areas fall within larger conservation landscapes. A secondary tactic supporting wider biodiversity goals is to make conservation funds available to agencies and projects protecting small important sites that cannot be contained in the large key landscapes identified.

The Strategic Approach to Wildlife Conservation in Africa is presented in six volumes as follows:

The complete Regional Analysis (volumes 00-5) PDF (50MB) is also available.

A French-language version is also available.



The EU Delegation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) organised a public presentation of the Strategic Approach "Au-delà des éléphants" in Kinshasa on Thursday 11 May 2017. EU Ambassador Bart Ouvry and ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) Administrator-Director-General Cosma Wilungula introduced the event. Ouvry said that biodiversity in DRC is an outstanding asset, which provides the country with the 2nd largest rainforest and the 2nd most powerful waterstream in the wolrd, while it generates a large array of environmental services that are beneficial to the Congolese populations, from agriculture to renewable energy. Wilungula oulined the complexity of human-wildlife interactions, hence the paramount importance of steering conservation efforts toward benefit to the neighbouring populations of the protected areas. He also reminded the security challenges that are associated to wildlife conservation, park management and anti-poaching operations. 

A comprehensive presentation of the Strategic Approach was delivered by Mr Romain Calaque, technical assistant to the B4Life Facility, on visit to Kinshasa. Starting from a worldwide overview (the "Larger than..." series) trough a continental survey ("Larger than Elephants"), he then zoomed in to explaining the relevance of the Strategic Approach for Central Africa and for DRC, also making linkage with the significantly increased commitments wich the EU made for biodiversity under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), through the regional programme ECOFAC 6 and the bilateral programme with DRC "Environnement et Agriculture durable".

A Q&A session followed by a networking drink then closed the event. Over 50 people attended, representing donors, partner NGOs, civil society organisations, ICCN and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, and journalists.

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