National Geographic presents
The ecosystems that balance our climate and make life on Earth possible are under extreme threat. Without sufficient action, we are destined to take millions of species to extinction. There has never been a more critical issue in the history of human civilisation than the immediate protection of the natural world.
While there are variety of ways that humans can harm ecosystems around the world, poaching in particular threatens a number of species — even those that may be protected in national parks or wildlife reservations. Today, poaching is usually done for profit, with the animal parts sold to black and illegal markets. The result is that many animals have been attacked and their numbers are critically depleted.
Beautiful creatures such as the rhinoceros and elephant have long been targets of poachers; the rhinoceros for its horn and the elephant for the ivory in its tusks. These are only two examples of the many species in Africa that are reaching near-extinction. IAPF develops and supports programs to stop poachers from targeting and killing these endangered animals.
Founded in 2009, the International Anti-Poaching Foundation has transformed a traditionally adversarial approach to conservation into an innovative, empowering and gender-diverse model to protect wildlife and habitats.
Our animal conservation organization is a leader in on-the-ground solutions for nature conservation, protecting and restoring nature in ways that contribute both to national conservation strategies and the empowerment of indigenous communities.
Other anti-poaching groups employ different tactics to help stop this practice, but our anti-poaching charity takes a multi-faceted approach. IAPF doesn’t simply help stop poaching from afar, but instead works from the ground level with the people who live in the area that needs protection. Through our programs, we train and educate women who live in the community, providing them with steady income and employment as rangers, as well as other occupations.
By giving local women the skills they need to support themselves and their families, they become empowered. This enhances the community in numerous ways. For instance, it can encourage children to stay in school, improve health care, reduce disease and poverty, increase life expectancy, lower the risk of rape and sexual assault, and support structured family planning.
At IAPF, our programs work. For example, 62% of the operational costs involved in the Akashinga model flow back into the community, with 80% reaching the households of the rangers. By helping local communities protect their land, we not only care for the wildlife but also develop and empower women and their families.
There are multiple ways to get involved and help further our mission but the most effective is to make a donation to our unique, proven wildlife conservation charity.
Akashinga is a community-driven conservation model, empowering disadvantaged women to restore and manage large networks of wilderness alongside their local communities, as an alternative economic model to trophy hunting.
Our goal is to employ 1,000 female rangers by 2025 protecting a network of 20 nature preserves under IAPF management.
The LEAD Ranger program delivers tailored training, long-term support and mentoring to develop wildlife crime-enforcement leaders and instructors who remain based in the ecosystems they are protecting.
This program is a collaborative initiative by the IAPF, the Thin Green Line Foundation, and Ranger Campus. Our goal is to train rangers that collectively protect 50 million acres.