African Habitat Conservation Fund
Protecting African habitats is a community effort. The continent possesses about one quarter of earth’s biodiversity and is home to the most extensive, intact collections of large mammals. However, they are constantly under threat. Habitat loss is the largest threat facing Africa’s biodiversity right now.
The International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) is taking action against far more than the threat of poaching. The organization is using innovative, community-based methods to protect African wildlife and the habitats in which they thrive.
Africa’s biodiversity stems from the extent of habitats the continent possesses. Tropical forests, savannahs, grasslands, mangroves, deserts, and snow-covered mountain peaks are several of the dozens of biomes spanning African countries. These are the habitats that make this continent and its 54 countries so impressive, but they’re also what are suffering the most.
Why Is It Important to Conserve Habitats?
Africa is currently undergoing rapid rates of agricultural development, urbanization and population growth. These changes are eroding the natural systems that help lessen the severity of climate change. Such threats — alongside organized illegal poaching and others — have created numerous challenges for conserving Africa’s habitats and the wildlife that call them home.
The importance of habitat conservation in Africa is not up for debate. Failing to protect these habitats can result in a greater increase in climate change and a greater decline in Africa’s most treasured wildlife. Wildlife-based tourism could plummet, and Africa’s tourism economy may suffer. We protect the wildlife and people of Africa when we protect African habitats, and IAPF knows successful conservation begins at a community level.
Conserving African Habitats
Conservation of species and habitats is a multi-part process. IAPF is using multiple community-based programs to protect African habitats in some of the most innovative and effective ways. The LEAD Ranger program and Akashinga model are two IAPF programs providing successful community-led conservation.
LEAD Ranger Program
Rangers are essential to protecting African habitats from criminal actions that harm the land, wildlife and communities. The LEAD Ranger program provides the continuous training and instruction rangers need to be successful in rural environments. This program works in conjunction with other established conservation organizations to teach rangers the importance of professional development, conservation leadership and more.
The Akashinga women, also known as the “Brave Ones,” are Africa’s first plant-based, all-women, armed anti-poaching unit. African women have a long history of caring for their communities, so it’s only fitting that they’ve been called to protect these precious habitats and wildlife.
Akashinga women undergo grueling training modelled after that of military special forces, and they come out ready to protect African wildlife, themselves and their communities. These women know how to use their weapons, but they’re fully trained to arrest poachers without firing any shots. Akashinga empowers women and future generations through training, education and employment.
Conserving Through Community
The LEAD Ranger program and Akashinga method have seen great success in protecting African habitats. The LEAD Ranger program has trained 44 instructors who manage 1,100 rangers and aid in protecting 14,000,000 acres of African habitats.
The Akashinga women and other IAPF efforts have reduced poaching where the IAPF operates by over 80%. This drastic reduction in poaching has all been executed without an armed struggle. The answer to the question of how to conserve habitats begins at a community level.
Contribute to the Habitat Conservation Fund
You don’t have to travel to Africa to make a major difference in the conservation efforts of the IAPF. There are numerous ways to conserve wildlife habitats in Africa from home. Our website offers options for giving, such as:
- Become a monthly donor
- Transferring stock to IAPF
- Giving from an IRA
- Starting a fundraiser
- Choosing IAPF as your favorite charity when shopping eBay or AmazonSmile
Make a contribution to the habitat conservation fund directly in seconds by clicking the “Donate — Make a difference” button located at the top of your screen. African habits, the wildlife and people that call them home need you.