An emerging threat to wildlife protection and conservation across Africa!
COVID-19 brings about threats to wildlife protection and conservation across Africa!
The devastating impact of the novel coronavirus has somehow touched everyone in every corner of our wide world, and even our wild animals. It is overwhelming to think about everything that seemed normal and fine a couple of months ago, but if we put it in perspective, there seems to be a growing desire amongst people to want somethings to change and to be part of the solution. While politicians and policy makers across the world strive to find solutions to the huge challenges facing healthcare, social programs and employment, we want to address the elephant in the room and shine a spotlight on the impact of wildlife conservation across Africa due to COVID-19.
What is the missing piece in most wildlife conservation projects in Africa?
Everything in nature is connected down to a microscopic virus like the novel corona! The same connectedness applies to how most wildlife conservation projects work within Africa’s wildlife sanctuaries.
The more tourists the parks receive, the more revenue will be collected from the tour operators and visitors which means more funds available for protection of wildlife and overall operations of the national parks. One of the primary ways most national parks in Africa are able to sustainably fund the work to protect all wildlife from poachers is to use the revenue collected in the form of park entrance and concession fees which are payable by tour operators like Wito Africa Safaris when they send tourists to visit the parks on safari. On the other hand, it is true that the presence of staff (and tourists alike) in most safari camps and lodges that operate inside the national parks and within wildlife corridors plays a key role in deterring most desperate poachers who are interested in the illegal seizure of wild meat for food.
However, since the majority of the properties are temporarily closed due to lack of international visitors, we feel like it is a matter of time before the wildlife are exposed to this great danger all over again. During these tough times of massive unemployment rates, the cost of acquiring bush meat is cheaper than buying other sources of meat (beef, chicken)…etc, and there’s a possibility to sell it to other people and create a source of temporary income. These selfish poacher-wannabes typically use snares that pretty much capture any animal that moves. We feel like the communities that border most national parks and wildlife sanctuaries will turn to wild meat in order to put food on the table and sustain the lingering hunger! As the world struggles to find solutions to the COVID-19 puzzle, we fear that our precious wildlife – big and small – are the most vulnerable now more than ever!
With little information on exactly what will transpire post pandemic, I am afraid the anti-poaching projects will also run out of the money needed to manage day-to-day operations which is vital to keep such vast protected areas safe from poachers.
However, YOU, our wonderful travellers from around the world are part of the solution! You are the missing piece to make our tightly connected ecosystem work again, and we want you to understand that the future of our wildlife is depending on travelers like you to help protect them and continue the incredible work of conservation across Africa. The world is making the necessary adjustments to cope with the pandemic, but when it is safe to travel again, we encourage you to explore beyond your backyards and local boundaries.
About Smart Twiga Marketing:
Smart Twiga Marketing is a representation agency dedicated to offering sales and marketing services to the tourism industry, focusing on both the inbound and outbound markets. Smart Twiga aims at bridging the gap between local East African operators and the North American market. Smart Twiga Marketing is determined to facilitate and simplify business dealings for safari operators. Our services are specific to solving a unique marketing problem, whether it is to introduce a new property, build awareness or acquire new agents, we specialize in building relationships and finding solutions that will help our clients to achieve the best results.