The Southern Africa Trust joined representatives of communities of four SADC counties and related NGOs at this year’s Business of Conservation Conference which was hosted in Rwanda from 7 to 9 September 2019, and organised by the African Leadership University.
The conference was a gathering of global players from the private sector, investors, government, academia, and civil society where they engaged in dialogue on ways in which to catalyse a new wave of economic development in Africa by collaborating purposefully around one of Africa’s unique competitive advantages – its biodiversity.
The community delegates shared their demand for a fair share of benefits both as the implementers and the guards of wildlife and nature in approaches of Community-based Nature Resource Management (CBNRM). As panelists, they highlighted the importance of communities being involved in decision-making and policy processes but also in investments and private sector activities such as tourism and hunting.
The community representatives and NGOs involved in CBNRM have been supported by the Southern Africa Trust and sponsored by the USAID-led Resilient Waters Program for a variety of events in order to assure that their voices are being heard by presidents, ministries, other governmental authorities, the private sector, investors and the media.