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Saving Africa’s vanishing wildlife: how civil society can help turn the tide

Conservation in Africa is failing. An upsurge in poaching and wildlife trafficking has made headlines, but comparatively little attention has been paid to the wider, systematic decline of many large mammal populations across large areas. There are many underlying drivers of this decline, but poor wildlife governance is a common, critical factor. Strong local and national civil society organisations can drive much-needed reform, but their critical role has yet to be widely recognised or effectively supported. A growing number of local organisations are proving increasingly influential in a number of African countries, often through their role in leading community conservation initiatives and reform movements. Finding ways to better support the growth and development of these organisations will be key to improving existing conservation strategies and restoring wildlife populations over the longer term.

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Successfully fighting wildlife crime depends on engaging with local communities. IIED is working with partners to find out how actions to improve local livelihoods can reduce poaching and promote conservation.

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