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Protection of Wildlife vs. Economic Competition: Can They Coexist?


As part of a series examining the competition for resources in Africa between humans and wildlife, Voice of America looks at the question: Can wildlife be protected, while at the same time contributing to the economy? The Congo Basin Forest Partnership is trying to make that answer yes. Adam Henson is a program manager with the African Wildlife Foundation in Washington. He told Voice of America English to Africa reporter Cole Mallard the partnership is an association of governments, NGOs, and local stakeholders who work together to create sustainable management of the Congo Basin’s forests and to improve the standard of living for the region’s inhabitants.

Henson says the African Wildlife Foundation, through US government support, works in one of the “landscapes in the north-central region of the DRC" on a variety of strategies [including] wildlife conservation, conservation of endangered species, livelihood development programs … and community based forest reserves.

He says community input is important: “We involve local community groups on a daily basis, whether they be working in communal forestry, in agriculture or in wildlife conservation.”

He says the Congo Basin countries officially include the DRC, the Republic of Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equitorial Guinea and Rwanda.” He also briefly discusses the bush meat trade and says “it’s a very complex issue in Africa.”

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