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Conservation at


Ox bow lake during sunrise

As we grapple with the global climate crisis, it is increasingly clear that we cannot tackle the issue without also addressing the loss of biodiversity. The scientific community has spoken with a united voice, endorsing the High Ambition Coalition’s 30×30 target that calls for the conservation of 30% of natural land and seascapes by 2030. This ambitious goal was adopted at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Montreal.

Wilderness and natural areas in sub-Saharan Africa are a fraction of what they were even a few decades ago. Yet, they still hold the immense biodiversity of their rainforests, grasslands, deserts, wetlands, and forests. National parks cover 850,000 square km whereas other conservation areas – reserves and game/wildlife management areas, community conservancies, and concessions encompass 1.7 million square km or 66% of the total protected area estate. Concession areas and community conservancies act as the “connective tissue” within vast landscapes offering the single greatest opportunity to achieve conservation at scale.

Turning this vision into reality is no small feat

The impending loss of derelict and vacant hunting concession areas due to the decline of the safari hunting industry is a major conservation crisis on the continent but is one that is little known, little discussed and insufficiently appreciated. In these areas, Conserve is pursuing a “stop-loss” strategy to support the effective management of concessions and prevent their loss from degradation, downsizing and de-gazettement.


Community based natural resource management is heralded as an effective model for inclusive conservation and has achieved remarkable success. However, there is a danger that interest in this approach will wane if conservancies fail to optimise benefits for people. Here, Conserve works to amplify community-led conservation through an “expansion” strategy that both enlarges the community conservation estate and unlocks greater benefits through traditional and innovative revenue streams and by resolving the costs of living with wildlife.

By raising awareness of the importance of these areas and supporting Africa’s development agenda, we are working to ensure that these crucial habitats are not only conserved but expanded.
African elephant up close
Explore our interactive map below
Concession in Africa infographic

National Parks
850,000 km²



1,700,000 km²



Figures and numbers

We focus on a dual strategy.  We work to stop the loss of biodiversity by ensuring existing concessions and community conservancies are supported with robust management capacity. At the same time, we look for ways to expand the conservation estate by enlarging the footprint of protected areas. We anticipate that this will be best achieved through the creation of new community conservancies. Both approaches are guided by our site selection criteria to help ensure we focus where we can have the greatest impact. 

Close up Patas Monkey

and numbers


30,000 sq km (7.4 million acres)

Key conservation landscapes are contributing to ecosystem integrity and effectively connecting national parks by 2030
In 2022, we refined our site selection criteria to help us be focused and proactive in our pipeline development.
The main factors involve:

Ecological significance

  1. Is the landscape intact?
  2. Is it under imminent threat?
  3. Is it a biodiversity hotspot?

Size and scope

  1. Is it part of a broader conservation complex that connects and buffers one or more national parks?
  2. Is there potential to expand the footprint over time?

Management considerations

  1. Can Conserve address the identified threats – is there anyone else that is better suited?
  2. Can we take a long-term view, ideally with a strong and clear mandate for 10+ years?
  3. Can we raise or generate the funds needed to operate in the long term?
  4. Can we operate efficiently and ensure the safety and security of on-site staff?

Progress in 2022

Site selection criteria and engagement with key stakeholders has helped guide the growth of our footprint across Africa.

Ugandan kob in the grass field during the day

Progress in 2022

Aerial view of Ox bow lake during dawn break

Tondwa – Nsumbu Mweru

(northeast Zambia)

After concluding the necessary agreements in 2022, we laid the groundwork to enable more tangible impact in 2023. This included embedding Tondwa Conservation Limited (TCL) as the special purpose legal entity to oversee the management of the area. We hired a project manager and initiated the recruitment of a site team and expanded the scout force to 25. Recruitment is underway to build up this core operational team. Infrastructure improvements are also progressing on scout accommodation, project headquarters, and a community tourism camp along with radio communications, vehicles, uniforms, and other equipment.


Orupupa – Kunene Highlands

(northwest Namibia)

We spent the year engaging with the Orupupa Conservancy before formally signing a 20-year service level agreement with the Orupupa Conservancy in September 2022. We established Kunene Conservation as the in-country legal entity for this purpose, recruited a Project Manager and developed a business plan that builds on and complements the work of the Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) and the Orupupa Conservancy Committee.

Tree squirrel on a tree

Futi Corridor – Maputo-Tembe

(southern Mozambique)

We are working closely with the Tembe people, and other local communities, the Ministry of Lands, the National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC), Peace Parks Foundation and Maputo National Park to establish a formally recognised community conservation area. The mandate from the government is pending. The new community conservation area will be incorporated into the adjoining Maputo National Park complex on the western edge of the Futi Corridor. Six villages came together to establish the Muwai Community Association and identify almost 25,000 acres of land to be established as the Muwai Community Conservation Area. Conserve provided initial governance training for 24 members of the new association. We also developed plans and raised the funding required to build a game fence along the 42 km western boundary of the Muwai community land to fence it into the broader Maputo National Park conservation complex to the west of the Futi Corridor. In so doing, we will help resolve the ever-present human-elephant conflict in the region.


Faro landscape – Faro-Benoué-Bouba Ndjida Complex

(northern Cameroon)

We joined a consortium of partners working on the European Union (EU)-funded Cameroon: Green and Resilient Septentrion (CaSeVe) Project. The initiative will focus on managing natural resources and habitat in the Faro-Bénoué Complex in a more sustainable and inclusive manner, and on addressing the multitude of threats this landscape faces, including cross-border cattle herding (transhumance), small-scale and commercial poaching, illegal fishing and gold mining in the Faro River. Our contribution will be to establish biodiversity baselines and monitoring frameworks and develop a Lord Derby Eland management plan, working collaboratively with key stakeholders.

African Grass thatched homestead

In summary, we have established a footprint that is poised to grow rapidly.

At the end of 2022, we were active in over 2,000 sq km of diverse landscapes across four countries.

Conserve’s challenge will not be in identifying and partnering to deliver our ambitious project portfolio but in securing upfront capital to respond quickly and with agility to opportunities as they arise and building up the human capital needed to meet the demand.

Opportunities come in the form of auctions of vacant concessions, negotiations with sellers of distressed companies that hold leases for areas of concern, and, increasingly, through invitations by local community conservancies and government partners.

We look forward to deepening the tangible ecological and social impacts in our targeted landscapes.


our goals

Conserving natural landscapes Investing in African skills and leadership Building strong local governance Unlocking value for people