Many of the challenges regarding conservation in Africa are common to all countries. William Lloyd suggested as far back as 1883 that self-interested parties would over-exploit a common resource (Krosby, 2013). This is a threatening reality when it comes to conservation of wildlife anywhere, and indicates the need for incentives on the level of the individual to abide by the rules (Mwakaje). 

Kikuyu Woman, Kenya. (Original photo)
In order to have effective systems for incentives, there first needs to be a fairly high level of law and order. Much of Africa suffers from corrupt governance, lacking in transparency and accountability (Mwakaje). Paired with this is  a tendency for the bulk of the cost of conservation to fall upon the shoulders of local communities, while the benefits are either relatively insufficient or reaped elsewhere (Mwakaje). Designation of protected areas can be inequitable, for example it may lead to loss of traditional access rights and employment opportunities, which may in turn lead to increasing rather than decreasing pressure on the resources as users resort to illegal activities (Mwakaje). The money from wildlife parks that does go to local communities is often funneled through the system of bad governance- thus, not all of the money reaches the intended recipients (Mwakaje). 

Masai Warriors, Kenya,.

Another difficult aspect of conservation in Africa is the social benefit of certain ecologically damaging activities, such as hunting. Scientists and conservation activists don't always take into account the cultural value of these practices, and how that element can potentially change the way that local people react to proposed collaboration efforts regarding conservation (Waylen).

Effects of Poaching
Something that has revealed itself through trial and error regarding conservation efforts in developing countries is the misconception that increasing standard of living in local communities will lead to decreased exploitation and illegal activities. Projects have been implemented in which efforts to develop the local economies are made alongside the conservation work. One example of this method was the employment of poachers as a way of putting an end to their illegal activity. However, rather than resulting in an end to poaching, the poachers were found to have used their wages to expand upon their poaching operations (Newmark).

Uganda (Original Figure)
Finally, there is the lack of ecological monitoring in the existing parks in Africa (Newmark). Without more data regarding the successes and failures in the parks that have been established, scientists are not given feedback with which to make changes or adjustments that could improve upon current theories. The crisis nature of conservation biology leads people to rush into establishing reserve areas, which sounds good on one hand, but has consequences on the other. Oftentimes there is not enough research being done before taking action on conservation projects regarding the site or the social systems surrounding the site. 

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