Park Planning: Moving Forward

This map is taken from a tourism website, 
highlighting locations for potential safari trips. 
The green regions indicate protected areas.
There is already much effort going towards wildlife preservation in Africa. One example is the integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) which was started by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the 1980s and 1990s. The main idea of this approach was to get away from the "fines and fences" approach to conservation, and to try to pair conservation with development  (Newmark). Communities surrounding sites of conservation projects were compensated in part for the obstruction and forced change in lifestyle caused by the introduction of the project. Compensation took on a variety of forms, including employment opportunities, cash reward, and tourism. Local communities are oftentimes also allowed special access to limited amounts of resources within the park (Newmark).

The theory behind this method is the idea that the creation of a buffer zone around conservation areas, inside of which the local communities are content and on board with the conservation efforts, will decrease the level of illegal harvesting and encroachment on the park (Integrated).
There are pros and cons to this approach, but most importantly there are promising ideas of what to do moving forward. Unfortunately it is difficult to measure success with such incomplete ecological monitoring. More data would be helpful in determining which factors proved to be most effective in establishing a conservation park with more integrity. Learning to collaborate with local communities, to share ideas, and to make efforts to understand their social practices and values are all important steps towards establishing effective conservation practices. According to some sources, efforts of project managers to please local communities and get them on board with their vision has led them to treat local communities as recipients of aid rather than collaborators (Newmark). This is something that will have to change moving forward.
Collaboration without transparency and accountability is not effective or worthwhile. Therefore, enhancing the management capacity of protected areas by providing education, developing training manuals and technical assistance that focus on ecological monitoring, conflict resolution, conservation planning, and law enforcement techniques is fundamental (Newmark).

Sustainable community agriculture practices

Moving forward, another important component to protection efforts is to enforce landscape wide conservation methods (Newmark) in the form of agricultural techniques and limitations. It isn't simply the parks that we are concerned about maintaining, but entire habitats and ecosystems. Even with the most up to date research, cutting edge technology, and the best intentions- conservation of African wildlife can't be approached any other way but as a collaborative effort alongside local communities and individuals. 

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