Community statement submitted at the 2019 African Wildlife Economy Summit
Voices of the Communities: A New Deal for rural communities and wildlife and natural resources
We, the over 40 community representatives of 12 countries across Africa have met prior to Africa’s Wildlife Economy Summit, to tell the stories of our experiences of living with and among Africa’s wonderful wildlife that our forebears watched over and cared for from time immemorial as an integral part of their societies’ culture, traditions and economies. We have discussed the role of communities in managing wildlife resources on their land – bearing the costs of living among them sustainably over centuries, despite the continuing legacy of dis-empowering colonial laws and policies. We are the front line of defence in protecting natural resources and combatting illegal wildlife trade.