African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), International Crane Foundation & Endangered Wildlife Trust Partnership ,International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Mava Foundation, The Federal German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) , World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), come on board as sponsors for the IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC)

22nd December 2021, The IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) is delighted to announce its current 2022 sponsors that include – WWF, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Mava Foundation, USAID, The Federal German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), African Wildlife Foundation, ESRI and the International Crane Foundation & Endangered Wildlife Trust Partnership.

“The Congress the first ever of its kind in the continent gives Africa the to discuss the role of protected areas in conserving nature, safeguarding Africa’s iconic wildlife, delivering vital life-supporting ecosystem services, promoting sustainable development all-while conserving Africa’s cultural heritage and traditions. Africa will be able to present a unified front towards delivering a lasting balance between people, prosperity, and our planetary boundaries,” say the APAC Co-organizers IUCN-WCPA and the African Wildlife Foundation.

The aim of the Congress which will be hosted by the Rwanda Government in March 2022, is to bring together authentic African voices across the continent to address conservation issues that matter most to African audiences and Africa’s development.

WWF Africa Region Director Alice Ruhweza says “Protected areas are the principle safeguard for Africa’s rich biodiversity and natural Capital. Not only are they engines of economic growth, they are also the cornerstones of a sustainable development and economic recovery across the continent. For the past 60 years, WWF in Africa has been working with governments and other partners to strengthen management effectiveness of all models of protected and conserved areas including the development of community conservancies. We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that protected and conserved areas support the needs of both people and planet. As the first ever African Protected Areas Congress draws nigh, we are looking forward to the opportunity to engage with voices from across the continent and the world to explore new opportunities for Protected Areas as the foundation of a just and inclusive conservation vision for Africa.”

As environmental issues have become more globalised, African governments have adopted many regional and global agreements on the environment, biodiversity, and sustainable development. Across all these commitments, success will be contingent on halting and reversing biodiversity loss at national and local levels, for which protected and conserved areas represent a prime mechanism supporting multiple interventions.

“The MAVA foundation chose to support this first-ever African congress on protected and conserved areas and APAC’s mission because we consider the congress to be a unique opportunity to communicate the achievements and lessons learned in biodiversity conservation and effective protected area management to ensure the well-being of communities and sustainable economic and social development in Africa. APAC is also an excellent opportunity for MAVA to capitalize on its action as an engaged philanthropic donor as the foundation is winding down, while supporting its partners to exchange and to create bridges with other conservation players active on the continent” says, Charlotte Karibuhoye Said, Director of the West Africa program for the MAVA Foundation.

These commitments are a very critical step in the pursuit of not only Africa’s vision for long term conservation of nature, but for securing ecosystem goods and services (food, water, fresh air) that enable the achievement of the sustainable development goals and tackling the challenges of both climate and biodiversity loss.

“Priority conservation issues require space for thought and discussion, and APAC provides an opportunity for Africans to look at what works and what does not in an African context. We believe that ensuring ecological connectivity, as a long-term strategy for maintaining biodiversity and associated ecosystem services is essential for Africa’s economies, livelihoods, food security, health, and quality of life. APAC provides an important platform for African Governments and other stakeholders to discuss and agree on such urgent issues,” says Jimmiel Mandima, IFAW Vice-President Global Programs.

David Gadsden, ESRI Director Conservation Solutions, says “As the world comes to realize the critical importance of preserving biodiversity, Africa embodies both fundamental challenges and extraordinary accomplishments in conservation. We are honored to sponsor APAC to connect with our partners and share our mapping solutions for protected area management and landscape level conservation planning.”

The Africa Protected Areas Congress Secretariat lauds the support by the various sponsors and partners as this shows commitment to critically understanding the underlying drivers of biodiversity loss in Africa, how these drivers can be addressed in practical ways and most importantly driving the realization that African livelihoods and the global post-COVID-19 African economies depend on nature.


About The Africa Protected Areas Congress

  • The IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) is the first ever continent-wide gathering of African leaders, citizens, and interest groups to discuss the role of protected areas in conserving nature, safeguarding Africa’s iconic wildlife, delivering vital life-supporting ecosystem services, promoting sustainable development while conserving Africa’s cultural heritage and traditions
  • It is scheduled to take place in Kigali Rwanda from 7-12 March 2022. Registration for the Congress is ongoing

About IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas

IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) is the world’s premier network of protected area expertise, administered by IUCN’s Global Programme on Protected Areas. WCPA works by helping governments and others plan protected areas and integrate them into all sectors; by providing strategic advice to policy makers; by strengthening capacity and investment in protected areas; and by convening the diverse constituency of protected area stakeholders to address challenging issues.

About African Wildlife Foundation

The African Wildlife Foundation is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wild lands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and wild lands.