“There can be no true conservation without communities and no future for the world communities without conservation – and we need to listen to the call of the youth”.
That was the message when the Leadership for Conservation in Africa [LCA] hosted its 2019 council meeting in the Ruvuma region, Tanzania. The 2019 Council Meeting highlighted the importance of community involvement in the fight against poaching and addressing the climate crisis hand in hand with the youth.
Joined by delegates from 16 countries, the council meeting was held in a make-shift camp in the heart of Africa in the Ruvuma region bordering Mozambique. This was achieved through the support of the Sabine Plattner African Charities (SPAC) and the PAMS Foundation who mobilised the local communities to host more 43 delegates in nomadic accommodation. The outcome was not only a very successful meeting, but it brought about much needed future tourism and job-creation opportunities to the region.
During workshops and meetings, the LCA and its board again cemented its commitment to conservation through various projects, community upliftment and empowerment as well as amplifying the voice of the youth that are fighting for their future. The LCA also sponsored millennials from various areas to attend the council meeting to share their experiences, ideas and frustration at the current global climate crisis. Through its EduConservation and Spark Talks projects, the LCA with SPAC aims to give the youth the knowledge and platforms they need to have their voice heard and assist them in bringing about change.
Using the meeting as an opportunity to launch a tourism project in the area and assist the communities, this will all lead to a community-owned ecotourism canoeing venture on the Ruvuma River in one of the most remote areas of Africa. The first pilot canoeing safaris proved to be very successful and will be commercialised through the community Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s) in collaboration with PAMS.
Referring to its youth social media programs and awareness campaigns, Chris Marais, CEO of the LCA said, “I believe the LCA has part of the solution providing a vehicle to move positively forward in a time of crisis”.