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Lions at Ngorongoro, Crater Highlands in Tanzania, © Kenneth K. Coe

From the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro to the rich coral reefs in the West Indian Ocean, Africa supports some of the most stunning places and wildlife on Earth. Much remains as it was a millennia ago. But as populations rise and the climate changes, Africa's landscapes have dramatically been altered over the last 50 years. With increasingly complex challenges comes the need for evolved conservation strategies.

The Nature Conservancy's vision for Africa is rooted in its people - who historically have not always been at the table during planning for their sustainable future. Our success depends on the involvement of local communities to create a conservation agenda that incorporates their needs along with the needs of the lands, waters and wildlife of this vast continent.

Roughly 60 percent of Africa's lands and almost 100 percent of its waters are community managed -- shared resources that sustain some of the most iconic wildlife and the most vulnerable people on Earth. These communal lands and waters outside of Africa's famed national parks are critical to the continent's wildlife and people, as the majority of the wildlife live or migrate beyond park boundaries.

Our projects in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, Gabon and the West Indian Ocean focus on helping local communities, governments and organizations better manage these important shared resources. These are places outside of National Parks where people utilize resources for their survival - they fish, farm, graze livestock, harvest timber and extract precious metals. 

Our vision is to make this resource use sustainable – to bring more benefit from a sustainably used resource than an over-exploited resource.  By working in partnership with local and national stakeholders our science and market based approach is yielding some exciting results that we hope to leverage and replicate to address the most pressing threats to this magical continent.