African Parks’ main governing body, African Parks Network, is registered as a not-for profit organisation in terms of Section 21 of the Companies Act of South Africa and our Head Office is in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Each park managed by African Parks is established as a separate legal entity, which is registered in the host country. Each legal entity has its own Board of directors with representation by partner institutions and key stakeholder groups, including African Parks Network. This Board is responsible for signing and implementing the agreement with Government and is directly accountable to Government for the proper management of the park. African Parks Network is responsible for compiling the business plan for each park, determining capital investments, operating costs and levels of income for each year of management and appointing a skilled park management unit to execute the plan.
Delegation of authority
Government: Government or its national wildlife agency must invite African Parks to become involved in the management and financing of one of their national parks, must share our approach to management and must be comfortable with the delegation of responsibilities to a newly formed local entity which is the vehicle for executing the project. Importantly Government still owns the park and the wildlife, determines policy and remains responsible for its statutory functions.
Communities: Experience has shown that communities adjacent to a park can be critical to the success of the project, and therefore community considerations are built into the project from the outset. In some instances this is a formal relationship with community structures represented on the Board, and in others it is more informal.
Financial Partners: Significant finances are required for capital investment and annual park operating costs. We only commit to a project once financial partners are in place to shoulder part of this burden. Typically we partner with bilateral and multilateral donors, conservation NGOs, the private sector, foundations and individuals to assist with the necessary financing requirements.
Commercial Investors: As the park develops and wildlife populations recover, we partner with commercial investors to develop and operate tourism lodges and other private enterprises. This creates the income base for the park from entrance fees and concession fees, allowing the park to be weaned from donor support.
African Parks has a number of affiliated organisations in key donor markets, whose primary role is to facilitate the establishment of partnerships with individuals, institutions and companies in their respective countries. Currently these affiliated organisations are:
Stichting African Parks Foundation, Netherlands
African Parks Foundation of America
African Parks Foundation (UK)