The African Parks Model

Mandate to Manage: 100% Accountability

elephant © Jean Labuschagne
Key species are reintroduced to the parks and closely monitored

African Parks pioneered the concept of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in protected area management and to date remains the single entity successfully securing and carrying out management agreements with governments on the continent. Central to the concept of a PPP is a separation of responsibilities between the State and African Parks. The State is the owner of the park and is responsible for legislation and policy. African Parks is responsible for the execution of management functions and is accountable to the State for performance. The separation of function is essential for producing results.

The Five Key Pillars of Our Work

  • Law Enforcement
    With the largest counter-poaching force of any one NGO across Africa, our rangers provide safety and security for both people and wildlife surrounding the park and in the broader region
  • Community Development
    Local people need to benefit from a parks existence in order to value them. We are working to improve the lives of surrounding communities through food security, education, job creation and health benefits
  • Management and Infrastructure
    Development of the parks leads to technological, communications, and infrastructure advancements resulting in improved governance and ensures accountability and transparency
  • Economic Impact
    National parks are able to contribute directly to local and national economies when effectively managed. African Parks enhances economic impact through tourism and enterprise development ensuring revenues go back to the park and communities to aid economic development
  • Biodiversity Conservation
    Stabilising and increasing wildlife populations, resulting in vast landscapes protected and restored

Our Key Principles

These guiding principles are essential to the successful long-term management of each protected area. They provide the instrumental foundation in realising these parks’ ecological, social and financial value so, at the end of our management agreement, we hope there is a clear choice to continue to protect that landscape for long-term.

  • Delegation of Management Responsibility
    African Parks requires a clear mandate to take operational responsibility for a protected area, to counter all threats and manage all revenues
  • Long-term Commitment
    We secure on average 20-year management contracts, which are essential for success given conservation is a long-term endeavour
  • Creation and Retention of Revenue
    We create revenue through tourism and associated enterprises compatible with conservation, aiding in the economic development and poverty alleviation, and reducing donor dependence over time.
  • Ecological Rehabilitation
    We actively manage wildlife populations and their habitats, including translocating and reintroducing entire species or individuals to a park to aid in the restoration and ensure healthy watersheds, clean air, carbon sequestration, food security and better health for wildlife and people.
  • Appointment of Management
    Managing protected areas requires expertise and we retain the right to appoint management and to discipline or remove non-performing members. All management is done in accordance with African Parks’ standard operating procedures.
  • Implementation of Governance Structures and Mechanisms
    Good governance is essential for success. Each park is established as a separate legal entity registered in the host country, with a Board of Directors representing partner institutions, key stakeholders and African Parks, and is accountable to the Government.
  • Law Enforcement
    The most critical and foundational component for the long-term sustainability of any park is law enforcement, and it is our top priority. We provide safety and security to the park, surrounding communities and the broader region, which is a pre-requisite for poverty alleviation, economic development and stabilising and increasing wildlife populations
  • Creating a Constituency for Conservation
    Parks are a choice of land-use and local people need to value and benefit from them in order for them to survive. We engage in collaborative decision-making, with local representation on all park Boards, as well as provide a range of social and economic benefits to build long-term support for the park.