Get a glimpse at one of the most important aspects of SCI Foundation’s African conservation Program. Click here to learn about the meeting and how SCI Foundation is working for the future of African wildlife.

Want to learn more about the AWCF?  Check out these posts on our First for Wildlife blog.

November 4, 2014 – http://wp.me/p2AKuX-nU

October 23, 2014 – http://wp.me/p2AKuX-nM

November 15, 2013 – http://wp.me/p2AKuX-fn

November 8, 2013 – http://wp.me/p2AKuX-f4

November 4, 2013 – http://wp.me/p2AKuX-f2

September 17, 2012 – http://wp.me/p2AKuX-3k

August 14, 2012 – http://wp.me/p2AKuX-20

2014 AWCF Highlights

This year’s African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) featured socio-economic benefits of hunting and the important role it plays in conservation. Substantial revenue generated from hunting being invested into conservation and local communities gives wildlife value and people the will to conserve. One take-home message was that such benefits should be shared in ways that reward good conservation practices to improve progress made in conservation. Benefits sharing may best serve conservation when it is weighted, instead of being equitable.

Renowned economics experts from Southwick Associates presented a study that is estimating the contributions of consumptive tourism in Africa. The study will provide numerical evidence of hunting generated benefits that impact government economies as well as rural communities.

Government delegates and Professional Hunter Association representatives presented how hunting has been an effective conservation tool. Clive Stockil of River Lodges of Africa presented on the existing government frameworks and methods to improve benefit sharing, and explained how it could encourage greater community involvement in sustainable-use hunting and wildlife management.

Another highlight was the African lion. Several presentations featured the most current research on lion aging, genetics, and status of lions. Of great importance was a presentation of the draft 2015 IUCN Red List Reassessment.   AWCF participants questioned whether the data used in the reassessment was representative of the lion population, or if it lacked necessary data to establish confidence in the conclusions. Providing the very best IUCN reassessment of the Red List is critical because it will bring the world closer to the truth on African lion population status. If the reassessment is not robust, the world will be misled to conclusions that may not reflect what is actually happening with lions on the ground.

All the participating African governments extended an invitation to FWS to visit their countries and witness the implementation of their conservation plans firsthand. Implementation of wildlife management plans is not easily understood from written reports, while a three-day site visit of a government’s conservation measures in place may better explain how conservation is done.

SCI Foundation is proud to see that our efforts promote capacity building between governments and continues to show the global importance of the hunting community. We look forward to watching real solutions bloom from the discussions of this year’s AWCF and look forward to next year’s meeting.

Want to read more about this year’s AWCF visit our First For Wildlife Blog, and like us on Facebook and Twitter!