African Conservancies is a CWC Africa Projects(Pty)Ltd initiative , with the companies stated objective to convert Africa’s community land surrounding national parks into “thrive buffer” Communal Wild Conservancies(CWC’s), which will represent an extension of the existing National Park protected area Ecosystems. Each CWC has a Master Development Plan prepared, incorporating multi-use, layered, buffer zones, to protect these areas from encroaching development, whilst creating sustainable and conservation-based revenue streams for the local communities and other stakeholders”.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed men, can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margeret Mead
“To develop Africa’s last remaining wilderness landscapes surrounding National Parks into Communal Wild Conservancies(CWC’s) and thereby establish and build CWC based Conservation Economies”
Founder and Leader
Grant Fowlds is a Project Rhino Ambassador, a veteran community facilitator, an accomplished author and a core member of the Project Rhino team, overseeing the Wildlife Youth and Leadership Development component of Project Rhino, spearheading the Rhino ART campaign in KZN and other provinces and countries. He has an extensive network of relationships with international donors, local and national reserves and communities. Grant was a founding member of the Feeding the Wildlife Communities project, launched in 2020 as a direct result of the impact on tourism from the current COVID pandemic.
Grant Fowlds provides community engagement and strategic guidance, identifying additional landscapes and managing stakeholder relations at community level. Grant also has an extensive network in the Tourism sector and has relationships with many international donors and funders.
Read more about Grant: www.grantfowlds.com
James ArnottFounder and Leader
James Arnott is an experienced project manager, having come from a property and FMCG environment, and has also developed a skillset in specialist tourism, development and investment packaging in Southern Africa, particularly South Africa and Zambia. He is the CWC Africa Projects Project Director.
The principle of revenue sharing to maintain community relationships, and ensure ongoing profitability of community enterprises is the key to success.
CWC Africa Projects(Pty)Ltd also acts as the moral compass of the Conservancy projects, with oversight to ensure a best fit between management operators, developers and the community itself.
Our motivation to build these economies is not driven by investment returns in the strict sense of the word, but by a higher purpose of restoring landscapes, social structures and economies that thrive for future generations and not for the single minded purpose of extracting a return.
We are looking for investors that are invested in Africa and its fragile future, and not only investors looking for a hard return on investment.
Many landscapes in Africa are disconnected islands of private, community, or government land, operating in social, economic and environmental isolation from each other. This is a historic legacy of colonial mapping and privatization of landscapes. Our fauna and flora globally are under tremendous pressure for survival, as wildlife crime reaches epidemic proportions and population pressure increase. Migratory routes and large landscapes are increasingly being carved into small enclaves, surrounded by impoverished communities disconnected from their birthrights. This results in conflict.
In order to solve the conflict over land, resources and ownership, and profitably share in this space, we need to do things differently or we will lose this fight for land, water, ecosystems, culture and society. The economy will then collapse.
Building a Conservation Economy involves investment into assets that create long term, profitable returns. These assets, at a base level, are natural, social and economic capital. Restoring custodianship relations, building foundations of respect and trust, based on communal aspirations and values, will ultimately, we believe, be the manner in which we preserve culture, environment, society and the economy.
A Conservation Economy brings benefits to all stakeholders, reduces conflict, and therefore risk for investors and local communities alike.
Solving Wildlife Crime and resolving conflict over scarce resources, whilst addressing community and communal expectations is a delicate balancing act. If we fail to act now, to preserve, not only the open spaces and wild areas, but more importantly the cultural and social customs of the community members, we will lose this land and its resources forever.
Africa, and Sub Saharan Africa in particular, still has vast tracts of land, that for generations and centuries has been managed, albeit by a smaller more connected community of custodians.
As populations increase, conflict over these resources intensifies.
It is important to save these last wild spaces, not only for the sake of these open spaces, but for the sake of humanity.
Our vision of a united and significant Conservation Economy in Southern Africa is what brings us together. Continuing to fight wildlife crime without an innovative approach and long-term sustainability as a goal, is not the solution. We cannot continue to do the same things over again and expect a different result. A vibrant Conservation Economy will reduce wildlife crime as it brings tangible and meaningful benefits to the communities around and within these Wild landscapes.
Conservation Economy thinking represents a paradigm shift in traditional thinking and emphasis on wildlife crime preventative mechanisms and the ongoing financial, human and physical resources required to protect Africa’s remaining wildlife and their habitats. Building a Conservation Economy involves rather investing, empowering and developing Africa’s wilderness communities, thereby enabling them to participate in and own the conservation economies established on the wilderness landscapes they habit, and in order for them to ultimately become the true and legitimate custodians of these landscapes and their natural resources. This in turn helps reduce wildlife crime and habitat destruction, as the value of these wilderness assets becomes theirs to lose if not looked after and protected”.
A Conservation Economy is built on wildlife and biodiversity assets and incorporates the resources both inside and outside the protected area. A Conservation Economy focusses equally on the people surrounding these areas, building a restorative economy based on ecological, social and economic principles. If our wild places and the neighbouring land and water, are managed responsibly they offer a variety of employment opportunities (including zoology, conservation, eco-tourism, hunting, agriculture and all secondary activities) thereby contributing to poverty reduction and economic growth, reducing pressure on resources within protected areas.