What is a Communal Wild Conservancy (CWC)?


A Communal Wild Conservancy(or Community Conservancy) is a collaboration of farms, wildlife reserves, and landscapes brought together to create a sustainable, resilient conservation economy. We work to identify fragmented landscapes that have the potential to become integrated Conservation Economy units and bring stakeholders together under a common vision. Our mission is to create a sustainable, resilient conservation economy on these CWC’s, with a focus on respectful, restorative engagement, based on shared resources, responsibilities and revenues.

How do we establish a Community Conservancy (CWC)?

Building on our existing relationships, and observing the calamities of failed community projects, not just in South Africa, but all over the world, we seek an alternative to the modus operandi of the past 100 years. We recognize that the notion of Wilderness, brought to popularity by John Muir at the turn of the 20th century, whilst noble in theory, has by its definition, deliberately disconnected indigenous communities in the process.

We initially identify fragmented landscapes that have the potential to become Communal Wild Conservancies. A process of engagement by our Communal Planning Units(CPU)** then develops a Comprehensive Communal Plan which provides a spatial development framework and land use plan for the establishment of going concern Conservation Economy businesses. Many of these parcels of land have been operating independently of each other, environmentally, socially, economically and ecologically. Bringing them together to operate as a single unified business entity means the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, and provides crucial economies of scale.

**Our CPU’s adopt a highly consultative, participatory, co-creative, poly centric and co-operative approach when interacting with rural African communities that are based in wilderness areas that are located nearby or in direct contact with national parks

They understand the local culture and needs of the communities it engages with and aims to break down barriers such as mistrust and gatekeeping which often stand in the way of conservation projects being able to be successfully implemented, and in doing so, paving the way for future much needed conservation driven development and investment

Communal Planning Process

What are the benefits of this approach?

To continue to operate in the manner in which we have, establishing game and wildlife reserves, excluding communities and reducing them to wage earners, without addressing underlying societal, cultural and pressing economic and ecological issues will only exacerbate the status quo, leading to more conflict and greater destruction of the natural capital.

To resolve conflict requires an approach that is inclusive, meets expectations of all parties and creates an environment that is able to provide for current and future generations.

This approach is a particularly focused strategy to reduce risk in a critical industry, the Conservation Sector, and level the playing fields for all participants in a transparent and equitable manner.

CWC target landscapes:
Southern Africa

African Conservancies has already identified 6 million hectares of landscapes, with a focus on communal reserves adjoining protected areas and reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa.