The Conservation Imperative is an informal, unaffiliated organization created to promote the philosophy of sustainable utilization of wildlife following the IUCN’s sustainable use policy across the full spectrum of wildlife management practices.
- In many parts of Africa, wildlife resources both in and without Protected Areas face severe challenges from a combination of adverse factors, primarily competition for available habitat by human populations and commercial poaching.
- Over the past four decades, preservationist wildlife conservation policy based on stringent protectionist measures, trade bans, and demand reduction strategies has proved to be largely ineffective.
- These policies are unlikely to secure the protection necessary for the survival of economically valuable fauna and flora into the future. They are proving to be unsustainable in terms of cost.
- Southern African states have demonstrated remarkable success in adopting progressive policies based on sustainable commercial utilization of wildlife resources on private and communal land and, as a result, have contributed significantly to biodiversity conservation.
- These exceptional advances in biodiversity conservation have been achieved through mutually beneficial relationships between state authorities and private sector organizations.
- An inclusive, human-centred wildlife management philosophy that takes advantage of the full range of economically viable, ethically based sustainable utilization practices is urgently required continent-wide.
- Rural communities situated around formally protected areas and other marginal regions must benefit materially from sustainable utilization programs in partnership with the adjacent authorities and participate in the rational utilization of wildlife resources managed scientifically.
- The South African constitution makes specific provision for the sustainable utilization of sovereign natural resources; other African nations should be encouraged to do likewise.