Many African Communities face difficult challenges to meeting basic needs such as health, education and economic empowerment. At the same time, African nature is rapidly being degraded as communities turn towards these resources to help make ends meet. Providing communities with the tools needed to break the cycle of poverty is the first step in insuring their participation in rational use and conservation of their natural heritage.
Providing safe places where children can learn as they grow gives them a childhood that is the foundation for better development. Happy, healthy and educated children become spokespeople for their environment and help their parents appreciate conservation. These children are African nature’s stewards who will persistently protect nature for future generations.
Creating community centers in target communities creates safe places where teachers, parents and children come together to learn how to help themselves.
Rural African communities often lack opportunity for cash incomes. People often turn to exploiting the natural resources as the only source of cash. Many of these activities, hunting, farming and harvesting are not sustainable and will only provide short-term solutions while depleting the resources for future generations. Jobs created by conservation and eco-tourism directly and indirectly help people take control of their own destinies and preserve their future by providing alternatives to destructive practices.
SPAC emphasizes the importance of listening the local people’s voices and using education, economic empowerment, and conservation to meet their needs and aspirations, and to help them develop and achieve mutual goals in ways that contribute to the greater good of Africa’s protected areas and all its residents.
SPAC’s core activities consist of increasing people’s capacity and supporting them in the struggle against poaching and exploitative use of natural resources. SPAC’s community support initiatives include the construction of community centers, the implementation of early childhood development programs, rural and urban education, biodiversity research, and the creation of opportunities for technical skills development and jobs, particularly through research and community tourism initiatives.