Africa is in a battle to preserve habitat for its wildlife. Each year, more habitat is lost to development resulting in more pressure being put on indigenous animals as they fight for survival. The solution seems easy. African nations should practice more conservation, and prioritize the survival of its unique and wonderful collection of animals. But it is not that simple.
Africa Must Exploit its Natural Resources to Develop
Africa remains a largely undeveloped region. One of the last on the planet. And the nations of Africa want and need to develop. To do so, the region must attract the attention of world markets, mainly with natural resources such as minerals and forests. Africa is not in a position to exploit other, less impactful, resources such as technology. Therefore, they must use what they have.
Balance is Necessary
Exploitation of natural resources will inevitably lead to loss of habitat. This has been proven throughout history. Africa only now possesses habitat due to its tardiness to development. But that is changing. So, a balance must be struck. One that services the long term economic needs of the region with the environmental needs of its indigenous plants and animals. Unfortunately, such a balance is difficult to achieve.
Regional Management is the Solution
African growth and development will occur. It cannot be stopped. But its impact on wildlife habitat can be lessened if this growth is managed regionally. Africa is comprised of 54 nations with different economic needs and abilities, but its wildlife habitat extends across borders. Each nation of Africa must have a say in the direction of the region and an interest in preserving habitat. Only by unilaterally committing to conservation will wildlife be protected from extinction through loss of habitat.