Equipping the custodian of Africa’s natural resources with the skills needed to address the challenges being faced, both now and into the future. (South Africa)
The seven #NatureForAll strategies offer solutions to a worldwide problem of disconnection from nature. They have been developed based on recommendations received from the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress and the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress, and advice from #NatureForAll partners worldwide. They will continue to evolve over time. Not every strategy may be applicable in every situation, so our partners choose the one(s) that work best in their local context
Training plays a pivotal role in the management, rehabilitation and sustainability of protected areas, and wildlife. The training offered by the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) covers the full spectrum of skills needed and ensures that conservationists at all levels are properly equipped to do their jobs. In so doing, the College is helping to address the following challenges:
- Opening up opportunities by providing highly participatory and outcomes based instruction, which ensures improved performance in the workplace.
- Through its Rural Initiatives for a Sustainable Environment (RISE) Unit enabling communities to govern, manage and conserve their natural resources with the aim of improving livelihoods.
- Through its Applied Learning Unit, investigating, improving and passing on the most appropriate conservation practices, skills, and techniques, which further facilitates best practice.
- Addressing the rhino-poaching crisis using a four-tiered approach including the deployment of: Well-trained field rangers, aerial monitoring and support, a K9 capability including tracker and apprehension dogs, and various community interventions.
What Strategies Contributed to your Success?
The SAWC has a number of different stakeholders and partners. In seeking out diverse partnerships, new audiences and engaging with and empowering a new generation of leaders, technology is required not only to communicate but also to retrieve, record and report vital information from the field.
Apart from the use of various digital platforms including the SAWC website, newsletters and other social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where content can be anchored and shared by all viewers and sectors of society thereby expanding its reach to new audiences, the SAWC is also using, testing and analysing technology to improve the scope of reporting, the type of data collected and the data collections tools most appropriate for use.
The main rationale is to guide and equip people with the best techniques and technologies available for a variety of needs and locations to enable them to conserve some of the world’s most endangered species; essentially putting cutting-edge tools in the hands of those people responsible for and best positioned to help protect Africa’s wildlife. It also exposes additional partners to the advantages of technology.
Since its inception in 1996, the College has become a well-recognized centre of specialization in conservation education, training and skills development in the SADC region.
The SAWC trains between 1500 and 2000 people per annum with over 15,000 people trained targeted skills development courses, short course programmes and learnerships, and close on 1000 students being trained in natural resource management.
The work being done across all four primary departments including Natural Resource Management, Protected Area Integrity, Community Development and Youth Access, and Sustainable Use and Field Guiding, in support of the imperative for responsible and sustainable business strategy and practice in the wildlife and nature-based tourism sector, can be measured by the success of its partnerships, people it has trained and the donor support is has engendered.
- Without the proper management of resources, our natural areas will not achieve their economic potential and their ability to help sustain livelihoods.
- Conservation cannot succeed without the involvement of local communities who are heavily dependent on natural resources for food, shelter income and employment. As such, local communities are an important conservation stakeholder where focus is on training, sound governance, developing sustainable livelihoods through new venture creation, community beneficiation and the development of the wildlife economy to support this.
- The success of the SAWC depends on the collaboration and support of numerous partners including the financial support of the donor community, without which the SAWC would not exist especially since conservation training across Africa is not well funded.