In Africa, efforts to stop poachers from illegally killing endangered elephants, lions and cheetahs have often met with little success. But it appears at least in the nation of Namibia, a new market-based conservation approach may be turning things around. It all started in 1996 when the government established so-called “communal conservancies,” a law which allows indigenous tribesmen to own and manage wildlife on their lands. By instilling a profit motive to keep the numbers of endangered animals growing for tourists and trophy hunters, Namibia has seen its cheetahs increase from two to 4,000, its elephants from seven to 16,000, and its lions from a mere 20, to over 120 in just over ten years.
July 22, 2013 by Craig Rucker,
Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.