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Beyond Tourism in Africa

How can local communities continue to benefit from wildlife if neither tourism nor trophy hunting are viable options? Over the past 30 years, tourism has funded conservation activities in many countries, especially in the wildlife rich countries in Africa. Photographic tourism and trophy hunting have provided significant benefits to rural communities who share their land with wildlife. 

However, all forms of tourism are extremely vulnerable to social, economic or political instability and changes in the international market. The shock to the tourism sector caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the vulnerability of a conservation model based primarily on tourism.  

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To prepare for a future in which communities might no longer be able to derive benefits from tourism, the Luc Hoffmann Institute is working with partners to identify, incubate and promote innovative ways of providing communities with income from wildlife, while managing their natural resources sustainably and improving their collective wellbeing. 

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Ideation

March 2019

Melissa de Kock, Senior Advisor at WWF-Norway for Conservation, Climate and Communities, suggests that the Luc Hoffmann Institute incubate an idea based on her work supporting community conservation in southern Africa. With climate change impacting wildlife and shocks to the tourism industry caused by disease outbreaks, it is becoming more urgent to “look beyond tourism and hunting for community benefits” to retain communities’ commitment and tolerance for wildlife management.

May 2019

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and WWF-Norway commission a study by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods (IUCN SULi) network to explore models for supporting wildlife conservation on community lands with a focus on southern and eastern Africa.

Incubation

September 2019

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and WWF-Norway engage with and challenge innovators directly at the Business of Conservation Conference in Africa. Ideas and leads are gathered to include in an upcoming analysis publication.

Acceleration

10 September 2020

‘GOING BEYOND TOURISM IN AFRICA: Diversifying Community Livelihoods from Wildlife’ webinar is held, featuring an informational session about the innovation challenge and live Q&A, as well as short inspirational talks by Alice Ruhweza (Director, WWF Regional Office for Africa), Gautam Shah (Founder, Internet of Elephants) and Fred Swaniker (CEO and Founder of the African Leadership Group).

Watch the full webinar here

15 October 2020

More than 300 applications were submitted to the innovation challenge by individuals and teams from across the continent of Africa and around the world. There were 54 nationalities represented (a majority of them in Africa), and a vast age range from 16 to 87.

Aspiration

Identify and encourage promising new ideas and approaches with the potential to transform the landscape of conservation.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

What is wildlife worth?
Travel Africa, Jan-Mar 2021 feature mentioning the innovation challenge.

In the face of a global pandemic, how can conservation efforts reduce the chance that poaching will spread disease?
Oct 2020 feature story in Ensia

Beyond tourism: A call for business ideas that protect African wildlife, ecosystems
September 2020 feature story in Mongabay.

Looking beyond hunting and tourism for community benefits  
A thought piece by Melissa de Kock, WWF-Norway Senior Advisor: Conservation, Climate and Communities.

Diversifying local livelihoods while sustaining wildlife 
A review of 130 business models that provide some form of income to rural communities from wildlife and other natural resources and its associated Inventory of incentives for community-based conservation

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project timeline What we are working on now

Securing the Future of Nature-based Tourism in Africa: A Collaborative Platform

The Covid-19 pandemic has created multiple disruptions to the way society works: the near total suspension of global travel is one of these. Where global tourism revenues have been helping to deliver biodiversity conservation and local livelihoods, the pandemic has dramatically altered the trajectory of many local economies.

It is no exaggeration to say that the collapse of wildlife tourism threatens to compromise decades of development and conservation work in nature-rich and emblematic parts of Africa. It has also made the frailty of nature conservation and livelihoods dependent on nature-based tourism increasingly apparent. How can we regain what we have lost while building a more resilient future, looking beyond tourism, for people and nature conservation in Africa?

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Ideation

Play video →
May 2020

Watch the video from the 20 May 2020 convening

Incubation

June 2020

The Luc Hoffmann Institute invests USD 175,000 into the design process for the Collaborative Platform. The institute works with WWF-US, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and a range of stakeholders to develop a Medium-sized Project (MSP) proposal for funding to support the further development.

July 2020

USD 1.9m funding is secured from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for implementation by WWF-US. WWF-US becomes the formal executing agency for the grant, but consultations are underway with African-based organisations to identify a host that will provide the Secretariat and lead the Platform.

August 2020

The Luc Hoffmann Institute, in collaboration with WWF-US, designs a detailed concept for submission to the GEF for consideration. This intensive process involves the establishment of a clear theory of change and a draft schematic plan to implement the whole initiative. Additional stakeholder consultations take place to develop and strengthen the Collaborative Platform.

September 2020

Commitments of USD 5,269,281 in co-financing received from: the MAVA Foundation, African Safari Foundation, Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the Frankfurt Zoological Society, Maliasili, Resource Africa, Royal African Safaris, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). This funding serves to immediately unlock the GEF-allocated funds.

October – December 2020

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and WWF-US work on the project document for the GEF, in this final stage of incubation for the Collaborative Platform. WWF-US submits this to the GEF in December 2020. The WWF Regional Office for Africa is confirmed as the host secretariat for the project.

Aspiration

The goal is to amplify existing fundraising efforts and support the activities of community stakeholders who are the custodians of the landscapes and wildlife, and upon whom successful tourism activities depend.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

Developing a platform for sustaining conservation and communities in Africa 
The initial proposal for the African Collaborative Platform, drafted by the Luc Hoffmann Institute and discussed at the 20 May 2020 convening.  

COVID-19 and Conservation
A March 2020 blog post by Luc Hoffmann Institute Advisory Council member Bill Adams in his series Thinking like a human which inspired the institute’s COVID-19 response. 

COVID 19 and sustainable tourism: Information resources and links
A collection of resources by Dr Anna Spenceley including ideas to help resilience and recovery, market research and intelligence, impacts on tourism and destinations, virtual tours and ideas to keep us inspired, and more. 

Innovative business models for life on Earth
A Luc Hoffmann Institute thought leadership initiative pointing to possible new ways to sustain conservation and livelihoods. The initiative contributes to the third stream of the Collaborative Platform by helping to source longer-term measures to improve the resilience of African conservation strategies.

Building Back Better: a Marshall Plan for Natural Capital (external document)
A plan on reversing the decline in Sub-Saharan African GDP in Nature-Based Tourism Sector from COVID-19

Editorial Essay: COVID-19 and Protected and Conserved Areas (external document)
This special editorial provides a snapshot of how protected and conserved areas around the world are being impacted by COVID-19. For many protected and conserved areas, negative impacts on management capacity, budgets and effectiveness are significant, as are impacts on the livelihoods of communities living in and around these areas.

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project timeline What we are working on now

Innovative business models for life on earth

With more and more companies striving for impact, and non-profit organisations seeking more sustainable revenue models, the lines between the business and non-profit sector are blurring. What new sustainable business models will emerge for non-profits and impact-driven enterprises to deliver lasting and effective impact?

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Drawing from new ideas and new networks that grew out of a November 2018 convening, the Luc Hoffmann Institute has begun incubating a number of initiatives that make use of innovative business models to deliver environmental gains. The institute is always scouting for bright minds and ideas, and helps connect new approaches together. With its incubation model, the institute works with innovators in both non-profits and impact-driven enterprises to transform good ideas into concrete solutions for nature and people.

Who we are working with

Related SDGs

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Ideation

November 2018

The Luc Hoffmann Institute publishes a thought piece by Judith Sanderse, PhD candidate

New horizons for non-profit business models

Play video →
November 2018

The Luc Hoffmann Institute facilitates a convening on innovative business models for non-profits and social enterprise.

Incubation

September 2019

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and WWF-Norway engage with and challenge innovators directly at the Business of Conservation Conference in Africa. Ideas and leads are gathered to include in an upcoming analysis publication.

Aspiration

A new generation of sustainability-minded entrepreneurs emerges and fundamentally transforms the way society values and conserves nature.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

Diversifying local livelihoods while sustaining wildlife
– A January 2020 Luc Hoffmann Institute analysis publication of over 130 incentives for community-based conservation.

New horizons for non-profit business models
– thought piece by Judith Sanders, PhD candidate

Wanted: disruptive entrepreneurs for conservation
– thought piece by Adrian Dellecker, Head of Strategy and Development (ad-interim), Luc Hoffmann Institute

Looking beyond hunting and tourism for community benefits
– A thought piece by Melissa de Kock; WWF-Norway, Senior Advisor: Conservation, Climate and Communities

From crisis to solutions for communities and African conservation (commentary)
– A May 2020 commentary by Dickson Kaelo, Daniel Sopia, Damian Bell, Richard Diggle and Fred Nelson on the Mongabay website