Leadership for Conservation in Africa (LCA) announced its plan to develop 20 million hectares of conservation land in Africa by 2020. Released at a press function in August, the plan builds on the LCA mandate to restore and develop land under conservation to the benefit of the environment, local communities and the host governments.
The announcement of the 20/20 vision comes ahead of an LCA Council meeting at which the plan will be formally adopted and a business plan developed. The Council will also look at funding options for conservation projects in Africa.
The LCA is a "not-for-profit" organisation, which establishes a link between the business community, governments and conservation institutions.
It works on the principles of sound business, socio-economic development and international investment. Lead corporate funders include mining company Gold Fields; Africa's largest banking group Standard Bank; global software group SAP and Veolia Water, the world's leading operator in water services.
At the press function the LCA also announced the successful launch of the Odzala Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), with the construction of the first lodge in the park funded by the Sabine Plattner Africa Charities Foundation and managed by Wilderness Safaris.
The LCA successfully facilitated a 30 year Public Private Partnership (PPP) to ensure the protection of this 1,354,600 ha² pristine rainforest.
The park is run by an independent Board while conservation management has been taken over by Africa Parks Network (APN). Numerous community enterprises are being developed. As a result Odzala has become a pilot project on which future interventions in Africa could be moulded.
Other projects that have been started under the guidance of the LCA include the Shai Hills and the Mole National Parks in Ghana, Lobeke Park in Cameroon, Niokolo Koba Park in Senegal, Gambella Park in Ethiopia, Liwonde Park in Malawi, Niassa Park in Mozambique and others.
The LCA was initiated in August 2006 by the South African National Parks (SANParks), Gold Fields and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
It has since been actively involved in 19 African countries. In 16 of these countries an LCA Chapter has been formed to establish a link between the business community, government and conservation institutions, as conservation cannot survive without a truly effective and sustainable business approach.
The members of the respective LCA Chapters harness their collective will in support of sustainable conservation-led development projects.