Eastern lowland gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri), Silverback male. Range: Eastern lowland areas of Central Africa. © Martin Harvey / WWF


Through influencing legislative and institution frameworks, sensitization, advocacy, and law enforcement WWF is working to protect Africa’s wildlife.  WWF has relentlessly worked to stop poaching which is a major threat in many WWF’s priority places.  WWF has significantly contributed to the foundation of park systems; the reinforcement of park management; and species related legislation in many African countries.  Innovative management such as tagging for surveillance has been introduced. WWF has also contributed to the establishment of protected area trust funds such as the Foundation des Aires Protégées et de la Biodiversité de Madagascar.

WWF strives to find the most effective measures for mitigating human-wildlife conflicts and advocates for sustainable use of wildlife that generates income to local communities and national economies. WWF has supported the translocation of rhinos to safe sanctuaries to better protect them. These sanctuaries have round-the-clock surveillance by wildlife authorities. These actions have been significantly supported through advocacy work and campaigns targeted at raising awareness of and stopping the illegal trade in wildlife.


African forests not only play a critical role for global biodiversity conservation; they also provide vital regional and global ecological services acting as a carbon sinks and catchment basins. WWF is also working with businesses, governments and communities to promote reforestation and restoration activities.  Forests are also actively under surveillance to help reduce incidences of slash and burn along with illegal logging. WWF and partners are supporting the implementation of market-based mechanisms through which communities are rewarded for undertaking sustainable and improved use of land and fuel wood. Through the Yaoundé summits process, WWF has convened the top leaders of the Central African region around a shared vision for the conservation of the Congo Basin forests.


WWF has worked in selected areas in Africa to ensure that freshwater resources are sustained and that threats to their survival are addressed.  In June 2008, the Republic of Congo declared the 5.9 million hectare Grand Affluent wetland – the world’s second largest – protected under the Ramsar Convention. WWF was a critical partner in this development. In places like Naivasha, Kenya, WWF and partners are working on a model that helps local communities, private sector and public institutions share the benefits and risks associated with water services in the lake basin.


WWF is working to reduce the pressure on Africa’s oceans by supporting communities and governments in combating illegal fishing by foreign fishing vessels. At the same time, efforts are being made to improve sustainable fishing methods through the promotion of eco-labelling. Communities are also being encouraged to pursue alternative sources of income such as aquaculture.  WWF continues to promote the creation of new protected areas in Africa that become centres for habitat protection and preservation of marine bio-diversity. As part of its efforts in this area, WWF works in partnership with governments, research institutions, non-governmental organizations and donors to promote sustainable management of coastal and marine resources.

Climate Change

To mitigate the effects of climate change in Africa, WWF is working with vulnerable communities to assess how they can cope with the adverse effects of climate change. WWF continues to advocate for a new global climate agreement that will help the world reduce and withstand the impacts of climate change.


WWF is working towards ensuring that communities in Africa have access to cheaper and sustainable forms of energy that reduce dependence on fossil fuels, charcoal and fuel wood.  However, the challenge for Africa remains how to ensure equitable access and efficient energy usage without causing adverse and negative effects to both our climate and natural habitats. WWF’s policy and advocacy work is a contribution towards the adoption of a new climate regime that promotes the universal and equitable access to new, clean, cheap sources of energy and paves the road towards a 10% renewable future by 2050.

In response to a changing economic and development context in Africa, WWF is beginning to push for bold and sustainable development that generates benefits for the environment and the people who depend on it. In addition to its work in the traditional thematic areas, WWF is increasingly engaging in critical sectors such as sustainable energy, extractive industries, and the oil and gas sector.