Elephants walk across grasslands
Kenya Elephants Elephants in Samburu National Park, Kenya. © Robbie Labanowski

Stories in Africa

Africa 2019 Year in Review

Headshot of Matt Brown.
Matt Brown Managing Director of Global Conservation


Letter from Our Director

"As I drove out of Selela village in northern Tanzania, the sun was beginning to paint the grass a warm copper orange. The horizon seemed infinite.

The community had recently been granted a Certificate of Customary Right of Occupancy (CCRO), a type of land tenure recognized by the government that empowers community members to own and steward their natural resources together.

I often get discouraged — as I am sure you do, too — when I hear news of nature’s slow demise: another forest cut down, another species lost, another climate setback. But here in Selela, we have pressed the stop button.

With guidance from TNC and partners, the community has set aside 60,000 acres to be used as a “grass bank” that excludes farming, fencing, and settlements. Community members are embracing new ways to improve their pastoral economy and protect wildlife that needs to migrate through this ancient corridor. 

Gazing across the landscape that day, I felt an immense sense of pride for the work you are making possible. This is one view of what “permanent” looks like in Africa — grasslands that are properly managed to provide for both wildlife and people.

But what is working in Selela might not work somewhere else. The world is more complex than ever before, so we have to act strategically and creatively to tailor solutions for each place we set foot.

Our work centers on the seven strategies featured on the left. In every unique geography, we pull from our toolbox of strategies to tackle modern pressures in innovative ways. 

The holistic solutions you will see highlighted in the report include things like educating girls, building local leaders, and generating sustainable financing.

We are able to accomplish all of this by combining our site-based work with those cross-cutting strategies, drawing on a global network of scientists and experts, and listening to our local partners and communities. Thanks to your continued support, together we can create strong and lasting conservation solutions."

Headshot of Matt Brown.

Matt Brown is the Managing Director of Global Conservation at The Nature Conservancy.

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