SADC on protecting wildlife

1 October  2018

There are few easy wins when it comes to regional relations in Southern Africa. But on wildlife conservation, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is taking an international lead.

Africa has an often-overlooked history on innovative regional integration, including on conservation.

The Southern African Customs Union is the world’s oldest customs union, and in the past century nearly two-thirds of all international water agreements have been signed in Africa.

This history is driven by environmental context, and the pragmatic need to define utilisation rights over valuable resources. Almost 60% of Africa lies within shared rivers and lake basins. The Nile is shared by more than seven nations, the Zambezi by six, and the Congo by nine.

Many countries in the region have significant wildlife economies that are important pillars of transformation, diversification and development.

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