Photo source: AWF

China-Africa Summit To Focus On Africa’s Growing Natural Resource Crisis

By Wallace Mawire

A China-Africa Advisory Group dialogue and safari on Wildlife and Wild Lands to be held at  Kruger National Park and Johannesburg in  South Africa on  November 29 to December 3, 2015 is set to provide spotlight on Africa’s growing natural resource crisis in the context of economic development
throughout the continent and potential for Africa-China cooperation on addressing key conservation challenges, according to  Beatrice Karanja, Partner Relations Manager, East Africa,African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).

According to Karanja, the Aspen Institute and the African Wildlife Foundation are inviting delegates to South Africa  to participate in a private round-table dialogue and safari at Kruger National Park.
“As part of an ongoing China-Africa Dialogue Series, the objective of this meeting is to learn about Africa’s growing natural resource crisis in the context of economic development throughout the continent, and potential for Africa-China cooperation on addressing key conservation challenges. This meeting and safari are being held to coincide with the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit FOCAC 6,” Karanja said.

Delegates attending the dialogue are expected to visit the renowned Kruger National Park and travel overland to the Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, the dialogue’s setting for the three days. They will explore the national park in search of Africa’s Big five; lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes. Also a  dinner to be hosted for delegates will focus on  the challenging issues facing Africa’s wildlife and how a combined African and Chinese voice can be utilized to ensure the future of the wildlife and wild
places experienced in the safari.

Kruger National Park authorities will also brief delegates  on the state of the Park and the challenges they face as they battle to protect Africa’s critically endangered rhinos. Kruger is at the epicenter of this battle. A joint strategy that includes China and Africa may enable the protection of this species into the future.  The round-table dialogue will continue with an exploration of the critical conservation challenges in Africa and recent developments.

A visit to Sabi Sands Game Reserve is also planned  and delegates will learn from reserve managers about a very strategic and successful anti-poaching program that is protecting rhinos. From the reserve, delegates will also  travel outside of the park to visit a local community and to meet with community members to learn about the interface of community and conservation in this region.
Participants will also discuss opportunities for China-Africa collaboration following this year’s FOCAC summit and strategies for progress going forward.
“The culmination of this meeting and safari will be a larger public event to be  held in Johannesburg. The dialogue is meant to raise awareness and to share practical ideas and recommendations for China-Africa cooperation on the conservation of Africa’s wildlife species and wild places,” according to the Aspen Institute.
According to Karanja the China-Africa Dialogue Series is a collaboration between the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and the Aspen Institute, serving as a platform for developing a vision for China-Africa cooperation on wildlife and wild lands conservation and governance.
She said that from 2014 – 2015, the high level, Track II Dialogue Series has convened groups of African and Chinese business and policy leaders to foster a set of recommendations regarding the opportunity for cooperation on conservation and development challenges.
“The initiative is made possible by sponsorship from the World Bank. These meetings lay the foundation engagement with China on sustainable overseas investment in Africa,” Karanja said.

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