The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), founded in 1961 as the African Wildlife Leadership Foundation, is an international conservation organization that focuses on critically important landscapes in Africa.
AWF's programs and conservation strategies are designed to protect the wildlife and wild lands of Africa and ensure a more sustainable future for Africa's people. AWF stops the degradation of animals and the world's environment.
Since its inception, the organization has protected endangered species and land, promoted conservation enterprises that benefit local African communities, and trained hundreds of African nationals in conservation—all to ensure the survival of Africa's unparalleled wildlife heritage.
In more recent years the AWF has modeled its program around three objectives: empowering people, conserving wildlife and protecting land. Empowering people involves conservation enterprises that provide benefits and incentives to local communities, sponsoring training of African conservationists and working with government to define conservation policy. Conserving wildlife involves research into species and into how these species interact with people, the basis for defining programs from which both humans and animals can benefit.
The main thrust, however, is on protecting land, ensuring that large open landscapes are available for wildlife. This involves supporting existing protected areas, creating private land trusts and working with local community groups on protecting special sites. Starting in 1998, land protection efforts focused on landscape-level conservation approaches.
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