The organization African People & Wildlife was co-founded in 2005 by Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld and Charles Trout. They come with a mission to create win-win solutions for people and wildlife in Tanzania. The organization built its ’s regional headquarters – the Noloholo Environmental Center – on land that was donated by a local Maasai community. The team comprises more than 125 Tanzanian program officers, educators, scientists, and community members. Lichtenfeld and Trout developed an extremely ambitious, multi-faceted, and strategic approach to conservation that is widely applicable in landscapes where people and wildlife interact.

African People & Wildlife © APW

The African People & Wildlife Model

Prevent conflict. APW supports strong communities and healthy wildlife populations by reducing and preventing conflict between people, wildlife, and even local institutions and stakeholders.

Build community capacity to manage natural resources. APW works with rural communities to understand their environmental needs and priorities. They help develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities to manage their natural resources effectively.

Support active environmental conservation by the community. APW empowers local people to lead their own conservation initiatives by contributing financial resources, tools, and expertise.

Foster local conservation incentives. APW promotes the ecological and financial benefits of wise environmental conservation. The goal is to strengthen livelihoods while protecting wildlife habitats.

Where African People & Wildlife works

Northern Tanzania is without one of the world’s greatest centres of large mammal biodiversity. Today, human population growth, unplanned development, agricultural expansion, human-wildlife conflict, and climate change threaten the future of the region. APW currently works to protect endangered wildlife and empower rural communities across six critical landscapes.

African People & Wildlife Operation area
African People & Wildlife Operation area © APW

1. Maasai Steppe
2. Lake Burunge-Manyara
3. Engaruka Valley
4. Greater Lake Natron
5. West Kilimanjaro
6. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Living Walls

To protect Maasai livestock from lions – and in turn, protect lions from reprisals – African People and Wildlife use “living walls”. What are these?
They are a Maasai innovation. The tribe uses African myrrh (Commiphora africana) for the outer walls of their family enclosures.  The idea is to plant these as livestock corrals too. Dried-out tree limbs are stuck in the ground. When the rains come, they sprout to life. Growing trees create a predator-proof barrier. 

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APW doesn’t start with answers and try to force reality to fit their ideas. Rather, they listen locally, design possible solutions, learn what works and what doesn’t. Then adjust and adapt as needed. MICHAEL WRIGHT

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