Original Research

Conservation business: sustaining Africa's future

I.P. Sonnekus, G.J. Breytenbach
Koedoe | Vol 44, No 1 | a190 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v44i1.190 | © 2001 I.P. Sonnekus, G.J. Breytenbach | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 July 2001 | Published: 01 July 2001

About the author(s)

I.P. Sonnekus, University of South Africa, South Africa
G.J. Breytenbach, South African Integrated Development Initiative, South Africa

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Abstract

Protected areas in Africa are threatened by a lack of funds to conduct their work effectively and by extremely poor communities that surround their resource-rich areas. We believe that conservation staff suffer from mental blocks. They assume that business and profitability reflect unethical processes that destroy natural resources. We developed a workshop process that allows conservationists to integrate entrepreneurial thinking with conservation principles and ethics. We measured perceptions both before and after such a workshop to assess the impact of the process. The process assisted conservationists at the Southern African Wildlife College to develop the integrated mental frameworks that are required to develop conservation into a sustainable business. The group internalised the new mental framework, whereby conservation and business, when integrated in an ethical manner, are viewed as virtually synonymous. The group also identified many innovative ways in which they could derive sustainable income from their natural resources while simultaneously achieving their conservation objectives.

Keywords

business, conservation, entrepreneurship, integrated development, mental

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