What is the Lionscape Coalition?
The Lionscape Coalition is a collaborative initiative between the Lion Recovery Fund (the funding vehicle), and leading ecotourism operators in Africa, namely &Beyond, Wilderness Safaris, Singita, and Conservation Travel Foundation (established by Ultimate Safaris, Namibia).
Putting all commercial considerations aside, this alliance brings to this initiative over 100 years of positive conservation and community impact throughout Africa.
What is the current status of Africa’s lions?
Africa’s lion population has been halved in the past 25 years, and they are now officially classified by the IUCN as Vulnerable, with the West African subspecies as Critically Endangered. Habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal wildlife trade, poaching, and human-lion conflict, continue to threaten their future. Yet, lions are a resilient species, and a turnaround is still possible if these key issues are addressed. The ecotourism industry in Africa can play a pivotal role in bringing them back.
Why is the Lionscape Coalition important to Africa’s ecotourism industry?
Africa’s ecotourism is intrinsically linked to the health of its iconic wildlife populations and their captivating landscapes. Lions consistently rank as an undisputed favourite for safari guests. In addition to the dire ecological consequences, their loss jeopardizes the tourism industry itself, not to mention many national economies. The future of African tourism is therefore inseparable from the future of the African lion.
What is the vision of Lionscape Coalition?
The bold vision of the Lionscape Coalition is to double the number of wild lions in Africa by 2050, essentially ‘bringing back’ the numbers lost over the last 25 years.
How does the Lionscape Coalition work?
- Members of the Lionscape Coalition make annual philanthropic investments in lion conservation programs through the Lion Recovery Fund
- Half of the amount is directed to projects in the countries where the Members operate, and the remaining half is made available to projects across the areas where the fund is working
- Members work with their guests before, during, and after their safaris, to raise awareness of the threats facing lions, and ways in which they can be part of their recovery
- Members meet periodically to report back on their progress, share lessons and feedback, and plan conservation activities for the following year
What is the role of the Lion Recovery Fund in the Lionscape Coalition?
The Lion Recovery Fund (LRF), created by the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, fulfils several functions: it manages the LC; it is the funding vehicle of the LC, and it is the driver behind the LC.
Who is the Wildlife Conservation Network, and what is their role?
The Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) is a United States-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that partners with conservationists from around the world. It is dedicated to protecting endangered species, and developing community-based projects that help wildlife and people co-exist. WCN is a top ranked wildlife conservation organization, with 4 stars on Charity Navigator, and platinum status with Guidestar. https://wildnet.org/
The WCN is founder, manager, fiscal and technical administrator of the LRF.
What happens to donations received by the Lion Recovery Fund?
- The Lion Recovery Fund (LRF) is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Network, a top ranked wildlife conservation organization, with 4 stars on Charity Navigator, and platinum status with Guidestar.
- The LRF directs 100 % of every donation directly to the selected projects, with zero administrative or overhead fees taken
- The donations are deployed quickly, enabling grantees to get to work without delay
- Donors are kept updated on progress and impact by the LRF team
How are the Lion Recovery Fund projects chosen?
The Lion Recovery Fund team, including a granting committee comprised of conservation experts, identifies and vets the best lion projects across Africa. Support is given to the best ideas from research institutions, innovative approaches, and the bolstering of proven strategies. This team does the groundwork for donors, ensuring that their contributions are spent where they will have the greatest impact, and with the most trusted organisations in the field.
What is the strategy for the Lion Recovery Fund?
The strategy for the Lion Recovery Fund is three-fold:
To expand conservation coverage
The focus here is to increase the extent and effectiveness of the management of lion landscapes across Africa. In essence this is about creating ‘lionscapes’ where lions can recover, and people can thrive alongside them.
To build the public, political, and philanthropic will
The recovery of lions and their landscapes requires collective intent across the spheres of governments, non-profit organizations, philanthropists and the public
To scale the funding
The amount of funding available for the conservation of lions and their landscapes needs to be elevated, together with encouraging a heightened awareness and focus on this initiative
What is the Lion Recovery Fund’s impact to date?
Since its launch in 2017, the Lion Recovery Fund has supported 42 lion conservation projects across 18 African countries. These include seven projects across five countries that focus on the protection of core areas for lions:
- Nigeria’s Yankari National Park, home to one of only four known populations of West African lions
- South Sudan’s Boma-Badingilo Landscape, a war-torn area with significant lion numbers
- Angola’s Luengue-Luiana National Park, where only 30 lions remain in a depleted environment with high incidents of poaching
- Zambia’s Kafue National Park where bushmeat poaching is rife
- Northern Tanzania, Tanzania’s Ngorongogo Conservation Area and the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem, all zones where human-lion conflict is having devastating consequences
Where can I find more information?
For further information on the Lion Coalition you can go to the web page https://www.lionrecoveryfund.org/lionscape-coalition
How do I make a donation?
To make a donation you can go to the following link: https://donate.wildnet.org/andbeyond