Conserving Africa's wildlife and wildlands through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond

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Lindsey, Peter
Allan, James
Brehony, Peadar
Dickman, Amy
Robson, Ashley
Begg, Colleen
Bhammar, Hasita
Blanken, Lisa
Breuer, Thomas
Fitzgerald, Kathleen
Flyman, Michael
Gandiwa, Patience
Giva, Nicia
Kaelo, Dickson
et al.
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2020
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Abstract

The SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 illness are driving a global crisis. Governments have responded by restricting human movement, which has reduced economic activity. These changes may benefit biodiversity conservation in some ways, but in Africa, we contend that the net conservation impacts of COVID-19 will be strongly negative. Here, we describe how the crisis creates a perfect storm of reduced funding, restrictions on the operations of conservation agencies, and elevated human threats to nature. We identify the immediate steps necessary to address these challenges and support ongoing conservation efforts. We then highlight systemic flaws in contemporary conservation and identify opportunities to restructure for greater resilience. Finally, we emphasize the critical importance of conserving habitat and regulating unsafe wildlife trade practices to reduce the risk of future pandemics.

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Nature Ecology & Evolution

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4

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10

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Environmental management

Pollution and contamination

Ecology

Science & Technology

Life Sciences & Biomedicine

Evolutionary Biology

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Lindsey, P; Allan, J; Brehony, P; Dickman, A; Robson, A; Begg, C; Bhammar, H; Blanken, L; Breuer, T; Fitzgerald, K; Flyman, M; Gandiwa, P; Giva, N; Kaelo, D; et al., Conserving Africa's wildlife and wildlands through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2020, 4 (10), pp. 1300-1310

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