It is often forgotten that across Africa more than 70% of wild animals live outside national parks. As a result, human-wildlife conflict becomes a daily occurrence for rural communities leading to a disregard for wildlife conservation efforts.

This issue alongside others will take center stage at Conservation Lab taking place from 10 – 12 May in Stellenbosch, South Africa, as part of We Are Africa 2019,. As part of this year’s involvement in the Conservation Lab, the Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) will sponsor the attendance of 10 community leaders representing rural communities from five African countries, as well as award USD $25,000 to the winning project from Conservation Lab. This prize will recognize the effort of a local organization that tackles issues as animal poaching, diminishing water supplies, wildlife conservation as well as the wellbeing of people and their communities.

The CCFA was created in 2018 as part of a partnership between Accor and Mantis to reinforce wildlife conservation efforts in Africa. Over the past year alone, it has already donated more than $500,000 to approved community projects across the region. Members of the CCFA board include Adrian Gardiner, Founder of Mantis and long-time conversationalist, Graham Boynton, leading UK journalist and environmental activist, Craig Erasmus, Vice President, Operations Sub Saharan Africa for Accor and Mark Willis, Chief Executive Officer Middle East & Africa Accor.

‘Conservation Lab’ is an invitation-only event held annually in South Africa, which brings together 150 leaders from key sections of conservation, travel, technology, behavioural sciences, philanthropy and government, to encourage creative thinking and collaborative partnerships.