Conservation during conflict: Strategic planning to deal with war in sub-Saharan Africa

Stephanie Prevost, Andrew T. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Africa contains some of the most distinctive and valuable biological resources on Earth, yet the future for biodiversity in parts of sub-Saharan Africa is being compromised by the prevalence of wars and armed conflicts in this region. War yields a vast number of negative impacts on social, economic, and political conditions. Some of the negative impacts of war include the direct effect of war tactics, the appropriation of financial resources to support war rather than to benefit civil society, the displacement of people and the subsequent impact on resources by refugees, the deterioration of governments, and, perhaps most critical, the overexploitation of wildlife. These impacts cumulatively facilitate a downward spiral in biodiversity when appropriate conservation interventions cannot be accomplished. Much of sub-Saharan Africa has been ripped by wars, and for conservation measures to gain the upper hand will ultimately require the establishment of novel plans and strategies specifically designed to preserve biodiversity under these conditions. The urgent need for new and renewed efforts in regions torn apart by war is reviewed, along with the lessons that conservation organizations have learned using adaptive management in these circumstances. These lessons include advocating nature valuation, providing increased support for local stakeholders engaged in conservation work, integrating conservation approaches with the work of humanitarian organizations, and managing the plight of refugees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWildlife
Subtitle of host publicationDestruction, Conservation and Biodiversity
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781606929742
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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