Protecting South African wildlife from poaching during the coronavirus pandemic | Global Ideas | DW | 09.06.2020
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Protecting South African wildlife from poaching during the coronavirus pandemic

In South Africa, the Mala Mala game reserve is fighting against increased poaching together with their local staff.

Watch video 07:24

South Africa’s wildlife reserves under threat

Project partners: The Mala Mala Game Reserve is working together with local communities. During the pandemic, the South African government is providing financial assistance by paying staff salaries through its unemployment fund.   

Project duration: For the duration of the closure of the camp in the reserve during the COVID-19 crisis, and until tourists return. 

The global COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to nature conservation all over the world. It erodes revenue from tourism and destroys livelihoods, meaning there is an increased risk of communities turning to poaching to survive.  

Mala Mala is one of the oldest and largest private game reserves in South Africa. It is also one of the few that is co-owned by surrounding local communities. Half the reserve's 180 staff are also local villagers who share an interest in the preservation of their land and animals.  

Despite the impact that lost tourism has had on their livelihoods, locals support the reserve's efforts against poaching, participating in anti-poaching patrols and providing vital intelligence on potential poaching activities in their communities. 

A film by Cornelia Borrmann and Henner Frankenfeld

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