Our Approach

The  WWF Policy and Partnerships team supports the development of policy and advocacy efforts across regional, country, and national offices in Africa, with a focus on priority conservation areas and drivers, strategic plans, and critical contributions. The aim is to leverage Africa's development agenda and secure new political and donor commitments for conservation at scale
Our Policy and Partnership approach in Africa is guided by the African Conservation Framework (ACF), which identifies influential policy, advocacy, and transformative partnerships as key pathways to achieving conservation at scale.

The approach is based on three key factors:
  1. The need for intervention at the regional and international policy level
  2. The need for intervention at the national policy level, and;
  3. The need to link global initiatives to local conservation efforts.

Through this three level approach we aim to achieve the following through our policy and advocacy work:
  • Promote institutional and legal frameworks that enable good governance of Africa's natural capital at the country, sub-regional, regional, and global levels. This will involve promoting conducive legislation, institutions, strategies, and platforms for dialogue.Develop and implement relevant advocacy engagement to influence the necessary decisions at different level of policy processes and events;
  • Ensure that WWF top priorities for conservation are integrated/taken into account in regional and national development policy frameworks;
  • Influence the “greening” of the investments in Africa resulting in increased adherence to responsible social and environmental safeguards, aid structure and investment flows;
  • Develop targeted partnerships that help frame the sustainable development paradigm (SDGs) and its effective application in selected places, regions and countries.
  • Leverage funding to support WWF's efforts to conserve the integrity of Africa's most exceptional natural places and ensure that Africa's ecological footprint remains within its carrying capacity
  • Develop capacity of offices and partners to build a strong community for effective policy, advocacy and strategic partnerships.

© Blackbean Production/WWF

WWF provides thought leadership by partnering with key institutions to develop knowledge products that guide sustainable development pathways for the continent.

Notable examples of such partnerships include:
  • Following the signing of an MoU with the African Development Bank in 2011, WWF and the Bank in that same year published Africa’s maiden flagship report, “Africa’s Ecological Footprint Report”. This report examines trends in resource use, as well as its effect on ecosystems within Africa and globally. It uses the complementary measures of three indices: The Living Planet Index, the Ecological Footprint and Water Footprint.
  • In 2015, the African Development Bank and WWF launched yet another flagship report, “African Ecological Futures”. This report building on the African Ecological Footprint is premised African ecological futures can be fundamentally altered by economic and development decisions made today and to better understand what these futures might be and how to manage their impacts, the report investigates key forces shaping Africa’s today and tomorrow and draws a picture of how they come together across plausible scenarios to influence ecological futures. The report explores guiding principles for decisions and particular interventions by decision makers that may create the opportunity for more robust and resilient development. 
  • In 2013, the African Development and WWF launched the Marrakech Declaration which was an urgent call for action to combat wildlife crime in the continent
WWF Africa has been instrumental in participating at key global policy Fora and events such as:
  • Climate COPs
  • Biodiversity COPs
  • Engagements at AMCEN
  • AfDB Annual Meetings
  • African Climate Weeks
  • One Forest Summit
  • UN General Assembly
  • UNEA
  • Plastics Pollution

Strategic Partners

We believe that transformative partnerships are key in delivering conservation impact at scale. In Africa, these partnerships include relevant Pan African and Regional institutions and non-governmental organizations. Working with these partners enables us to address global threats and drivers of development at multiple scale.
The identification of the key partners to target for policy influence and direct or leveraged funding opportunity is guided on:
  • Impact on WWF goals: institutions and donors that have direct influence on development agendas (food/agriculture, energy, extractives, infrastructure) that may positively or negatively affect delivery towards the Global Programme Framework. Also, key are those institutions that still provide support to biodiversity;
  • Leadership: Institutions that have the mandate and can lead developments in Africa either in terms of influence (persuasion) or through power (coercion);
  • Capacity: Institutions that have the capacity to actually implement their development agenda;
  • Dialogue: Institutions that have the capacity and capability to engage in a meaningful dialogue.

View our partners