Anothersolution proposed by African Wildlife Foundation is to engage local communities in holistic land useplanning. AWFhelps local communities tounderstand and determine how to use their lands in the future in order to bestpromote the economy and sustain the land for longer time.
Forinstance, in the Congo Heartland, AWF and the local residents togetherdeveloped a land use map that provided a clear picture of where habitatconservationwas taking place and where human activities were permittedbased on data from GIS (AWF, 1961). By helping localresidents to determine how lands should be used as a grouprather than individuals, conflicts over lands were minimized and lands wereable to maintain healthy for longer time periods. Thus, it is important for theorganization to cooperate with local communities to plan future use of lands. Moreover,AWF promotes programs like Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation(REDD+) (AWF, 1961).
REDD+ allows local residents to earn income by “selling”carbon absorbed by plants on their lands to people who release the carbon intothe air (Asare, Kyei, and Mason, 2013, p.2). Knowing that income can be earnedby simply leaving their lands alone, local residents are more willing to engagein land use planning since they no longer need to worry about theirlivelihoods. Therefore, it is important to engage local communities in land useplanning. This solution enables the local communities toengage in the process of habitat preservation instead of having the organizationdo all the work, but not all local people are willing toparticipate. In the study of Western, Russell, and Cuthill (2009), withparticipation of local communities, about sixty-fivepercent of wild animals in Kenya are supported by privately owned protectedareas (p.
5). In addition, based on the research of Ogutu, Kuloba, Piepho, and Kanga (2017), among allthe wildlife in Kenya, about ninety-two percent of them reside in private lands(p.23). From 2009 to 2017, the percentage of wildlife supported by privatelands has significantly increased by twenty-seven percent with communityparticipation. With communityengagement, the outcomes of habitat preservation can be magnified. Thus, it is beneficialto engage local communities in land use planning and create strategies tomaintain both agricultural and infrastructuralgoals. However, some people only focus ontheir own interests in the short run and are not willing to support even thoughthey know the importance of wildlife habitat preservation.
According to Pienaar, Jarvis, and Larson (2013), acause of lack of support from local communities is that protected lands can nolonger be used for agriculture, and wildlife ranging outside protected areasdestroys crops and livestock (p.315). Moreover, other than conflicts betweenhuman and wildlife, lack of city development plans also leads to little supportfrom the communities (Irengbam, Dobriyal, Hussain, & Badola, 2017, p.1194).Thus, it is not surprising that local communities are unwilling to engage inhabitat protection because wild animals threaten their crops and livestock, andlocal communities are unable to plan their lands for future without knowing thecity development schemes. They will just use their lands in the ways that canbenefit themselves in the short run.
Although the solution involves communitiesin habitat protection, it lacks support from local people.