What we do
BirdLife’s work in Africa is aligned to the four pillars of the BirdLife strategy: Species, Sites and Habitats, Ecological Sustainability and People. Within this framework, the BirdLife Africa Partnership emphasises developing positive linkages between birds, biodiversity and the livelihoods of people.
The BirdLife Africa Partnership wishes to significantly reduce and reverse the rate of loss of the region’s biodiversity. Our efforts to achieve this focus on conservation action for priority species, Important Bird Areas and priority habitats for bird and biodiversity conservation. We also work to empower local people to analyze threats and develop safeguard options that suit local socio-economic contexts and use existing indigenous knowledge. Furthermore, the Partnership is continuously developing alliances with both government and non-governmental agencies, to promote policies that address the most important threats to biodiversity.
BirdLife Africa Partners strive for innovation through research, implementation of cutting-edge and science-based conservation action, and the application of creative tools and IT in environmental education. Partners address the contemporary issues of poverty, climate change, green economy and governance, to achieve sustainable development through a broad agenda focusing on birds and other fauna and flora.
Where we work
The BirdLife Partnership in Africa works in the most well-endowed continent in the world, stretching from the northern temperate to the southern temperate zones.
Africa boasts perhaps the world's largest combination of density and diversity of free-range wild animals, many of which are prone to anthropogenic pressures. For example, Africa has over 60 species of primates, and new ones are still being discovered. Africa has over 2,310 bird species of which almost 1,400 are endemic to the continent. This includes two endemic bird orders and 10 endemic families. Some 248 bird species in Africa are globally threatened and while another 117 are listed as Near Threatened, hence of global conservation interest.
A network of over 1,250 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) covering 2 million km² (7% of the region's land area) have been identified across the continent’s 59 countries and territories. Sixty-seven Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) and secondary areas have also been identified within Africa. These sites provide a practical focus for the conservation efforts by governments, civil society organisations, as well as other stakeholders.
The major threats to biodiversity in Africa stem from agricultural expansion and intensification, logging, unsustainable exploitation, urban expansion and habitat alteration, industrialisation and the resultant pollution, invasive species, and recently the emerging issues such as climate change and land grabs, biofuels and targeting key biodiversity sites for development. The underlying factors driving these threats include run-away population growth rates, political instability and conflicts, ineffective governance systems and ineffective environmental policies.