@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto
Here children from a local village close to @africanparksnetwork @Zakouma_national_park are visiting the park and seeing the amazing animals. They see the wildlife up close instead of just on TV or seeing the tourists drive by their village, and wonder why they are here and what they are seeing - the children participate in the wonder of their park and benefit from the schools, healthcare and jobs for their mothers, fathers and other family members - a true ecosystem that works for the good of all.
It is so important to include the local communities in any conservation effort regarding protection of a National Park and the animals which live within.
Finding sustainable solutions so people and wildlife can share the surrounding areas. And providing jobs from the park for the communities - training to be guards, tourism and providing education and health care to the communities that live close - so the park, management and communities are their own ecosystem - all working to protect the land and the animals within.
Without the support of local communities this would not work. The park is the largest employer in the region; thousands of people are getting an education and healthcare, and decency and civility, along with life, have found their way back to this once forgotten place. To learn more about Zakouma and other truly hopeful conservation efforts happening across Africa, please follow @africanparksnetwork @natgeocreative