Wildlife Conservation – Protecting Animals and Plants

WHAT IS CONSERVATION?
‘Wildlife conservation’ means to protect the animals and plants on the planet. We can do this by not polluting the environment and taking care of where they live. Large amounts of land are sometimes called ‘protected areas’ in which humans must not interfere with the animals and plants that live there. These are needed to make sure that people do not hunt the animals there. If they do, then there is a chance that these animals can go extinct.

PROTECTING ANIMALS AND PLANTS
Traditionally in Africa, animals and plants were highly respected and many people would try their best to protect them. However, these days, some people try to hunt these precious animals to sell their skin or meat. This sort of behaviour is not in line with traditional African values and is disrespectful to the beliefs of ancestors. In fact, soldiers have been brought into Gabon last year and Benin to fend off poachers aiming to hunt elephants for their ivory tusks. This shows that protection of animals is taken seriously. We must recognise that our Earth is special and that the land we have also belongs to the animals and plants too.

We should also see that the animals that live in Africa are part of the continent as much as the people. The unique nature, landscape, environment, and animals found in Africa make it so special. Teaching people and children to look after nature allows us to be humble and promotes a sense of community across people and all living things. With these values, African communities with thrive due to heightened respect for one another and the surrounding environment.

TOURISM
The animals found in Africa are rare and diverse, particularly in areas like the East African plains. Protecting animals found here (such as herds of elephants) is crucial because countries are known for their wildlife. Many tourists come to African countries for their animals as they cannot be found anywhere else. This provides a lot of money for people in these countries. For example, Kenya has 19 protected National Parks which tourists visit. In 2000, tourism to these parks earned Kenya $257 million.

LEGACY
Animals in Africa should be conserved not just for us, but also for future generations. It is unfair for us to appreciate the animals and hunt them so much so that they do not survive for our children and grandchildren to see. Especially as many areas are known for their animals, it would be a shame if future Africans did not even get a chance to see them because they have been killed by hunters and poachers.

SUMMARY
To summarise, animals and plants need to be protected so that they do not go extinct. This is important because we view animals and plants as special and traditional African values tell us that they are as important to the Earth as humans. Also, tourism to areas with African wildlife generates a lot of money for countries, especially Kenya. We must protect the animals in Africa so that we can leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

NARYAN BRANCH

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