Event Detail


Needing African Parks: A New Strategy from Africa's Largest Conservation Organization

Helge Mahne
Thursday, 21 Sep 2023
Complimentary Free-Flow Drinks from 6:45 pm; Talk at 7:30 pm
KPMG, 8/F Prince's Building, 10 Chater Road, Central

In this hard-hitting talk, Helge Mahne tells of what Africa's largest conservation organization, African Parks, which employs 5000 full time staff across 12 countries, is going to do to ensure that what biodiversity is left remains protected.

Needing African Parks: A New Strategy from Africa's Largest Conservation Organization African Parks

If mankind is to safeguard the natural systems that sustain all life on Earth, a strategy is needed to guide biodiversity conservation.  In 2019, the Global Deal for Nature highlighted the need for at least 30% of terrestrial and marine areas to be protected in order to conserve the planet’s biodiversity, secure essential ecosystem services and prevent the catastrophic consequences of a changing climate.  

The strategies towards achieving this vary across the world.  Helge sets out a new strategic vision for Africa, with a pragmatic roadmap to actually achieve this vision.  

Africa harbours 25% of the world’s biodiversity, however its existing protected areas and national parks are severely under-resourced with many under threat.  The World Database of Protected Areas (WDPA) identifies over 8,000 formally registered protected areas in Africa. However, as a result of decades of poor management, rapid population growth and a lack of adequate resources, many of these areas are merely “paper parks”.  With so much of the habitat and biodiversity lost that, Helge illustrates, they are nearly impossible to restore without extraordinary political support and financial resources being secured – hence the need for a new and different approach.

Helge Mehne is from Switzerland and is Global Funding Director for African Parks.  He holds an undergraduate degree in international relations and politics, an MSc in Management from ESCP Business School, and studied sustainable finance at the University of Cambridge.
He oversees all fundraising activities and leads the development of new income streams from nature-based solutions.  Prior to joining African Parks, Helge was a Director and member of the Global Leadership Group at FSG.  He has over a decade experience advising some of the world’s leading companies, foundations and NGOs on sustainable business model innovation, cross sector partnerships, and societal and financial management in the fields of food, agriculture, environment, health and the circular economy.

Members of the RGS, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$200 for RGS Members and HK$250 for guests and others, including free-flow drinks.

The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to
KPMG as the Venue Sponsor of this talk.

The opinions expressed in this talk are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of the Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong.

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