The CCTA/IUCN Symposium on the conservation of nature and natural resources in modern African states

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It is my great privilege today to open the Symposium on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in Modern African States, arranged under the aegis of the Commission for Technical Co-operation in Africa south of the Sahara and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. It is, I suppose, the greatest assembly of experts on African game and African plant life that has ever met either inside or outside Africa. Its purpose is to discuss the urgent problem of finding ways and means of halting the drain on the Continent’s wild life and on the habitat upon which that wild life depends; and its conclusions will, I am confident, be of as much importance to the world at large as they will undoubtedly be to Africa. It is therefore most reassuring to see the number of distinguished delegates who are gathered here today; they come from most of the African States south of the Sahara, from Europe, and from America, and it is our firm intention to gather all the profit we can from the wisdom and experience they have brought with them to Arusha. You have before you a very large number and a very wide range of papers. You will have to consider not only the usual biological and ecological aspects of the conservation of nature and natural resources, but the intricate and specialized scientific problems which must be unraveled before a sure and certain approach can be made to the main issues; to endorse proposals to encourage tourism, in order both to satisfy the imagination of man, and to provide funds without which adequate conservation cannot be undertaken; to study schemes for the education and training of staff; to advise on public relations campaigns designed to create a climate of opinion sympathetic to the conservation of wild life; and, perhaps most important of all, to apply yourselves to the vast range of human and social issues which cannot fail to arise in any matter touching upon land and the use of land. I bid you all a most sincere welcome and have no doubt that your deliberations will prove fruitful. Most of you here today are specialists, and most of you will have approached the interlocking facets of this problem from a specialist’s point of view. I propose to speak to you as an administrator, and I should perhaps tell you of my qualifications for doing so. For the past thirty years—indeed, for almost the whole of my adult life—I have worked in Africa. In that time I have spent eighteen years as a field officer in the Provincial Administration, and for twelve of those eighteen years I lived in what is probably one of the most barren parts of Africa to be found south of the Sahara. I have, too, been closely concerned with the complicated metamorphosis of Colonial Territory into Independent African State, and with the constitutional, political, administrative and financial problems that accompany such a change. I have watched the development of aspirations towards nationhood, the growth of political stature, and the fulfilment of political ambitions; and have become aware of most of the difficulties that face a new country confronted with the dilemma of an expanding population and a burning desire to ensure that the new generation has a better standard of living and a higher level of social services than the old one. I hope, therefore, that I can combine a knowledge, gained at first hand, of the desiccation, degeneration and erosion of natural resources, with a fairly close experience of the human and social problems of a modern African state. I have, too, had the advantage . of working with one of the greatest exponents of wild life conservation in East Africa .I refer to Captain Archie Ritchie and with one of the most experienced and forceful architects of proper land use in both the Middle East and East Africa Mr. Ronald Waterer.
Available in Print form, East Africana Collection, Dr Wilbert Chagula Library, ( EAF FOS F78.C3)
Conservation of nature, African States, Sahara, Natural Resources
Fosbrooke, Henry A. (1987) The CCTA/IUCN Symposium on the conservation of nature and natural resources in modern African states