(Xinhua) -- Conservationists and government officials
on Monday said conserving Africa’s wildlife and their habitats
is beneficial in different areas.
They made the remarks while attending
a conservation conference organized by the government of Rwanda
in Rwanda’s capital city Kigali. The two-day conservation
meeting focuses on highlighting the importance of the
conservation of the wildlife habitats and the effects to climate
change and as well as generation of tourism revenues.
“The protection of wildlife and their
habitats requires the commitment of rural people and strong
support from the government to conserve endangered species
and safeguard natural resources,” said Winnie Kiiru, a
Kenyan conservation expert.
“It’s through the conservation of the
wildlife and their habitats that Africa stands to increase
revenues from tourism industry,” Kiiru added.
“We need to educate the communities
surrounding national parks and game reserves about the
importance of the wildlife habitat and the effects of
climate change,” said American wildlife photographer Joe
McDonald, adding that conservation of the wildlife habitat
is vital towards boosting green growth and addressing
disastrous effects of climate change.
He said Africa boasts a rich variety
of attractions that draw in tourists from around the world and a
wealth of archaeological sites, wildlife and historic monuments
that need to be preserved for future generations.
According to Vincent Biruta, Rwandan
minister of natural resources, Rwanda has taken tremendous steps
towards conservation of the wildlife and their habitats,
especially the endangered mountain gorillas.
“We should put in much effort towards
conserving Africa’s wildlife and habitats to generate
increased cash flows from tourists,” he said.
The tourism sector currently accounts
for 8.1 percent of Africa’s total GDP, according to the UK’s
World Travel and Tourism Council.