China-Africa Wildlife Conservation Council


The China-Africa Wildlife Conservation Council was an initiative hosted by the African Wildlife Foundation and the Aspen Institute, serving as a platform for developing a vision for China-Africa cooperation on wildlife and wild lands conservation and governance. From 2014 – 2015, this high level, Track II Dialogue Series convened groups of African and Chinese business and policy leaders to foster a set of recommendations regarding the opportunity for cooperation on conservation and development challenges. This initiative was made possible with support from the World Bank.

Dialogue Overview

The first phase of the Dialogue Series was the AfricanPoaching and Wildlife Facts Introspective Dialogue, comprised of dialogue meetings in Nairobi and Kigali in 2014 with African public and private sector thought leaders. Participants from these dialogues—with support from former Presidents Festus Mogae of Botswana and Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania—wrote to the African Union Chairman recommending language for including conservation of wildlife and wild lands in the African Union’s Vision 2063 document, which was accepted and incorporated into the final document. The dialogue meetings also lay the foundation for Track II engagement with China on sustainable investment in Africa.

The China-Africa Dialogue Series then convened a parallel group of Chinese thought leaders in Beijing in August 2015, producing a declaration statement relating to prioritizing conservation within the agenda of the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). FOCAC presented a unique opportunity for Chinese government and civil society to engage with African counterparts on strengthening Africa’s natural resource protections, through forward-thinking stewardship practices, guidelines, and commercial projects that respect the integrity of natural ecosystems.

The Aspen Institute and African Wildlife Foundation subsequently worked with the dialogue participants to gain traction with the African Ambassadors Group in Beijing on priority conservation issues. The Ambassadors were highly responsive to this input and engaged with the dialogue participants in 2015, supporting the adoption of wildlife issues within the planned FOCAC agenda.

China-Africa Joint Advisory Group Dialogue

The Aspen Institute and the African Wildlife Foundation partnered to host the China-Africa Joint Advisory Group Dialogue at Kruger National Park in South Africa, an epicenter of the rhino poaching crisis. This Sino-African roundtable contributed to elevating conservation issues ahead of the FOCAC heads-of-state summit in Johannesburg (December 4-5) and identifying additional opportunities for collaboration. Participants included public and private sector leaders from China and across the African continent, as well as African wildlife experts and VIP cultural envoys—including East African pop singer Alikiba and Chinese film star Wang Baoqiang.

A press conference with Chinese, African and Western media representatives was hosted in December 2015 in Johannesburg to share the group’s experience and findings alongside the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Media Coverage, Press Releases and Statements