NGOs in the global conservation movement: can they prevent extinction? : (African apes as an example)
Development throughout the course of history has traditionally resulted in the demise of biodiversity. As humans strive to develop their daily livelihoods, it is often at the expense of nearby wildlife and the environment. Conservation non-governmental organizations (NGOs), among other actors in the global agenda, have blossomed in the past century with the realization that there is an immediate need for conservation action. Unlike government agencies, conservation NGOs have an independent, potentially more objective outlook on procedures and policies that would benefit certain regions or certain species the most. They often have national and international government support, in addition to the credibility and influencing power to sway policy decisions and participate in international agendas. The key to their success lies in the ability to balance conservation efforts with socioeconomic development efforts. One cannot occur without the other, but they must work in coordination. This study looks at the example of African Great Apes. Eight ape-focused NGOs and three unique case studies will be examined in order to describe the impact that NGOs have. Most of these NGOs have been able to build the capacity from an initial conservation agenda, to incorporating socioeconomic factors that benefit the development of local communities in addition to the apes and habitat they set out to influence. This being the case, initiatives by conservation NGOs could be the key to a sustainable future in which humans and biodiversity coexist harmoniously.