With $1,903,000 in funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the African Nature-Based Tourism Platform will connect funders to the communities and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) most in need of funding support, with a goal of mobilizing at least $15 million to support communities and SMEs in COVID-19 recovery efforts and to build greater resilience into the nature-based tourism business model into the future.

Project focal geographies include Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Key platform partners include national community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) networks, a data clearinghouse, non-governmental organizations, and donors. WWF will serve as the GEF implementing and executing agency, as well as host the platform.

An African community with a united voice stands a far greater chance of elevating this issue in the global agenda, amongst the many competing and related demands, and the platform will strive to achieve this through strong local leadership and collaboration. While the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated impacts will be felt for some time to come, the data gathered through this platform, the emergency relief funding secured, and the longer-term efforts to build the resilience of the nature-based tourism sector will benefit nature-based tourism in Africa well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Project Components


Data Clearinghouse

With the facilitation of national CBNRM networks and non-governmental organizations, data will be gathered from local communities and SMEs across the project area to better understand how COVID-19 has impacted them, and their resulting financial needs. The online platform will continuously process and house this data and make it available to donors and other platform supporters. Data on prospective funding resources available to mitigate the impacts will also be available on the platform.


Facilitating links between funders, communities, and SMEs

The key goal of the platform is to facilitate matchmaking between donors and beneficiary communities and SMEs, resulting in the growth and well-targeted distribution of COVID-19 emergency relief funds, stimulus packages, and other financial support. With the facilitation of national CBNRM networks and non-governmental organizations, data collected in Component 1 will be used to connect communities and SMEs to appropriate donors and assist with proposal development. Component 2 will also focus on improved integration of nature-based tourism in investment decisions by governments and financial institutions.


Monitoring and evaluation and knowledge management

A monitoring and evaluation framework will track the impacts of COVID-19 on nature-based tourism, the efficacy of funds raised through the platform, and develop and disseminate knowledge products.

© Nikhil Advani / WWF-US

Key Partners

Platform Host

  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF) 

Data Clearinghouse

  • The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) 

Country focal points

  • Botswana - Ngamiland Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (NCONGO)
  • Kenya - Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA)
  • Malawi - Kasungu Wildlife Conservation for Community Development Association (KAWICCODA)
  • Mozambique - The Mozambique Community Based Natural Resources Management Network (R-GCRN)
  • South Africa - Africa Ignite
  • Tanzania - The Community Wildlife Management Areas Consortium (CWMAC)
  • Uganda - Uganda Tourism Association (UTA)
  • Zambia - Zambia Community-Based Natural Resource Management Forum (Z-CBNRM)
  • Zimbabwe - Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE)

Non-Governmental Organizations

  • Maliasili
  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC)


  • Love Africa Marketing
  • Palmoco
  • Zendesk

Project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Region: Africa (Southern and Eastern Africa)
Focal area: Biodiversity
Project status: CEO Endorsed
GEF Project ID: 10625
Implementing Agency:  WWF-US
Executing Agency and partners WWF-US
GEF Resources: US $1,953,000
GEF Agency Fee: US $175,770
Co-financing: US $4,570,000

Co-financing provided by:

  • The Luc Hoffmann Institute
  • Maliasili
  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
  • The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD)
  • United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
  • WWF Regional Office for Africa
  • WWF-US

Environmental and Social Safeguards Information

Grievance Mechanism

Project-affected communities and other interested stakeholders may raise a grievance about project activities at any time to the Project Team (contact us) or the WWF Project Complaints Officer.

The Project Complaints Officer, a WWF staff member fully independent from the Project Team, is responsible for the WWF GEF Agency Grievance Mechanism, and can be reached at:

Email: SafeguardsComplaint@wwfus.org

Mailing address:
Project Complaints Officer
Safeguards Complaints
World Wildlife Fund
1250 24th Street NW
Washington, DC 20037

The Project Complaints Officer will respond within 10 business days of receipt, and claims will be filed and included in project monitoring.