For over forty (40) years, The East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) has been at the forefront in the efforts for protecting endangered, rare or threatened species and habitats in East Africa. The Society realises the need for stakeholders in tourism and conservation sectors to come together, providing a forum for the regional community to understand and review on how to achieve sustainable environmental management, and community benefits through tourism. The vision of such a forum would be to come up with policy and best practice recommendations that would support both these sectors.
The East African region is fraught with numerous environmental problems such as deforestation and desertification, loss of biodiversity, habitat loss, pollution, invasive species, expansion of monocultural crops, high population growth and pervasive poverty. Inappropriate land use policies, over-exploitation of resources and rapid growth, have caused severe environmental degradation. Demographic forces have become the most important long-term threats to biodiversity in the region. Overall, the biodiversity of East Africa is undervalued and inappropriately used. In seeking solutions to the problems facing the conservation of biodiversity in the region, it is important to address the underlying causes and not just their symptoms.