Mission Possible: Corona relief fund for protected areas in need

Due to the Corona pandemic, many national parks, especially in Africa, have lost most of their income over night. The consequence: rangers can no longer be paid. Patrols can no longer take place. Important habitats for threatened species remain unprotected.

Hugo van der Westhuizen, ZGF-Projektleiter Gonarezhou National Park, Simbabwe "Covid-19 is teaching us that we take nature for granted, together with clean water and air, and it seems we need to lose something before we realise its value. Nature cannot be recreated once it is gone." Hugo van der Westhuizen, ZGF-Projektleiter Gonarezhou National Park, Simbabwe
Part-time work reductions or rescue packages - this is currently not an option for protected areas in Africa, South America or Asia. Due to this crisis, many countries are facing enormous social and economic challenges across all sectors. Tourism associated with National Parks is the financial backbone for many parks. And from one day to the next, this backbone is now gone almost everywhere. Not only rangers and other park employees stand to lose their jobs directly, but a much wider beneficiary network in the communities that live from tourism is affected and many families now lack any income at all. This in turn has negative impacts on the local economy, spreading the impact even further.

Many experts fear that this precarious situation will lead to heavy poaching. As a result, rare species are suddenly in acute danger, while other species could be catastrophically decimated in their populations. Above all, however, the ecosystems will suffer - and with them, clean water, fertile soil, protective forests and climate-regulating vegetation will be lost. The living conditions of people will become even more difficult.


  • Tourism has come to a standstill, there are almost no tourists left in the protected areas. As a result, important income for the protection of nature and wildlife is missing.
  • People and communities who live from tourism or work in the protected areas fear for their livelihood.
  • Rangers can no longer be paid appropriately. The protection of important habitats is increasingly under threat.
  • Without protection, poaching and the direct destruction of wilderness areas is likely to increase. The very foundation for the important ecosystem services these protected areas provide is crumbling.


Through Mission Possible: Corona relief fund for protected areas in need, we provide short-term support to national parks and protected areas and help where the need is most urgent. With the relief fund

  • we pay ranger salaries.
  • we support communities near protected areas.
  • we help local people to maintain the necessary hygiene measures and protect themselves from Covid19.
  • we help our partner organisations that organise aid projects on site.

Additional local fundraising activities

Snares collected in Serengeti
Mission Possible Serengeti
FZS, in collaboration with the Tanzania Tour Operators Organisation (TATO), is supporting the expansion of our de-snaring coverage in the Serengeti to curb poaching, by engaging tourism staff in de-snaring teams. This will increase the security of the protected area and provide income for people who are no longer able to work in tourism due to the pandemic.
Orangutan Anjeli with baby in January 2019
Mission Possible Bukit Tigapuluh
FZS, in partnership with 'The Orangutan Project', supports the orangutan conservation project on Sumatra with funds to cover the operating costs of the Bukit Tigapuluh conservation area. The reserve is one of the last refuges for Sumatran orangutans. Protect orangutan habitat through the 'The Orangutan Project' fundraiser.