Posted on 05 September 2019
Chizarira National Park in Zimbabwe and Sioma Ngwezi National Park in Zambia recorded zero poaching of elephants last year. This success is largely attributed to the participation of community game scouts in Government anti-poaching campaigns.
The European Union (EU) funded project “Strengthening Community Law Enforcement and Sustainable Livelihoods in Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA)
” trained and equipped 39 Community scouts to respond to illegal hunting and to carry out joint patrols with state rangers.
This initiative is part of several intertwined anti-poaching and community pride activities supported by various cooperating agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development Aid (USAID), German Development Bank (KfW), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Peace Parks Foundation and the respective National Wildlife Departments.
Implemented by WWF in Zimbabwe and Zambia and the Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) in Namibia, the Action boosts communities' collaboration with conservation area administrations, such as departments of national parks.
One of the project’s main goals is to promote long-term sustainable ecosystem management and livelihoods among local communities. In return, those communities benefit from more productive ecosystems while contributing to biodiversity conservation and to the reduction of illegal killing and trafficking of wildlife, especially elephants.
This is happening at a time when management of elephants and ivory trade is under spotlight in the Southern Africa region with Heads of States recently having met in Botswana to discuss policies around elephant management and selling of ivory.