Zimbabwe in drive to climate proof wildlife conservation

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Harare (New Ziana) -The Zimbabwe government, through the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) Association has been implementing a six-year project to mainstream climate change in wildlife conservation, carbon and ecosystem services among communities living adjacent to national parks.

CAMPFIRE Association director Charles Jonga told New Ziana on Tuesday that the project, which commenced on July 1, 2018 and is planned to end on July 1, 2024, was being implemented through Rural District Councils (RDCs).

At least 58 out of the 60 RDCs in Zimbabwe are members of the CAMPFIRE Association following the expansion of the programme to include other natural resources besides wildlife, such as sand and thatching grass.

“The project is being implemented in three districts, Muzarabani and Mbire in Mashonaland Central, and Hurungwe in Mashonaland West province,” he said.

Jonga said the project was entitled “Strengthening Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management and Climate-Smart Landscapes in the Middle to Lower Zambezi Region of Zimbabwe,” known locally as the Zambezi Valley Biodiversity Project (ZVBP).

He said the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) was partnering the Association in implementing the project with funding from the Global Environmental Fund (GEF).

“Mbire district has benefitted through the formation of Trusts in three conservancies (Mbire North, Mbire South/Kanyurira and Mbire East/Karinyanga), the purchase of three Landcruisers, two Tractors, equipment for Game scouts, drilling of four boreholes in Karinyanga and Mbire North conservancies, building of two micro dams in Kanyurira and purchasing one Laptop,” he said.

In Muzarabani, Jonga said the project had supported the formation a Trust in Mavhuradonha Conservancy, the purchase of one Land Cruiser, training of ten Game Scouts, purchase of equipment for Rangers, construction of three Base Camps at Boore, Wilderness and Ruindi, procurement of one tractor, Anti-poaching equipment and one HP Laptop.

“Hurungwe has been supported through the formation of Trusts in Pfundundu and Mkwichi conservancies, training of 10 Game Scouts, purchase of Ranger equipment, two tractors, Anti-poaching equipment, drilling of four boreholes in Mkwichi, building one micro dam for Pfundundu and purchase of one HP Laptop,” he said.

Jonga said in addition to the ZVBP, the Association has been implementing a number of other community development projects since 2018.

These include the Kavango Zambezi Tronsfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) Programme, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Germany and the United Nations Development Programme/Global Environmental Facility (GEF 6).

“It is important to note that the different grants amounting to US$3 359 873.00 are focused on supporting community projects through Rural District Councils,” said Jonga.

There is a growing acceptance that sectorial approaches to land management are no longer sufficient to meet global challenges such as poverty alleviation, biodiversity conservation, and food production.

Integrated landscape approaches provide a basic framework for balancing competing demands and integrating policies for multiple land uses within a given area.

The pressing challenge of integrated landscape management is to link agricultural practices, institutions and policies with other landscape-scale activities.

New Ziana

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