Zimbabwe signs wildlife conservation partnership with IFAW
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) announced a ground-breaking partnership to enhance wildlife conservation in key protected areas in the country.
The international non-governmental organisation and ZimParks will be working together in the Hwange-Matetsi ecosystem covering the iconic Hwange National Park, Zambezi NP and Victoria Falls NP, a designated UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site and adjoining community areas.
“This historic conservation partnership between IFAW and ZimParks represents a fundamental step for the advancement of wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe, a nation with striking species richness which has ascribed tremendous importance to its tradition of conservation,” said Azzedine Downes, President and CEO of IFAW. “By both including and ultimately empowering local communities within the critical dialogue of conservation, together we are laying the groundwork for long-term, sustainable management of this key geographical area which houses some of the world’s most abundant wildlife and natural resources.”
The new partnership spans a variety of conservation objectives that will include to the development of on-the-ground law enforcement capacity to protect wildlife populations from poaching and working with communities to prevent human-wildlife conflict.
“We prefer to take a practical, solutions-based approach to ensure that humans and wildlife are able to live harmoniously. This includes promoting a landscape approach to develop management , land use and alternative livelihood strategies that secure key habitats and enhance connectivity of critical elephant populations in the wild,” said Jimmiel Mandima, IFAW’s Deputy Vice President for Conservation at a ceremony held in Harare, Zimbabwe.
IFAW recently appointed Phillip Tapera Kuvawoga, as Programme Director for Landscape Conservation. Kuvawoga, a Zimbabwean national, works from Harare, and will focus on leading IFAW’s global landscape conservation work and, manage the implementation of on the ground projects, including but not limited to habitat security, community livelihood interventions and research.
IFAW works in more than 40 countries, to rescue and protect animals and their habitats, for a world where animals and people can thrive together.