Our people and communities live in the heart of the largest conservation area on earth. To live side by side with nature means that we need to conserve and protect it, as well as responsibly manage our growth and development.
The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, The Forestry Commission and several private organisations work collaboratively on measures designed to eradicate poaching and the illegal harvesting of natural resources, ensure effective legal frameworks and deterrents against wildlife crime, strengthen law enforcement, and support sustainable livelihoods.
Human Wildlife Conflict Management
With the current human population growth rate, the increasing demand for natural resources and growing pressure for access to land, conflicts over human–wildlife interactions are present. There are however ongoing efforts by different partners to reduce conflict and increase public support for professional management. Community guardians, mobile bomas, chilli gun deployments, research, monitoring and education are just some of the initiatives underway in collaboration with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to address human-wildlife conflict.
Research and Biological Monitoring
Long-term biological monitoring is key to effective, evidence-based conservation management. In and around Victoria Falls there is ongoing research, disease testing, wildlife and biological monitoring with a strong focus on fostering community-based conservation methods. For example, the Community Guardian program was established in 2016 by Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust. Local community members were employed and trained to protect community livestock and villages from wildlife, and to work to mitigate wildlife coming into the communities. The guardians track any collared animals and are able to pre-warn community members in advance of possible conflict.
As the mandated authority, Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority play a vital role in maintaining the pristine ecology and wildlife within the Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Parks.
With so much of the naturally forested areas surrounding Victoria Falls falling under the mandate of the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe, they play an integral role in preserving the buffer zones and natural wildlife corridors around and between the National Parks.
Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust
The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust is a non-profit organization setup in 2008, whose mission is to advance and promote environmental conservation in Southern Africa through hands-on wildlife research; management of a wildlife veterinary diagnostic laboratory and rehabilitation facility; the education and empowerment of local peoples in the sustainable utilization of indigenous resources through active involvement in conservation training and community outreach programs. Based within Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the Trust is dedicated to protecting the area’s unique indigenous fauna and flora, in collaboration with appropriate Authorities, local communities and other stakeholders. Projects include rehabilitation of injured or orphaned wildlife, anti poaching and wildlife veterinary assistance, research and monitoring, community outreach based projects, and a children's conservation education program.
The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit
The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation of local wildlife and natural resources in and around Victoria Falls. With a City located in one of the most beautiful environments on earth, with unspoiled expanses of wilderness, abundance of wildlife and spectacular settings, it is vitally imperative that support is provided to ensure the protection of the biodiversity which makes this destination so special. Set-up in 1999, VFAPU has worked in close collaboration with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Zimbabwe Republic Police to achieve numerous successes. Efforts are not limited to anti-poaching and include support in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.
Established in 2010, The Bhejane Trust is dedicated to assisting Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority in aspects of the management and operations of the Parks estate in north western Matabeleland. This includes facilitating anti-poaching and deployments, research work, staff welfare, and a host of other missions, as well as its original Rhino monitoring program. Bhejane Trust has been active in the Chamabonda Vlei in Zambezi National Park for over ten years, reviving and implementing key water points for wildlife to supplement their water supply during the dryer months, and to assist with infrastructure development of viewing platforms and hides within the Park.
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