Please find below here an update on the following :-
* Wilderness Proposal.
* Anti Poaching Successes by National Parks.
* Appeal material for support for the National Parks Patrols.
It was understood that some time ago Wilderness Safaris had proposed a plan whereby they would work with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife to assist with the management of the Zambezi National Park (including the Chamabondo section).
On a recent visit to the Falls Mr Keith Vincent (CEO) of Wilderness spoke with some operators and individuals about the proposal. The meeting was not official and did not represent the broader community but many of the ideas were well received.
It was understood that the Minister had asked Wilderness to revisit this idea.
From the discussion some suggestions were made on principles with regard to any co-management plan for the Zambezi National Park.
1) A long term conservation plan be created for the National Park and surrounding areas, to protect and enhance these areas.
2) The park would need to be managed by a trust/board or similar body, representing key parties :- Parks, Wilderness, Operators involved in the park, involved communities.
3) To uplift and involve both operators and the local community through new opportunities and jobs.
4) To preserve the pristine and unspoiled character of the park and avoid over utilization, saturation with camps, visitors and activities (e.g Chobe).
5) To become self-funding and profitable in time.
6) The establish a rates and fees structure that remains affordable for Zimbabweans.
7) To maintain and expand access for individuals and operators to picnic sites, camp sites etc.
8) Existing, properly constituted leases to be respected. Pending leases to be held subject to further consideration by the new managing body. All leases would need to be positively oriented towards the park and stakeholders.
* Note these are only preliminary suggestions.
Congratulations to National Parks on a successful contact with an armed group of Zambians in the Zambezi National Park. The Zambians had been poaching ivory and the parks patrol tracked them down over considerable distance before engaging them, resulting in one poacher killed and one injured and the recovery of a rifle, tusks and kit.
Appeal for National Parks Support
To show appreciation for the rangers difficult and dangerous work in protecting our wildlife again these attacks, Friends of Victoria Falls are asking for any donations in cash to be left with Mr Trevor Lane. The cash will be utilized for material support.
Larry Norton (FOVF)