In late 2013, at the request of a number of local stakeholders, the IAPF were asked to assist with anti-poaching efforts in northern Zimbabwe. The Nyaminyami Rural District Council Land, a 450 000 hectare area bordering Lake Kariba, is an important buffer zone to Matusadona National Park.
The area has been hit hard in recent times by commercial elephant and subsistence poaching. It also serves as a corridor to remote areas in the bordering Matusadona National Park where poachers can operate unhindered.
Since mid-2013 the IAPF has conducted detailed risk assessment, met with stakeholders and overseen preliminary operations in the area. This is all in preparation for a long-term management strategy in conjunction with the local Rural District Council.
Due to the large scale of the area, roughly the same size as Gonarezhou National Park, there are many factors required to make the project a success and co-ordination and co-operation with existing units in the area and surrounding National Park is paramount.
The area is also home to approximately 50 000 people. Over the years they have been victim to crop-raiding elephants and livestock-eating lions and hyena. They currently see no value in living wildlife. A well-planned, dedicated community aspect has been identified as a high priority.
In the initial stages the project has been received well by local stakeholders. The IAPF would like to thank Nyaminyami Rural District Council, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, Musango Safari Camp and Carbon Green Africa for their support of the project.