Conservation Lower Zambezi
Conservation Lower Zambezi (CLZ) is a non-profit organisation committed to the protection of wildlife and to the sustainable use of natural resources in the Lower Zambezi in Zambia. Established in 1994, CLZ is centered around 3 main pillars of support: Wildlife Protection, Environmental Education and Community Support. The organisation works in collaboration with the Department of National Park and Wildlife (DNPW) to ensure the sustainability of animals in the Lower Zambezi Valley and their ecosystems.
Charities, trusts and societies in Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
- Driven to protect the wildlife in the Lower Zambezi
- Provides logistical support to ZAWA
- Every donation, big or small, is appreciated and helps to keep CLZ running
Conservation Lower Zambezi operates under a memorandum of understanding with the Zambia Wildlife Authority, DNPW (former ZAWA), and is governed by a constitution and an annually elected Board.
In the 1990’s, increased poaching became a significant threat to the wildlife in the Lower Zambezi. This prompted concerned local safari operators and other stakeholders to recognise the need for organised support for ZAWA wildlife protection operations in the Lower Zambezi area. CLZ was formed in 1994 to assist ZAWA (then known as National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (NPWS)) and the community with conservation efforts.
Wildlife protection programme
In the fight for the protection of Lower Zambezi’s wildlife, CLZ works closely with DNPW, providing financial, logistical and technological support to ensure operations are fully equipped and ensure the Wildlife Police Officers (WPOs) have everything they need to stand strong against wildlife crime. The WPP has a number of projects that all work towards the goal of protection:
- Foot patrols – CLZ supports the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) in their mandate to carry out foot patrols in the Lower Zambezi National Park and surrounding Game Management Areas.
- Village scout unit – Employed under both CLZ and the local Community Resource Boards (CRB), the VS patrol teams carry out wildlife protection patrols in the park and GMA under the leadership of a DNPW Wildlife Police Officer
- Aerial patrols – CLZ’s ‘eyes-in-the-skies’, a Cessna 172 (‘9J-CLZ’), carries out regular aerial patrols over the LZNP and Game Management Areas to detect illegal activities and for monitoring wildlife movements. The plane is an essential tool in spotting illegal activities, which can then be responded to by patrol teams on the ground.
- Detection and tracking dog unit – The Lower Zambezi canine unit is made up of four handlers and two dogs. The unit moves between trafficking ‘hotspots’ in the area surrounding the park to strangle channels of movement of illegal wildlife products, as well as acting as a deterrent. The highly trained dogs are imprinted with the scent of ivory, pangolin scales, bush meat, firearms and ammunition.
- Investigations and intelligence unit – In partnership with DNPW, CLZ supports the Investigations and Intelligence Unit (IIU). The unit carries out regular and continuous monthly covert operations in the Lower Zambezi Area Management Unit (LZAMU), relying on the establishment of an effective informer network and officers being planted in the communities.
Environmental education programme
Through educational lessons and activities on school visits to CLZ’s education centre and on outreach visits to the schools, CLZ aims to raise awareness and to build a generation of local community members that take pride in Zambia’s natural heritage and feel responsible for its protection.
- School visits – CLZ hosts six school visits a year where 24 children and 4 teachers from each project area are invited to spend three nights and two days at CLZ’s Environmental Education Centre based just outside the National Park. During the visit children engage in various lessons and activities, which revolve around a number of conservation topics. The children are also taken on game drives and boat rides to see wild animals.
- Outreach programme – CLZ’s environmental educator carries out five outreaches a year. He travels to each project area and visits each school that CLZ works with to distribute the Nzou Environmental Education Teachers Curriculum, Student Activity books and HIV/AIDS Health Curriculum to each Conservation Club.
- Teacher training – Each year, CLZ chooses one of its five project areas and invites 24 teachers from the Conservation Clubs to attend a three night and two-day teacher training workshop at CLZ’s Environmental Education Centre. This is a vital part of the environmental education program, as it ensures that teachers are trained to teach their clubs on conservation issues and that they too have a strong connection and understanding of the topics.
Community support programme
In places like Zambia, where humans and wildlife coexist and fend for space and natural resources on a daily basis, providing support to the community forms a key component of wildlife protection. This is especially true for the areas surrounding the Lower Zambezi National Park.
- Human wildlife conflict patrols – During the peak HWC season when the community are harvesting their crops, CLZ deploys a Village Scout team in the community full time to be present within the Chiawa GMA and respond to any HWC incidents. Providing a trained and armed response unit to community reports of HWC incidents and more.
- Chilli farming – For the past few years, CLZ and Awely have been assisting and educating farmers on the use of chilli-fences as a mitigation method to deter elephants from their fields. Farmers are also encouraged to grow chilli as a ‘cash’ crop that elephants will have no desire to eat and which CLZ sells on behalf of the farmer to a local condiments producer.
- Anti-snare campaign – CLZ and Awely host an Anti-Snare Campaign on an annual basis. CLZ’s Environmental Educator, Besa Kaoma, Operations Manager Rabson Tembo and Awely Red Cap Stephen Kalio spend three days in three villages of the Chiawa GMA. The campaign focusses on the issue of snaring and how if you ‘remove a snare you can save a life’.
- Rubatano day – ‘Rubatano’ (Unity in the local language Goba) is CLZ’s annual community sports day that brings together local netball and football teams to battle it out on the pitch for the grand prize of being the strongest, fastest and fittest team in the area. The event is aimed to promote relationships between the local community members, DNPW, conservation, lodges and other stakeholders outside of the law enforcement realm with which CLZ is often associated.
- The Mbeli women’s group – CLZ currently supports the ‘Mbelis’ (meaning ‘moving forward’ in the local language) which is a women’s group in the Chiawa GMA with the aim to develop their skills, create means of an income, take ownership of a business and find a market for their products.
Through the reintroduction and augmentation of selected locally extinct or severely depleted large mammal species and with consideration of ecological, social and economic factors, CLZ aims to secure the Lower Zambezi National Park ecosystem and contribute to improved ecological connectivity within the Luano valley-Lower Zambezi and Mana pools ecosystems.
CLZ assists the rescue and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned animals and where possible strives to ensure the animals are released back into the wild.
Safari guide training
For over 20 years, CLZ has been hosting the annual Lower Zambezi Safari Guide training courses and exams, which sees young and old, enthusiastic and aspiring tour guides descend upon CLZ Base Camp for a month to be trained and examined by the Lower Zambezi guiding ‘silverbacks’. In 2016, CLZ became an accredited TEVETA teaching/learning facility.
How can you help
Become a member
For as little as US$200 per year you can help to protect Zambia’s wildlife and become a proud member of CLZ!
- Individual membership – US$200 per year
- Family membership – US$350 per year
- Corporate membership – US$1,000 per year
Virgin Money Giving – UK charitable giving:
If you are a UK tax payer, you can also benefit from gift aid on your donation using: www.virginmoneygiving.com/conservationlowerzambezi
If you are passionate about conservation and would like to fundraise for our projects in the Lower Zambezi, please get in touch! You can fundraise through many different ways – from marathons to sponsored bake sales, whatever your idea, we would love to hear from you!
Environmental Education in Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
- Training materials, classes and other forms of environmental education
- Education on how to protect wildlife and sustainably use natural resources
- A highly knowledgeable team of professionals
Using modern communication techniques, Conservation Lower Zambezi is dedicated to educating people about the environment and how to protect it. The organisation has designed educational materials and programmes that bridge the gap between scientific research and public understanding.
Since establishment, Conservation Lower Zambezi has been enriching the lives of people through engaging environmental education. From its beginnings, this organisation has evolved to a thriving center for environmental education that touches the lives of many. Conservation Lower Zambezi’s mission is to provide education outreach services that build environmental awareness and an ethic of responsible stewardship of natural resources.