Conservation Lower Zambezi
Based just outside the Lower Zambezi National Park, Conservation Lower Zambezi was established in 1995 to protect the environment an maintain it as an asset for the people of Zambia. It plays an important role in preserving wildlife by darting and treating injured wildlife. Conservation Lower Zambezi is a non-governmental organisation that helps protect the environment of Lower Zambezi and also runs an environmental education program for the local community.
Charities, trusts and societies in Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
- Provides logistical support to ZAWA
- Every donation, big or small, is appreciated and helps to keep CLZ running
- Accommodation is available for interested supporters
Conservation Lower Zambezi operates under a memorandum of understanding with the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and is governed by a constitution and an annually elected Board.
In the 1990’s, increased poaching became a significant problem 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 1995 to assist ZAWA (then known as National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (NPWS)) and the community with conservation efforts.
Conservation Lower Zambezi and ZAWA
Risking life and limb to protect the area’s wildlife, ZAWA patrol the Lower Zambezi National Park (LZNP) with little supplies or equipment. CLZ works closely with ZAWA to ensure the protection of Zambian wildlife in Lower Zambezi. ZAWA organises anti-poaching teams to patrol the Lower Zambezi National Park and surrounding Game Management Areas (GMAs) in order to enforce domestic wildlife protection legislation. CLZ provides logistical support to ZAWA’s anti-poaching units – fuel, transport, some training, patrol equipment, communications and the running and maintenance of the patrol plane.
One of CLZ’s main activities includes the support of wildlife police officers with regard to law enforcement activities. Currently CLZ supports around twelve patrol team deployments per month in the Chiawa GMA and LZNP, providing patrol rations, uniforms, training, deployments, GPS tracking devices and incentives. The patrol teams play a vital role in park and game management protection.
ZAWA’s Lower Zambezi Area Management Unit consists of a warden, operations rangers and Wildlife Police Officers. This team is responsible for the administration and protection of LZNP and surrounding GMAs. The area covers more than 12,000 square miles including the Chiawa GMA to the West, the Rufunsa GMA to the East and the Luano GMA to the North.
CLZ is dedicated to supporting ZAWA, especially focusing on additional resources the Authority often needs in order to operate effectively. ZAWA’s Lower Zambezi Area Management Unit currently totals 112 officers including the administrative staff. CLZ is able to help with logistics to supplement the management unit’s vehicle. The ZAWA Area Warden for Lower Zambezi has the responsibility of protecting the wildlife, the habitat and the communities in the whole area. CLZ helps the Warden achieve this.
Conservation Lower Zambezi Enviromental Education
Conservation depends ultimately on people – the people who live with the wildlife. As well as providing logistical support to ZAWA, CLZ is also involved in an environmental education program for the surrounding community. This program is aimed at decreasing illegal use of the area’s natural resources in the long term and teaching children the value of their local wildlife. One of the main objectives of CLZ is to promote, foster and maintain interest in the protection of wildlife. In order to do this, CLZ works closely with the local community in the surrounding area, including 35 target Basic Schools and the District Education Board Secretary.
The CLZ mobile team travels around Chiawa, Chongwe, Rufunsa and Luangwa areas, visiting local schools. Many of these children may have never seen a hippo, a crocodile or even an elephant, unless it is raiding their crops and putting them in dangerous situations.
CLZ also invites groups from each of its 35 target Basic Schools to visit the CLZ environmental activity centre. During each visit 24 children and 4 teachers are transported to CLZ base camp. The visits include game drives and boat trips to enable children to enjoy a safari experience as well as lessons and activities to help children understand the importance and vulnerability of the wildlife and environment of the Lower Zambezi. This is the first time that many children have enjoyed being a “tourist”.
Farmers in the Lower Zambezi have major problems with elephants damaging their crops. Human wildlife conflict is a pertinent problem for farmers in the Lower Zambezi as they try to feed their families and make a living from the land. Many people find it difficult to understand why they should protect animals that regularly destroy their crops and can be a very real danger. As subsistence farmers in poor rural communities struggling to get by on a daily basis, wildlife protection can be a low priority. Elephants, hippos, buffaloes and even crocodiles have all been known to kill local villagers who are defenceless against them. Sometimes however local communities will exact revenge on wildlife – but they may not target the correct animal and may make the situation worse.
CLZ works closely with the community to help reduce human-wildlife conflict by promoting conflict-mitigating activities such as chilli fencing and elephant behaviour workshops. In 2012 CLZ has trained 30 farmers how to grow chilli and build fences, and 120 community members how to understand various elephant behaviours.
CLZ provides a vital link between the community, tourism and conservation in the Lower Zambezi management area. CLZ also works with organisations such as Explore Africa who are encouraging cooperative enterprises in the Chiawa game management area e.g. tailoring cooperatives, vegetable farming cooperatives and fish farmers to try and increase the markets available to these cooperatives and therefore increase community involvement in the tourism industry. CLZ recommends a visit to Chiawa Cultural Village for anyone visiting the area.
Conservation Lower Zambezi Facilities
Accommodation at CLZ includes four en-suite tents, two en-suite rooms and four blocks of dormitories which can occupy 24 children at a time. The facilities include a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen and ablution facilities. CLZ has an environmental education centre which includes a classroom and a library.
How you can help
CLZ is a non-profit organisation and is only able to continue protecting the Lower Zambezi wildlife through support from individuals and businesses who donate their time, money, goods and services. Visit www.conservationlowerzambezi.org for more details on how you can help.
As a member of CLZ you can:
- Make use of the incredible camp facilities for a small fee on a self-catering basis. CLZ has 4 en-suite safari tents overlooking the Zambezi with a large chitenge area and kitchen which can be used by visitors
- Receive regular updates and newsletters from CLZ reporting on its progress and current projects
- Vote at the Annual General Meeting
- Directly contribute to protecting the environment of the Lower Zambezi
Corporate members can also benefit from recognition on the CLZ website or on the CLZ facebook page as well as other regular marketing materials.
CLZ membership year runs from 1st January to 1st January of the next year.
Silver — Minimum membership required for corporate bodies with active commercial interest and located in Lower Zambezi (corporate stakeholders).
Platinum and Gold — Further discretionary levels of increased support to CLZ which will be recognised according to degree of support on CLZ marketing materials, including specifically on the CLZ website and at fundraisers.
(Platinum, Gold and Silver members may also use the CLZ logo and their degree of support on their own websites.)
Stakeholder — Applies to corporate bodies without a commercial interest in Lower Zambezi.
Family — Two adults and two children
Individual — If the individual is associated with a corporate stakeholder, the relevant corporate stakeholder must hold a valid membership before an individual membership can be granted.CLZ provides ZAWA with logistical support as follows:
- Maintenance and running of the patrol plane
- Patrol equipment
CLZ community projects include:
- Chili fencing projects
- Paint ball project
- Chiawa Partnership Park
CLZ Platinum Members:
- Ana Tree Lodge
- Baines River Camp
- Chiawa Camp
- Chongwe River Lodge
- Kulefu Camp
- Old Mondoro
- Royal Zambezi Lodge
- Sausage Tree Camp
CLZ Gold Members:
- Chongwe River House
- Kasaka River Lodge
CLZ Silver Members:
- Mvuu Lodge
Other supporters of CLZ include:
- Buya Bamba
- Chakanaka Farm – Gerry Carbin
- Civil Society Environmental Fund
- Elephant Charge 2011
- Expert Africa
- Khal Amazi
- Magma Aviation
- The Pitons Foundation
- Toyota Zambia