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J1029N Peace Parks – Support Simalaha Community Conservancy.

South Africa, Africa

Project Description

Peace Parks Foundation works to renew and protect large, functional ecosystems that transcend man-made boundaries through the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas across southern Africa.

We revitalise habitat integrity, restore environmental functionality, and protect biodiversity. We also develop nature-based economies and tourism opportunities to ensure the long-term sustainability of the protected areas. At the same time, we prioritise communities living in and around these wild spaces – unlocking opportunities for them to sustainably use natural resources and benefit equitably from conservation.

By donating through Global Development Group, you will be helping us protect the ecosystems and empowering the people in two of our priority protected areas, namely Simalaha Community Conservancy in Zambia, and Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.

The Simalaha Community Conservancy

Within the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) TFCA, lies the 180,000ha Simalaha Community Conservancy. Established with support from Peace Parks in 2012, this community-led Conservancy is the first of its kind in Zambia and is an essential link in an envisaged wildlife corridor between Chobe National Park in Botswana and Kafue National Park in Zambia – a space that is crucial to allow the free movement of approximately 250,000 elephant and other animals, such as lion. The Conservancy concentrates on developing a wildlife economy, as well as alternative livelihoods, to provide food security and additional forms of income to the local community.

Fishing for a Future

In the Simalaha Community Conservancy, fishing provides food security and a vital means of income.

All across the globe, fish is a vital dietary resource and is the last major food source that is primarily collected from the wild, instead of farmed. According to a recent UN report, more than two-thirds of the world’s fisheries have been overfished or are fully harvested. This is also the case in parts of the mighty Zambezi River – the fourth-longest river in Africa.

The Simalaha Community Conservancy encompasses the Simalaha floodplains which links to the Upper Zambezi River. However, in the last decade, unsustainable fishing practices resulted in the critical depletion of fish populations. Peace Parks has embarked on a project to prevent further degradation of the local fishery, promote regeneration of fish numbers and species, better the catch per unit effort of fishers, and thereby better the prospects of sustainable fishing. Your donation goes directly towards activities that assist in achieving these aims.

Their Right to Education

In Simalaha, eager learners walk as much as 19km to get to school. Some of them even sleep at school in one room on the floor during the week, before returning home to their families for the weekend.

The Simalaha Community Conservancy in Zambia seeks not only to conserve wildlife, but also to improve the social, economic and environmental circumstances of its more than 14 000 people. To achieve this, education is key.

Peace Parks Foundation has already engaged in various interventions to improve the learning experience, and increase the attendance rate, of students. Solar panels were installed at schools and clinics to provide electricity for lights. This has also enabled the presentation of evening classes aimed at boosting literacy levels of adults from the surrounding communities. Houses were constructed for teachers at the school. In 2019, a vegetable garden was also established, and water provided, to grow food for the pupils who have to stay at the school during the week.


There are approximately 27 local primary and secondary schools based in Simalaha Community Conservancy. Of these 27 schools, we will first concentrate on developing ten. All these schools are under-resourced and require the most basic assets to assist in making the school life of hundreds of children more educational and enjoyable. These assets include furniture such as desks and chairs, the provision of IT equipment, and the development and maintenance of infrastructure. Through the provision of such necessary items and infrastructure, children will be better able to access and attend schools, learn, and gain necessary skills for academic and social progress.

Limpopo National Park

Limpopo National Park is a 1 million ha park which borders on Kruger National Park in South Africa and plays host to both the Limpopo and Olifants rivers on its perimeters. Mozambique proclaimed Limpopo National Park on 27 November 2001 and requested Peace Parks’ assistance in overseeing the park’s development as a Southern African Development Community (SADC) approved project. A project implementation unit, comprising staff from Mozambique and Peace Parks Foundation, was set up to take on this task. Since then, the development of the Park has continued in earnest to ensure its long-term sustainability through the strengthening of its tourism product. As such, the project implementation unit concentrates on improving administrative control and infrastructure in the Park; working with communities to assist them in voluntary resettlement in development nodes, as well as community support in other areas; and the conservation and regeneration of wildlife.

Herding for Health

The management of rangelands is becoming an important conservation tool through the Herding for Health (H4H) project in Limpopo National Park.

H4H is a simple, holistic and proven communally driven biodiversity management model that sustainably improves livelihoods of local people while yielding conservation outcomes. H4H is a community development methodology that supports communities to adopt sustainable rangeland and livestock management practices that improve governance of natural resources, rangeland restoration, livestock productivity and health, and facilitates livelihood benefits by means of holistic risk mitigation and the facilitation of access to markets. The model facilitates wildlife-livestock coexistence, livelihood diversification, and enables and incentivises communities to be stewards of their land and resources, mainly through its Ecorangers (professional herder) approach.

By using this model, livestock owners will be able to realise the full potential of their livestock, while protecting critical ecosystem services on which they rely. The impacts of climate change can also be mitigated, resulting in an improved environment, healthier animals, and healthier people. These successes also drive changes in policies that govern rights to resources.

Your donation will support the roll-out of the H4H approach across the park landscape to the benefit of as many people as we can possibly involve.

Boots and Paws on Patrol

With more than one million hectares to patrol, implementing effective anti-poaching strategies in Limpopo National Park is a challenge. Peace Parks aims to successfully establish an Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) in the Park. The IPZ strategy allocates 80% of anti-poaching resources to the protection of hotspots identified along the park’s western border – a boundary shared with Kruger National Park – and the section with the largest concentration of game. This area remains a focus point for illegal activities of wildlife crime syndicates.

Your donation will go towards retraining field rangers in counter-poaching methods (refresher training), conducting patrols in the IPZ, using tracker dogs and handlers in count-poaching operations, and providing aerial support to counter-poaching operations.

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