Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) seeks to re-establish and preserve large functional ecosystems that transcend man-made boundaries – protecting and regenerating natural and cultural heritage in southern Africa.
The Simalaha Community Conservancy, situated in south-west Zambia, was officially established with support from PPF in 2012 and is an essential link in an envisaged wildlife corridor between Chobe National Park in Botswana and Kafue National Park in Zambia within the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area – the largest terrestrial ‘peace park’ on earth.
In Simalaha, the current focus is on developing a wildlife economy, as well as alternative livelihoods to provide food security and additional forms of income to the local community, who in turn assist in protecting this critical conservation landscape.
Part of the Conservancy includes the Simalaha floodplains which links to the Upper Zambezi River (+-50km), with the local communities relying heavily on fishing activities for sustenance and personal income. In the last decade, unsustainable fishing practices such as the use of monofilament nets, and a general lack of regulation, have resulted in critical depletion of fish.
PPF is embarking 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 (an indirect measure of the abundance of a target species), and thereby better the prospects of fishing for subsistence and personal income.
Support is needed to strengthen the governance of the fishery through the formal gazetting of two Fish Management Committees which will drive the administration of regulations, allow for the banning of detrimental fishing equipment, and, through meetings with the Namibian Fisheries Committees, promote harmonisation of policies and regulations. Additionally, funding will be used to reimburse local committee members mandated to clean the river of discarded monofilament net and check the legality of fishing equipment.