Zimbabwe’s second-largest reserve, the Gonarezhou National Park is set to receive $1 million annually from a brand-new fund to help sustain its operations and fight against poaching.
The Germany-based Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) said the fund is intended to be sustained for at least 15 years to cover wages of ranger patrols, equipment maintenance and other everyday needs.
Gonarezhou translates as “the place of the elephant” in the local ChiShona language and the region is home to about 11,000 elephants as well as to black rhinos, whose numbers aren’t made public for security concerns. The Gonarezhou National Park covers 5,000 square kilometres in the country’s remote southeast.
The Legacy Landscapes Fund (LLF) will provide the funds to help wildlife havens in economically-challenged countries.
FZS’s head of communications, Dagmar Andres-Bruemmer explained that “the idea of the Legacy Landscapes Fund is to provide reliable funding for basic operations in a protected area.”
National parks that relied on tourism income suffered hugely during the coronavirus pandemic, she noted.
“In some parks in Africa, even basic work such as ranger patrols could not be done due to budget cuts. So poaching picked up significantly.”
Inaugurated in 2021, the LLF, is a public-private fund established as a charity under German law to bridge the funding gap for biodiversity conservation.
Participants include the French and German governments, Germany’s KfW Development Bank, France’s Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
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