(Extract Workshop Proceedings, (I. Games June 2015))
This workshop, funded by Conservation Force, (USA), produced a sub-regional Action Plan for the Sebungwe Elephant population that was based on the Strategic Elephant Conservation Policy and Management Plan Framework of December 2014. It was based not only on this Framework, but also in recognition that of the fact that there was a greater need for coordinated and collaborative effort than ever before amongst Sebungwe’s stakeholders, in order to deal with ongoing wildlife crimes and other challenges that threaten biodiversity conservation. Specifically, private sector tourism and safari operators providing safari services in and around the Parks and Wildlife Estate recognise the threat as not only undermining the conservation status of the PWMA Estate but the very resources upon which their businesses and community benefits from wildlife depend.
As the Sebungwe’s human densities increase, combined with the massively increased elephant poaching and deforestation levels, the need for better and improved communication between all stakeholders, collaboration and coordination of conservation effort have become increasingly apparent. This is essential for optimum efficiency and effectiveness in the management of Elephant populations being achieved.
The outcomes of the Sebungwe Elephant Management Plan Workshop were informed by two sources:
1. The Zimbabwe Strategic Elephant Conservation Policy and Management Plan Framework (As agreed at Hwange Safari Lodge Workshop on 4 December 2014).
2. The data, and specifically that related to the Sebungwe Region, from the National Elephant Aerial Survey undertaken in 2014.
The framework of Strategic Objectives, Outputs, Key Activities, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and Mean of Verifying KPIs was structured under five components, namely,
- Protection and law enforcement,
- Biological management and monitoring,
- Social, Economic and Cultural Framework,
- Building Conservation Capacity, and
- Coordination, collaboration and programme management.
The workshop was attended by 53 representatives from the following sectors: ZPWMA, Rural District Councils, Local Government – Sebungwe Chiefs, ZRP, CAMPFIRE, NGO’s, IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group, Photographic and Hunting Safari Operators, University of Zimbabwe, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Commercial stakeholders, Antipoaching Units, Indepedant Conservation Advisors, Conservation Force USA.
Images courtesy of the Tashinga Initiative