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‘Communities must see value of wildlife’



ZIMBABWE has been urged to explore its game meat landscape, which can support it economically if properly managed, a top wildlife researcher at Oppenheimer Generations Research has said.

The researcher, Duncan MacFayden spoke to NewsDay on the sidelines of the Taste of Game Zimbabwe dinner held on Africa Day in Victoria Falls, saying Zimbabwe’s communities had to be educated on the value of wildlife resources.

“We have the most amazing resources in Africa and people need to appreciate and protect the conservancies and desist from poaching. If well-commercialised, wildlife can be a key to the African economy. Zimbabwe has the most amazing resources. We have the land and wonderful animals. We can export game meat, and provide meat to European countries, which can boost the Zimbabwean economy. People need to say wildlife is valuable and can improve the economy,” MacFayden said, pointing out that Victoria Falls and Shangani Ranch had amazing wildlife species and ecological places.

“Look at the Shangani Ranch, they have got the most amazing game that has the impala and kudu, but they don’t have the market as people want beef and chicken. If we can change that mindset, then people will value wildlife.”

MacFayden said foreigners should not tell Africans how to manage their wildlife resources.

“People overseas had their wildlife, but they killed it all and we have ours, and so everything must be done in an Afrocentric way. Africa does not need to beg, we should be leading,” he added.

The Taste of Game Zimbabwe dinner was hosted by Oppenheimer Generation Research and Conservation and Shangani Holistic in partnership with Michelin Star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen.

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