AWF equips rangers to fight poaching, animal trafficking

AWF country director Olivia Mufute

THE African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) says it has facilitated a number of trainings to equip rangers in fighting poaching and animal trafficking activities.

Speaking recently at World Wildlife Day commemorations at ZIMPARKS Gardens in Harare, AWF country director Olivia Mufute said protection of wildlife species was in line with National Development Strategy 1.

“All our efforts as AWF are in line with the National Development Strategy 1, which prioritises sustainable environment, tourism and climate resilience as economic growth anchors. We believe that AWF’s interventions in the landscapes where we are operating will go a long way in the realisation of a prosperous and upper middle-income economy by 2030,” she said.

“Strategic partnerships have enabled AWF to make conservation efforts for wildlife and their habitats to thrive in Zimbabwe. We have facilitated specialised training and capacity building programs for rangers as part of efforts to combat poaching and reduce illegal wildlife trade and trafficking in the landscape.”

Mufute said AWF was currently supporting government wildlife conservation efforts by producing the Zimbabwe Biodiversity Economy report, following a request by the Finance and Economic Development ministry to the Environment ministry to outline the economic contribution of nature to the gross domestic product of the country.

“This will be the first report in Zimbabwe to profile the value of nature to Zimbabwe and to position the biodiversity of the economy as a key economic sector to invest in,” she said.

“This strategic document will inform development policies that contribute to conservation, and sustainable use of Zimbabwe’s natural resources. It shows the importance of strategic partnerships in wildlife conservation and sustainable development.”

Since 2018, AWF said it has invested over US$10 million in the mid-Zambezi Valley through infrastructural development initiatives, provision and digitisation of radio communication equipment, fuel, field and camping equipment, patrol rations, vehicles, and boats for anti-poaching patrols.

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