By Natalie Chiwomadzi
EUROPEAN Union (EU) says it has partnered with the government of Zimbabwe in a move meant to protect wildlife poaching as well as animal and human conflicts.
The partnership is based on three projects which are mainly aimed at protecting and promoting wildlife in the country.
Addressing delegates at the launch of the projects, Head of the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe Ambassador Timo Olkkonen said the country’s natural riches are not only for the Zimbabweans to cherish, but they form part of a world heritage which is worth protecting.
“The three projects we are here today to launch and explore are just a fraction of the offspring generated by the Cross-Regional Wildlife Conservation (CRWC) program.
“Communities are in fact the core beneficiaries of these projects as we believe they play a critical role in the sustainable management of natural resources,” he said.
Olkkonen revealed that communities are first line of defence against poaching, human wildlife conflict, illegal wildlife trafficking and land degradation by reinforcing what the country audaciously conceived in the 80s with the campfire program.
The projects represent an effort to specifically empower communities to voice their minds, actively participate in the decision-making process and build the necessary technical and business management capacity to enable them generate viable and sustainable livelihoods.