Kasungu Lukusuzi has a noteworthy diversity of mammals, plants and birds – including a sizable population of African wild dogs, an other endangered species. The area is home to about 112 mammal, 2 000 plant, 370 bird, 47 reptile, 34 amphibian, 31 fish, and an unknown number of invertebrate species. The main ecoregion in which the park lies is the southern miombo woodlands characterised by the miombo trees insterspersed with grassland. At lower elevations, such as at the bottom of the Luangwa valley, miombo give way to mopane trees.
The focus in this component is on community involvement in natural resource management and restoring connectivity between the protected areas.
We ensure the efficient execution of projects by making sure that key staff are recruited and trained. This includes anything from educating park managers in best practice for joint governance, to training officers in online database management.
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has been leading operations on the ground in Kasungu National
Park, with support from GIZ and Peace Parks Foundation.
A joint radio network for Kasungu and Lukusuzi national parks was completed in 2011 with funding from US Fish & Wildlife Service. Now, in partnership with IFAW, radio rooms are being built in both Kasungu and Lukusuzi National Parks. This forms part of an agreement between IFAW and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife in Malawi to improve antipoaching operations in Kasungu National Park.
For a very long time all anti-poaching patrols and response were done on foot or using vehicles from the regional headquarters in Chipata, 140km away. A double cab Land Cruiser was procured by Peace Parks Foundation, with funding from GIZ, to serve as the new operational vehicle in Lukusuzi National Park. Instances of human-wildlife conflict, anti-poaching operations and various patrols can now be attended to much faster. IFAW is also rennovating the aircraft hangar in Kasungu.
One of the key objectives of this TFCA is to reduce the pressure of unsustainable use on natural resources across the landscape. This is done through the promotion of measures that create alternative livelihood options for the local communities living in Kasungu-Lukusuzi.
To this end, Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) and the Catholic Development Commission (CADECOM) have been appointed to establishing a community livelihoods programme in the area, in close consultation with traditional authorities who provided valuable insight into cultural and customary beliefs. COMACO is an organisation that builds commercial links between smallscale farmers and conservation in Zambia.
Four hundred women have been trained and equipped to farm dry season gardens. The farmers are trained in the leading practices of climate-smart sustainable agriculture. Using organic compost, minimum tillage and a crop rotation scheme, farmers experience higher yields and richer soils, all without having to pay the hefty price of chemical fertilizer. Lead farmers, who are members of the community who received training and who are now training others, received 50 bicycles and two motorcycles to enable them to reach their trainee farmers with more ease.
CADECOM also conducted an interface meeting with staff from Kasungu National Park and government officers from the Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Community Development to map the existence of community structures in the project area, focusing on matters such as Village Natural Resources Management Committees, beekeeping groups, village savings and loan groups, farmers’ clubs, farmers’ field schools and stove making groups. To act as a bridge between CADECOM and the community, 90 animators were selected from the local community.
Training in beekeeping was offered to 20 men and 20 women whose bees then produced a total of 200kg honey.