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The Simalaha area, situated in south-western Zambia, falls within two chiefdoms, Sesheke and Chundu. Because of annual flooding, the area is mainly used for seasonal grazing. Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta and Chief Sekute of the Sesheke and Chundu chiefdoms agreed to establish the Simalaha Community Conservancy as a wildlife recovery area and a mechanism to stimulate benefits for the communities through wildlife and tourism development.
The Simalaha Community Conservancy, under their traditional leadership, has adopted a human rights-based approach for the communities living in the conservancy. The approach will focus on democracy, gender equality and empowerment by supporting environmental sustainability, accountability and participation. The communities will be allowed to manage their own natural resources in a sustainable way that will take into consideration economic, social, cultural and political human rights. In May 2012 Peace Parks Foundation secured funding by the Swedish Postcode Lottery, which donated SEK 10 million for the human rights project.
The human rights-based approach comprises three projects, namely:
Implementation of these projects will allow the communities in the conservancy to manage their forests and wildlife resources in a sustainable fashion. Thanks to the training they will receive, they will gain a further understanding of the value of wildlife as a resource and conservation as a viable land-use option.