Background

Lower Zambezi Area is almost 20,000km2

History

Conservation Lower Zambezi (CLZ) is a non-profit organisation committed to the protection of wildlife and to the sustainable use of natural resources in the Lower Zambezi in Zambia.

In 1994, concerned local safari operators and other stakeholders recognised the need for organised support to the national wildlife protection authority (now the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, DNPW) to combat the poaching that was decimating the wildlife populations in the Lower Zambezi.

Conservation Lower Zambezi (CLZ), initially deployed teams across the park in an old Landrover from a simple base camp built on the banks of the Zambezi donated by the safari operators.

Since its humble beginnings with basic support to the wildlife authority, CLZ has grown and increased its activities and efforts in the Lower Zambezi. Not only has CLZ’s support to DNPW increased substantially over the years, the organisation now also runs an Environmental Education Programme (2004), a Village Scout Unit (2013) and a Community Development Programme (2013), as well as this CLZ hosts the annual Safari Guides Training courses and exams for the Lower Zambezi (2001).

The Lower Zambezi National Park is 4092km2, but with the adjacent community owned Game Management Areas (GMA) bordering to the west (Chiawa), north (Luano) and east (Rufunsa), is part of a much larger entity, the Lower Zambezi Area Management Unit of almost 20.000km2.

Department of National Parks and Wildlife

CLZ assists the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) in their mandate to protect the wildlife of the Lower Zambezi primarily by providing technical and material support, training and capacity building to anti-poaching scout patrols and the support of a Village Scout unit.

DNPW is severely underfunded and under-equipped, so much so that many anti-poaching patrols may not take place if support was not provided by CLZ.

Support consists of food rations, First Aid kits and field patrol equipment, transport for deployments, GPSs and technical support from CLZ Base Camp Control Centre in the form of de-briefings before and after deployments, 24/7 communications; and centralised GIS system for recording patrol tracks and documenting any illegal activity data recorded during patrols.

Further support comes from CLZ’s regular aerial patrols which not only provide support to patrol teams, but are also key to detecting illegal activities on the ground.

Green Base camp

CLZ’s Base Camp encompasses an Environmental Education Centre (interpretation room, dormitory and ablution, teachers’ rooms), the Lower Zambezi DNPW Dog Unit, a workshop, staff accommodation, four safari tents (open to guest, members and donors), an office, an operations room with 24/7 manned radio and a centralised mess area which is used for meals and meetings.

Alongside solar geysers, the 13kVA solar system that was generously funded by Empowered By Light and installed by Standard Microgrid provides power to Base Camp facilities 24/7, making Base Camp 100% solar-powered and saving CLZ roughly $10,000 in fuel every year!