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ZAMBEZI SOCIETY RESPONSE TO THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT OF NKUPE CAMP, MANA POOLS

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THE ZAMBEZI SOCIETY is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation.  We rely on donations from individuals and organisations in support of our work. Please help us to protect the Zambezi River’s valuable wildlife and wildernesses.  You can help by donating via our secure online PAYNOW facility or via a bank transfer –  see SUPPORT THE ZAMBEZI SOCIETY.  Follow us on FACEBOOK

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ZAMBEZI SOCIETY SURVEY – PROPOSED TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AT NKUPE CAMPSITE, MANA POOLS

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THE ZAMBEZI SOCIETY is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation.  We rely on donations from individuals and organisations in support of our work. Please help us to protect the Zambezi River’s valuable wildlife and wildernesses.  You can help by donating via our secure online PAYNOW facility or via a bank transfer –  see SUPPORT THE ZAMBEZI SOCIETY.  Follow us on FACEBOOK

PROPOSED TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AT NKUPE CAMPSITE, MANA POOLS
The Zambezi Society seeks your views – Feel free to share widely

PUBLIC CONSULTATION/SURVEY 8TH June 2017  

Ledgeback Safaris (Pvt.) Ltd trading as African Bush Camps is planning to construct an exclusive tourism camp at Nkupe Campsite in Mana Pools National Park in line with an offer letter from Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) and a proposed lease.

Some details of this development and a map of the area provided by the developers are given below, together with some additional facts about the site.  PLEASE READ ALL CAREFULLY.

The Zambezi Society has been asked to provide inputs by 20th June 2017into a stakeholder consultation exercise for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which is required for this development.

To this end, we are conducting an urgent survey of our supporters and Social Media constituency to ascertain public opinion about the issue.

PLEASE RESPOND BY 16TH JUNE 2017
Give us your name and tell us where you live (country).
Then answer the questions below as succinctly as possible.
Note that your responses may be copied directly in The Zambezi Society’s submission to the consultants conducting the EIA and to ZimParks.  

1. What are your views about the proposed camp?
2. Do you see any negative impacts?
3. Do you see any positive impacts?
4. Do you have any recommendations to mitigate any negative impacts or to enhance positive ones?
5. Any other comments/suggestions?

Please e-mail your responses BEFORE 16th June 2017 to zambezi@iwayafrica.co.zw

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION PROVIDED BY AFRICAN BUSH CAMPS:- 
“This project is part of on-going efforts by ZPWMA to ensure that Zimbabwe’s national parks are operating in a financially viable and environmentally sustainable manner. The project contributes to specific global sustainable development goals (clean energy and responsible non-consumptive tourism) and to the Infrastructure and Utilities cluster of ZIMASSET.

Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of the Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO) and the Lower Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (shared with Zambia). Mana Pools and is an Important Bird Area and the floodplain is a RAMSAR wetland site. The proponent is fully aware of the international importance and sensitive ecology of the site and aims to minimise any negative environmental impacts by adopting appropriate “green” initiatives that conform to the general practices associated with the operations of camps in Mana Pools.

The development consists of a semi permanent tented camp and associated infrastructure at an existing exclusive camp site at Nkupe, which was previously open as a temporary camp to operators and the public.

The site is at the junction of the Mana and Zambezi rivers, downstream of Nyamepi Camp and the ZPWMA head quarters (see map).

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The camp will be constructed in two phases, each catering for up to 12 beds. Guest accommodation will be in the form of khaki coloured tents on raised wooden platforms, each with en suite ablutions, located under shady trees with views of the Zambezi River and either side of a central living area.

The kitchen, storeroom, workshop and staff accommodation will be of prefabricated structures set on raised wooden decks to limit the use of concrete where possible, and set back and out of sight from the river.

Power will be provided by solar panels with battery storage and cooking fuel will be gas. Water will be drawn from the river and treated to potable standards. Waste water and sewage will be passed through a closed biological treatment system approved by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).

Dry season access will be via existing bush tracks from Nyamepi Camp but during the heavy rains, the camp may be accessed by boat from Nyamepi or Chirundu. A temporary floating jetty will be constructed for mooring the boats.

Detailed environmental management plans will be developed to enhance the positive impacts of the camp and to mitigate the negative impacts during the construction and operational stages of the project. The management plans will form part of the EIA report.

In line with Statutory Instrument No. 7 of 2007, the Environmental Management (Environmental Impact Assessments and Ecosystems Protection Regulations) and the Environmental Management Act, 2011, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required for such projects.  The project is at the third stage, following submission of an Environmental Prospectus/Scoping report to the EMA. This notice serves to inform stakeholders that the EMA registered environmental consultants, BLACK CRYSTAL CONSULTING, and the proponent, LEDGEBACK SAFARIS, wish to solicit concerns and views regarding the environmental and social aspects of the project.”

SOME ADDITIONAL FACTS:-
a) Change of use from Public to Private:  Nkupe campsite was previously a public campsite and is now to be removed from Public Use for development of a private tour operators camp.
b)  Potential impact on public access rights to the Zambezi River/Mana Mouth for recreation: The Mana River Mouth area (and Chessa camp) which are immediately adjacent to the development are popular scenic and recreational spots for the visiting public and fishermen. It is not clear what impact the development of the Nkupe site for exclusive tour operator use will have on this public access, nor if any exclusion zone around the new camp will incorporate these places and therefore restrict access to them.
c)  The Mana Pools Management Plan:  it is not clear where this proposed development fits with the existing Management Plan for Mana Pools (which is quoted by ZimParks when submitting progress reports to UNESCO on the status of this World Heritage Site).
d)  Traffic impacts:  it is not clear what impacts increased tour operator traffic will have on the existing game-viewing bush tracks to and from Nyamepi Camp which are to be used for dry-season access to the new camp.

Please e-mail your responses BEFORE 16th June 2017 to zambezi@iwayafrica.co.zw

PLEASE SHARE THIS SURVEY WIDELY and RESPOND BY 16TH JUNE 2017

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The Zambezi Society BULLETIN – March 2017

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Read The Zambezi Society’s latest news as at March 2017 at this link:

ZAMBEZI SOCIETY BULLETIN MARCH 2017

Sign up online for an E-mail Subscription to receive these Bulletins direct to your Inbox. 

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THE BULLETIN HEADLINES: MARCH 2017

- A year on – we remember Claudio & Max Chiarelli

THE WAR ON POACHING

-  Highest elephant losses related to lack of resources/Zamsoc’s role.

- Anti-Poaching Appeal

- Improved collaboration on all fronts

- Funding grants supporting the War on Poaching:  Thank you

- Zambezi Society ranger firearms training continues

- Bushlife Support Unit holds the fort during the rains

- Trails & tribulations of the rainy season

- Flying for Wildlife:  fueling up for a busy season

- Tashinga Initiative completes a new anti-poaching base

MANA POOLS

-  4X4 Club of Zimbabwe to open roads at Easter

- Public Consultation: Clarity on definition of “Commercial Photography” in National Parks

KARIBA & MATUSADONA

- The crossing point between greed and poverty

- Anti-poaching support, ranger rations and road maintenance.

ZAMBEZI VALLEY

- Mavuradonha Wilderness Area declared a National Monument

- Biosphere Reserve – Zambezi Society offers management assistance

- The ancient Zambezi

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The Zambezi Society BULLETIN – December 2016

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The Zambezi Society Bulletin for December 2016 is now out. Please read it HERE

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THE BULLETIN HEADLINES: DECEMBER 2016

•  The Gift of Giving – Donate to protect Zambezi elephants

•  Anti-poaching:  We adopt a co-ordinating role

•  Wildlife Conservation Network Expo – San Francisco, Oct 2016

•  Changes at ZimParks

•  Key to protecting Zambezi Wildlife and Habitat – working together

•  Parks rangers undergo firearms training

•  Anti-poaching awareness project inspires urban & rural kids

•  New anti-poaching vehicles & road clearance in Mana Pools

•  Ranger deployment working well

•  Tourism in Mana Pools – Please follow the Codes of Conduct

•  Nkupe Camp tourism concession re-appears and raises concerns

•  Fieldwork and assistance to ZimParks in Matusadona

•  Caught in the act!

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The Zambezi Society BULLETIN – August 2016

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The Zambezi Society Bulletin for August 2016 is now out. Please read it HERE.

It is also available for download in PDF format. You can download this Bulletin here: - The Zambezi Society Bulletin August 2016

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THE BULLETIN HEADLINES: AUGUST 2016

  • Elephant Poaching – Creating awareness of the crisis 
  • Our focus: Anti-poaching strategies & priorities for funding
  • Flying for Wildlife – providing valuable “eyes in the sky”
  • Thanks to anti-poaching collaborating partners
  • Zamsoc donates new anti-poaching vehicle for Mana Pools
  • Volunteer Report: Mana southern boundary
  • Mana Pools anti-poaching base nears completion
  • A Plea to Mana Pools Visitors:  Please honour the Code of Conduct
  • Mana Pools Predator Survey 2015 – read the report
  • Chisipite Junior School – 30 years of fund-raising for Matusadona
  • Surveying predators in Matusadona
  • Success and new challenges in the Matusadona
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The Zambezi Society BULLETIN – April 2016

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The Bulletin for April 2016 is now out. Please read it HERE.

It is also available for download in PDF format. You can download this Bulletin here: -The Zambezi Society Bulletin April 2016

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ELEPHANT MANAGEMENT PLANNING IN THE ZAMBEZI VALLEY – REPORTS FROM 2015

ELEPHANT MANAGEMENT PLANNING IN THE ZAMBEZI VALLEY – REPORTS FROM 2015

The findings of the Great Elephant Census which surveyed all major elephant populations in Africa in 2014, revealed a 75% decline in the numbers of elephants in the Sebungwe Area of the Zambezi Valley south of Lake Kariba since 2001 (from 14,000 to 3,500), and a 40% decrease in the middle Zambezi Valley complex, including Mana Pools (from 18,000 to 11,500).    (See The Zambezi Society’s news item Zambezi Valley Elephants – horrific decline in numbers  - 20 August 2015)

Since then, the Zimbabwe’ Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has been working with stakeholders to develop an urgent 5-year National Elephant Plan for Zimbabwe and to map out (via a series of regional workshops) urgent anti-poaching strategies for the areas where elephants are considered to  be most vulnerable.

These deliberations have resulted in the publication of three important reports/plans of action, which are now available for download at the following links:-

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Summary Report on a collaborative workshop held by ZPWMA to develop an anti-poaching strategy for Mana Pools National Park and neighbouring Safari Areas held 30 March–2 April 2015, Chirundu Safari Lodge,  Zambezi River.  (Parks & Wildlife Management Authority – 2015)

 

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Proceedings of the Sebungwe Elephant Management Plan Workshop  held on 19-22 May 2015 at Musango Safari Camp, Kariba.  (Parks & Wildlife Management Authority – 2015)

 

 

zim-ele-management-plan-cover  Zimbabwe National Elephant Management Plan 2015 – 2020    (Parks & Wildlife Management Authority – 2015)

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FACTUAL REPORT ON THE TRAGIC DEATHS OF TWO WILDLIFE CONSERVATION VOLUNTEERS IN MANA POOLS NATIONAL PARK

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Statement from The Zambezi Society
14th March 2016

Richard Maasdorp and Gary Layard of The Zambezi Society today visited the scene of the tragic incident which took place in Mana Pools National Park on Sunday 13th March and resulted in the deaths of Claudio Chiarelli and his son Max Chiarelli.

The two deceased died instantly when caught in the mistaken fire of a National Parks patrol of three rangers at about 3.30p.m. yesterday afternoon – Sunday 13th March.

Claudio and Max, together with Francesco Marconati were providing voluntary support to deploy two National Parks anti-poaching patrols consisting of 6 rangers with the intention of uplifting the three rangers who were in the field following fresh spoor of poachers.

The group had parked their vehicle on the side of the road in the middle section of the Mana Pools National Park to await the arrival of the three Park rangers who had been tracking poachers in dense bush since 9.00a.m. that morning.

The intention was to meet at the road and hand over three fresh rangers to continue the follow-up.

Claudio and Max Chiarelli with Francesco Marconati took the opportunity to open the bonnet of their vehicle to inspect the engine.  Meanwhile, the 6 Park rangers they were transporting had dismounted from the vehicle and arranged themselves next to it while waiting for their three colleagues to arrive.

Unbeknown to them, the vehicle had been parked within just 15 metres of where the poachers’ tracks had crossed the road.

Meanwhile, the anti-poaching patrol in hot pursuit, heard voices, crouched down, and slowly moved forward through the thick undergrowth.

Through a gap in the bushes, they saw part of a blue shirt.  They assumed this was a poacher and let off a burst of gunfire.

Tragically, both Claudio and Max were killed instantly.

As the anti-poaching patrol rangers were crouched, they were unable to see the road at all.

Fortunately, the 6 rangers awaiting deployment did not return fire.

Richard Maasdorp, Strategic Director of The Zambezi Society stated:  “Today (Monday 14th March 2016), we witnessed a thorough on-site investigation by the Zimbabwe Police CID and members of the National Parks Investigations Branch and Senior Management.

The Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority and other state organs now, more than ever, need support and resources to contain their battle against wildlife poaching.

We, the Zambezi Society, extend our very deepest sympathy to Mrs Chiarelli and her daughter and the family on this terrible tragedy.  We posthumously thank Claudio and Max Chiarelli, as a father and son combination, for the years of dedication that they have shown in support of wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe.  This tragedy is deeply regretted.”

E-mail us at zambezi@iwayafrica.co.zw
Note:  Richard Maasdorp is currently out of mobile phone range in Mana Pools, but will be available from Tuesday 15th March on +263 772 419897

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The Zambezi Society November 2015 BULLETIN

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Please see The Zambezi Society’s final Bulletin of 2015 here:- The Zambezi Society November BULLETIN 2015

 

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URGENT HELP NEEDED FOR 3-DAY ZAMBEZI VALLEY AERIAL SURVEILLANCE

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MANA POOLS:  The Zambezi Society is collaborating with “Flying for Wildlife” to conduct an urgent and important overfly and aerial surveillance operation over Mana Pools over a three day period within the dates of 15th November to 30th November 2015.  This is in support of the anti-poaching efforts of Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA).
The Society is appealing to its friends and supporters to urgently assist us with the fuel and manpower costs involved.

FUEL COSTS & TRANSPORT:  The Zambezi Elephant Fund will be assisting with some of the fuel expenses but the costs are high and we still need more.  Donations can be made via the PAYNOW donate button on the Home Page of the Zambezi Society website.  Alternatively if you have access to fuel coupons, these will be readily accepted.   If you are in a position to assist with the urgent transportation of full fuel drums into the Park, we would be glad to hear from you.

ON-THE-GROUND VOLUNTEERS:  We are looking for supporters who would (in their own vehicles and at their own expense) be prepared to travel to Mana Pools, base at Nyamepi Camp and carry fuel, the pilots and a member of National Parks’ staff to the Mana Airstrip over a three day period.  Maximum two volunteers at a time. Volunteers will be required to abide by the terms of the MOU between The Zambezi Society and ZWPMA (which will be made available to them prior to deployment).
If you are able to assist please advise the days that work best for you during the period 15th to 30th November. 

MATUSADONA:  Under a separate initiative. The Zambezi Society and a private pilot will be overflying Matusadona in the near future.    Any support towards the fuel costs for this will be most welcome.

DONATE:   Via the online PAYNOW button on our Home Page at www.zamsoc.org

OR CONTACT (Phone, message or Whatsapp) :  Pete Musto  (Zambezi Society Director of Operations)  +263 772 249434

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