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CONSULTATIONS

The Zambezi Society seeks the opinion of its supporters worldwide before developing a policy stance on any issue it considers to be important and relevant to the future of the Zambezi River’s wildlife and wildernesses.  It does this by issuing  PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS by e-mail, on our website or via social media, inviting responses, from which the Society’s future policy on that particular issue is developed.

If you would like to subscribe to our public consultations, SIGN UP on the right.

Here is a list of  ZAMBEZI SOCIETY CONSULTATIONS:-

  • SURVEY ON BAN ON PUBLIC WALKING IN MANA POOLS (June 2015)

This survey resulted from the sudden banning of “unguided” walking in Mana Pools by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZPWMA) in May 2015. Zambezi Society supporters and visitors to Mana Pools were asked to give their views on the May ban on “unguided” walking.  They were asked how often they visit the Park; whether the ban would affect them directly or not; whether they consider the ban to be a good or a bad thing (giving reasons); and whether they would still visit Mana Pools in future if the ban was in place.    The survey had a total of 121 responses – a highly representative sample of visitors to Mana Pools. Of this sample:-

55% were from Zimbabwe and 45% were foreign visitors

15% said that unguided walking is bad

78% said that unguided walking is good

52% said they would stop coming to Mana Pools, or would come less frequently as a result of the ban on unguided walking.

The survey results showed an overwhelming call for the ban to be revisited, and a strong acceptance that an enforceable Code of Conduct be put in place.

The Zambezi Society made representations to ZPWMA on the basis of these results and subsequently, the ban was withdrawn in July 2015 with the proviso that all “undguided” walkers pay a daily permit to Parks and that a Code of Conduct be agreed and implemented immediately.  The  Zambezi  Society then, taking into account the results of its previous public consulations about tourism impacts in Mana Pools (see below) engaged with the relevant stakeholders and published two Codes of Conduct for visitors – one for Mana Pools and one for Chitake.

Downloadable versions of these Codes of Conducts are available HERE.

  • TOURISM IMPACTS IN MANA POOLS AND CHITAKE SPRINGS (February 2015)
    These two consultations (one relevant to Mana Pools National Park as a whole, and one relevant to Chitake Springs near the southern boundary of Mana Pools) seek comments from the visiting public about increasing abuse of this unique Park by unsanctioned, uncontrolled human activities.   Wild animals and the Park’s fragile ecosystems appear to be suffering from the impacts of human behaviour, and there is a danger that, if these impacts are ignored,  draconian restrictions will be imposed on tourism, thus reducing the area to a “typical game park” as opposed to a singularly unique environment with global significance as a World Heritage Site.  The Zambezi Society will use the results of these consultations to inform a collaborative process to produce a protocol of binding principles (Code of Conduct) for all users of Mana Pools National Park, including tour operators.Read the consultations at these links:
    1) MANA POOLS
    2) CHITAKE SPRINGS
  • TOURISM DEVELOPMENTS IN MANA POOLS 2010 (October 2010)

This paper asked for public comment on several private/public partnership tourism developments along the Zambezi River in Mana Pools National Park proposed despite recommendations in the Park Management Plan that all future development should take place inland of the river to reduce tourism impacts. The overall response to these proposals was negative and this feedback was relayed to Zimbabwe’s Parks & Wildlife Managment Authority.

  • PROTEA HOTEL (144-BEDS) DEVELOPMENT, ZAMBIA OPPOSITE MANA POOLS (March 2010)

This paper publicised the development proposal and EIA for a 144-bed conference facility by Protea Hotels on the Zambian shoreline of the Zambezi River opposite Mana Pools and called for public comment.  The responses were overwhelmingly negative about this proposed development and a subsequent internet campaign was successful in halting it for the meantime.

  • MOTORBOATING AT MANA (Nov 2009)

This paper outlined the proposal by the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management  Authority to introduce motorboating at Mana Pools during the rainy season (November – March) and called for public comment.  Response was mostly negative and this was relayed to the Parks Authority.

  • WILDERNESS SURVEY (1998)

In this survey, the Zambezi Society solicited public opinions and perceptions about the concept and value of wilderness to visitors to the Zambezi Valley in order to be able to inform and develop the Society’s policy on wilderness conservation.

  • CITES COP (1997)

Several consultation papers were issued prior to the CITES Conference of the Parties (COP) held in Harare in June 1997.  They were aimed at creating awareness about CITES issues particularly the ivory trade, about Zimbabwe’s official position on this and at developing a Zambezi Society position at the COP.

The 1997 CITES Meeting

What Zambezi Society members said about the Ivory Trade

Zimbabwe’s CITES proposal

CITES – The Zambezi Society’s position

  • OIL EXPLORATION IN THE ZAMBEZI VALLEY (1987 – 1990)

An oil exploration exercise in the Zambezi Valley, undertaken by a large multi-national company was closely monitored by the Zambezi Society, and its members consulted and informed.  We were instrumental in negotiating exploration methods which, although more expensive, ensured that environmental damage was kept to a minimum.

  • MUPATA GORGE DAM/MANA POOLS (1982-1985)

Through a public awareness campaign, the Zambezi Society helped mobilise international support against the dam at Mupata Gorge and drafted Zimbabwe’s application for World Heritage Site status for Mana Pools. This was successful. Mana Pools was subsequently also designated as a National Park. The Mupata Gorge dam site was abandoned in favour of an alternative site at Batoka Gorge between Victoria Falls and Kariba

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