Formed in 1982, the Zambezi Society is a conservation organisation which focuses its efforts solely on conserving wildlife and wilderness in the Zambezi Valley.
Our mission is to promote the conservation and environmentally sound management of the Zambezi River and its catchment area for the benefit of wilderness, wildlife and people.
The Zambezi Society is committed to initiating rapid, well-informed and effective action to:
- Maintain the Zambezi river basin’s biodiversity (its variety and abundance of species and eco-systems)
- Conserve Zambezi wildernesses and promote the recognition of their values
- Ensure that conservation is incorporated into planning for the whole Zambezi river basin
- Encourage people to find ways of using the natural resources of the Zambezi basin without destroying them.
WHAT DOES THE ZAMBEZI SOCIETY DO?
- HELPS CONSERVE WILDLIFE: Manages a number of wildlife conservation projects focused on important Zambezi species, e.g. black rhinoceros, elephant and leopard.
- EDUCATES ABOUT WILDERNESS: Develops information and materials designed to make people at all levels more aware of the value of wild areas and the need to conserve them. The Society established the first training courses in wilderness awareness and management for custodians of Zambezi wild areas. Its Wildlife Outreach Programme focuses on rural schools adjacent to National Parks in the Zambezi Valley.
- SUPPORTS PARKS: Provides financial, logistical and material support for Protected Areas and National Parks in the Zambezi River basin, focusing on research, monitoring and anti-poaching programmes.
- PROVIDES INFORMATION: Increases public awareness about issues affecting the Zambezi river and its basin, by disseminating information through research, publications, the media, a website, a Facebook profile and e-newsletters.
- LOBBIES FOR SENSIBLE PLANNING: Lobbies or advocates against development initiatives that are unsuitable or damaging to the biodiversity or wilderness values of the Zambezi environment; and promotes good river basin planning based on sound scientific information.
THE SOCIETY’S HISTORY & PARTNERSHIPS
The Zambezi Society began as a volunteer organisation in 1982, lobbying against the proposed Mupata Gorge dam site on the Zambezi River, which would have flooded what is now Mana Pools National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was successful and the Mupata Gorge dam site was abandoned in favour of an alternative site at Batoka Gorge between Victoria Falls and Kariba. Mana Pools was then subsequently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, along with Sapi and Chewore safari areas.
The Society now has offices with a small staff in Harare, Zimbabwe, and operational partnerships in Mozambique, South Africa and the UK. The organization has established links with Save the Rhino International and with other respected worldwide organisations such as Fauna and Flora International, WWF (The World Wide Fund for Nature), the African Wildlife Foundation, IUCN (The World Conservation Union), the SAVE Foundation of Australia, the Zimbabwe Wildlife Fund (Australia) and Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU). The Society also works with local and regional players in the field of conservation and sustainable development such as the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, the Zambia Wildlife Authority; the Zambezi River Authority, Biodiversity Foundation for Africa , the Campfire Association, the Tashinga Initiative, the Wilderness Action Group and the government Tourism and Environmental authorities in Tete Province, Mozambique.
WHY BE A ZAMBEZI SOCIETY SUPPORTER?
Supporters of The Zambezi Society can choose to make donations towards specific projects or pay a small annual contribution towards the Society’s work. They are drawn from individuals, academics and companies who have an interest in conserving the Zambezi region. The Society does not sell or operate camps in the Zambezi valley nor does it organise social activities for wildlife enthusiasts. It provides:
- an opportunity to demonstrate social responsibility and commitment to the environment by supporting the Zambezi Society’s ideals and conservation activities. These seek to take a long-term view of planning and to achieve tangible results.
- learning opportunities for people who may be interested in environmental issues, but may lack the necessary information or may not know how to contribute meaningfully to conservation in the Zambezi region
- a “voice” for people wishing to express their views on relevant issues. The Society consults its supporters on issues of importance concerning the river and its basin and will take up issues on behalf of its supporters where necessary.
- up-to-date information in the form of regular electronic copies of the Society e-newsletter The Bulletin,
- access to a series of select publications, including technical reports, educational conservation wallcharts and posters for schools, and information leaflets for National Parks users.
- regularly up-dated information and news on our web site http://www.zamsoc.org and on our Facebook group: The Zambezi Society