Business

‘$1.8m grant to help conserve wildlife’

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
GERMAN ambassador to Zambia, and special representative to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Achim Burkart says the US$1.8 million grant provided to North Luangwa Conservation project by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will help conserve wildlife, ecosystems and tourism in the area.
The North Luangwa Conservation Programme is a partnership between the Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Zambia Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to conserve the North Luangwa ecosystem.
In an interview on Friday, Mr Burkart observed that the success of wildlife in the area depends on the local communities as they are the ones who mostly interact with wildlife and natural resources on a daily basis.
“On Thursday last week, the US ambassador provided a grant of US$1.8 million and there is another US$1.8 million from DNPW making the total grant to the North Luangwa Conservation project US$3.6 million. Wildlife conservation is a very important aspect in this country and if done properly, has a positive impact on the tourism industry.
“Generally, people are not coming to Zambia because it has nice people or beautiful sunshine. The visitors are coming to Zambia because of the beautiful country, very nice people and the wonderful wildlife. And if the wildlife is gone, then the people will not come,” he said.
Mr Burkart also said the introduction of the multinational visa project aimed to benefit Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, will help promote tourism.
He said for instance, the Kavango Zambezi trans-frontier conservation area, which is potentially the world’s largest conservation area covering five southern African countries namely Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, will help bring in foreign direct investment.
“The Kavango-Zambezi trans-frontier, which is a common project of Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, will enable these countries team up and provide corridors for animals to go from one country to the other as animals do not know boundaries,” Mr Burkart said.

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