Trust to Manage Gonarezhou National Park

The Gonarezhou National Park (GNP) is under new management, so to speak… And the wildlife of the park as well as surrounding communities will greatly benefit from this.

The Zimbabwean Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWMA) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) have signed a new partnership which has led to the formation of the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust. The managing mandate of the GNP has now been transferred to the Trust.

According to reports the Trust will raise more than $40 million for GNP. Communities will furthermore benefit by the subsequent development of the park while, among other things, also gaining direct financial benefits through job creation and skills development.

Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri, the Zimbabwean minister of Environment, Water and Climate, is quoted as saying there are quite a few objectives for this new partnership.

“This includes delivery of effective and efficient management of GNP and building financial sustainability of the park through the development of additional revenue streams and further investments, like tourism.”

This new partnership is a modification of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed in July 2010 between PWMA and FZS for the management of Gonarezhou. Since then the FZS has provided logistical support, supplied field equipment, technical expertise, applied research and more.

As a consequence, the wildlife of GNP and the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area as also greatly benefitted. This incorporate infrastructure development and maintenance, natural resource assessment and monitoring, including animal numbers and change in vegetation.