Photo Credit: Zambian Carnivore Programme

Combatting the negative impacts of COVID-19 on conservation activities



The wildlife of the South Luangwa Valley makes the region a premiere safari tourism destination.  In an average year, this safari-based economy supplies 28 USD million to the Mfuwe area.

The COVID-19 crisis has left thousands of safari staff members and individuals from the service sector out of work or with reduced wages. Prior to the pandemic, long-term conservation initiatives were building strong momentum, but they are heavily reliant on funding from safari tourism for their operations. The combination of a collapsed economy, decreased food security, and severely reduced support for law enforcement means that the Luangwa Valley is yet again in the midst of a conservation emergency.  A spike in poaching and conflict is expected if no action is taken.


  • Increase anti-poaching patrols by 10% by mid-2021 to protect large carnivores and elephants;
  • Reduce human-wildlife conflict by 15% by mid-2021.


  • Carry out 418 anti-snaring day patrols, 100 hours of aerial surveillance and 327 field patrols;
  • Conduct veterinary rescue on at least 80% of snared carnivores and elephants detected;
  • Monitor 5 collared lion prides who may cause conflict by threatening livestock;
  • Conduct 12 training sessions on improved livestock and crop protection, and on conflict mitigation techniques;
  • Conduct 24 radio shows focusing on human-wildlife conflict mitigation.

This project is a part of the IUCN SOS African Wildlife initiative, which is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG Devco) through its B4Life initiative.

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