Photo Credit: Marcus Westberg

Softening the impact of COVID-19 in the Greater Zakouma Ecosystem

26.01.2021

CONSERVATION PROBLEM

The Greater Zakouma Ecosystem’s goal is to achieve long-term ecological and economic sustainability. This goal can be met through the development of both tourism revenue and community enterprises, which would allow the park to reduce dependency on donor funding and become self-sustainable. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zakouma was forced to close down all tourism operations, which meant no more revenue for the rest of the season.

To protect essential conservation and community activities, the park had to cut down its budget to focus on the most urgent items, however, additional funds are needed to continue critical conservation and community activities. This would not only avoid exposing the ecosystem to significant risks, but also ensure the park can rebound as quickly as possible in a post-pandemic world.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

  • Ensure the active participation of the local community in conservation activities and sustainable natural resources management;
  • Develop revenue opportunities, employment and alternative livelihoods that are conservation-friendly;
  • Contribute to the improvement of the well-being of the local community.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES

  • Carry out awareness-raising sessions on issues including conservation and COVID-19 through theatre performances, school visits and print and radio materials;
  • Organize training sessions to educate on the environment and recycling;
  • Organize training sessions for gardening and beekeeping, while providing the necessary materials and technical support.

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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