Anti Poaching, LZ NP, Zambia
Conservation Lower Zambezi (CLZ) is a non-profit organisation committed to the protection of wildlife and to the sustainable use of natural resources in the Lower Zambezi in Zambia.
In 1994, concerned local safari operators and other stakeholders recognised the need for organised support to the national wildlife protection authority (now the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, DNPW) to combat the poaching that was decimating the wildlife populations in the Lower Zambezi.
Conservation Lower Zambezi (CLZ), initially deployed teams across the park in an old Landrover from a simple base camp built on the banks of the Zambezi donated by the safari operators. Since its humble beginnings with basic support to the wildlife authority, CLZ has grown and increased its activities and efforts in the Lower Zambezi. Not only has CLZ’s support to DNPW increased substantially over the years, the organisation now also runs an Environmental Education Programme (2004), a Community Scout Unit (2013), a Community Engagement Programme (2013), a Detection and Tracking Dog Unit (2015) and a Rapid Response Unit (2018). CLZ also hosts the annual Safari Guides Training courses and exams for the Lower Zambezi.
CLZ assists the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) in their mandate to protect the wildlife of the Lower Zambezi primarily by providing technical and material support, training and capacity building to anti-poaching scout patrols and the support of a Community Scout unit. DNPW is severely underfunded and under-equipped, so much so that many anti-poaching patrols may not take place if support was not provided by CLZ.
Support consists of food rations, First Aid kits and ﬁeld patrol equipment, transport for deployments, GPSs and technical support from CLZ Base Camp Control Centre in the form of de-brieﬁngs before and after deployments, 24/7 communications; and centralised GIS system for recording patrol tracks and documenting any illegal activity data recorded during patrols. Further support comes from CLZ’s regular aerial patrols which not only provide support to patrol teams, but are also key to detecting illegal activities on the ground.