Peace Parks Foundation | Simalaha Conservation Argiculture Project

Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) was established in 1997 to facilitate the establishment of Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) and develop human resources, thereby supporting sustainable economic development, the conservation of biodiversity and regional peace and stability. PPF has already gained 15 years’ of pioneer experience, working with ten countries in the southern African region. The Foundation, as a facilitator, enjoys good relations with stakeholders at all levels, and has a realistic understanding of core socio-economic and conservation challenges. PPF has an excellent “good governance” record and has mobilised and secured more than €300 million in donor funding, while keeping its core administration costs since inception below 18%.

TFCA development in southern African recently reached a milestone with the proclamation of the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) TFCA, the largest transboundary conservation area worldwide. This 444 000km2 ‘super park’ spans five countries, and is roughly the size of California. The key objective of the KAZA TFCA is to join fragmented wildlife habitats to form an interconnected mosaic of protected areas and transboundary wildlife corridors.

Within the Zambian component of the KAZA TFCA, lies the Simalaha Community Conservancy. Poor socio-economic conditions in the region impede on the overall development of the province, which is considered one of the poorest in Africa. The Simalaha project is a collaborative effort between two communities in Zambia, championed by Traditional Authorities, and in partnership with PPF and the Zambian Government. The hope is to use conservation as a change agent to stimulate sustainable economic development. Within this project, several community benefit projects have been identified, that will provide communities with alternative livelihoods and answer some of the most pressing needs at this time. This includes a wildlife recovery project, a conservation agriculture project, a controlled grazing programme and the roll-out of fuel efficient stoves. Funders who have already contributed to the Simalaha projects include WWF Germany, the MAVA Foundation for Nature, Cleveland Zoological Society, and both the Dutch and Swedish Postcode Lotteries.

This proposal focuses on the Simalaha Conservation Agriculture Project, a three year project, which will train farmers within the Simalaha region in the use conservation agriculture techniques. The hope is to turn farmers away from conventional slash and burn farming techniques, which are not only inefficient, but also one of the main causes of deforestation in Zambia. Much success has been had in neighbouring regions, following this same model and, by the end of the project cycle, PPF hopes to have trained 360 farmers within Simalaha in conservation farming techniques.

This project has already received EUR 178,400 from the Swedish Postcode Lottery, and on behalf of the Simalaha Community, PPF requests that the Kadans Foundation considers co-funding of EUR 200,000 to ensure that the project is rolled out in the most efficient and beneficial way with a larger reach than would otherwise be possible.

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