Published at 16/07/2021

Zambeze Delta Safaris sets up mechanisms to protect Biodiversity

Zambeze Delta Safaris – ZDS – in Official Game Reserve 11, in the framework of its management plan, has established, in a process of coordination with the communities, the zoning of Game Reserve 11, in order to separate the areas of settled population, in the northern zone of C11, from the hunting areas, and the areas of concentration of about 30,000 animals of 30 species and 250 varieties of birds.

With this action, it is intended to control the damage to the habitat so that the communities undertake their daily activities such as agriculture, fishing, honey production, access to fresh meat, leisure, health and education while the company ZDS ensures a high standard of conservation of the forests, savannas, rivers, lakes, swamps and animal species, keeping the landscape of Game Reserve 11 at a level of natural beauty, biodiversity and conservation of high international quality.

With these objectives, ZDS, in coordination with the community and with the support of its partners, clients and donors, is undertaking  free ploughing with a tractor of 68 hectares of land in a continual strip for the production of rice and maize, the free distribution of fertiliser, the free provision of grain milling services, facilitating access to fishing by the residents, a programme to encourage the production of honey, with the free delivery of 350 beehives, and training and technical assistance for the personal income of the community.

As an impact of this action, the communities of the buffer zone registered, as their harvest for the month of May/June 2021, average productivity of rice of five tonnes a hectare. One production block reached 6.3 tonnes a hectare in a rain-fed regime.

With this community support,  ZDS intends to create incentives and alternatives in the community, which discourage the practice of slash-and-burn itinerant agriculture, which is an agricultural technique involving the cutting and burning of trees and plants in forests to create fields for agricultural production. In turn, these fields often become impoverished and abandoned after a few years of use, causing the loss of natural habitats for many species of flora and fauna, which are the basis for biodiversity. This biodiversity is crucial for maintaining the ecological sustainability of the soils, water sources and nutrients. It is an important natural asset, which also lends great beauty to the natural landscape of Game Reserve 11.

ZDS is one of the oldest Conservation Areas (AC) of sustainable use in Mozambique. It is located in Marromeu district, in Sofala province, and is intended for game hunting and the protection of various species and ecosystems. This is one of the 13 privately managed ACs that are benefiting from the BIO-Emergency Fund. BIOFUND supports the game reserve in paying the wage costs of 20 rangers, in order to reduce the impact of the loss of tourism revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic and to keep a ranger force active in the field.