Zim wildlife conservation systems hailed


Tendai Mugabe, The Herald

Date Published
Zimbabwe has one of the best wildlife conservation systems in the world such as protection of elephants under the Presidential Elephant Head Management Programme, it has been revealed. Such programmes put the country in a strong position to counter the proposed ban on ivory trade by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which claims that elephants are facing extinction.

Elephants under the Presidential Elephant Head Management Programme do not constitute hunting quotas and when they die due to natural causes, their trophies are preserved and publicly displayed.

Further, such elephants are closely monitored and Zimbabwe has already rejected CITES proposals to up-list its elephants from Appendix II to Appendix I ahead of the CoP17 to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in September.

Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction and if the proposals sail through, Zimbabwe will be banned from international hunting and trading of elephants and lions.

In his contribution during Zimbabwe’s roadmap to CoP17 recently, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management acting director-general Mr Wilson Mutinhima said the country had a proud history of sustainable wildlife conservation and had produced the world’s most iconic individual elephants.

“In the protected areas of Zimbabwe, some large elephants have since been identified and these have some of the largest tusks in the world and have roamed the wild for not less than 40 years,” he said.

“This clearly shows commitment and investment Zimbabwe has made in protecting and conserving its elephants. “It is therefore Government’s intention to continue with the tradition and declare these iconic large individual elephants a national heritage.”

Mr Mutinhima’s remarks come at a time when anti-poaching activities have been scaled up in most parts of the country. Campfire Association director Mr Charles Jonga told The Herald that no poaching or elephant poisoning had been reported in the Tsholotsho area since 2013.