22 May 2022

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) will tomorrow join national, regional, and international wildlife conservation stakeholders at the African Elephant Summit to be hosted in the iconic Hwange National Park from the 23rd to the 26th of May 2022. The summit to be graced by Ambassadors from China and Japan will also host leading experts in environmental conservation and policy making from 14 African countries.

The summit’s goals are, to develop an African position on wildlife management, assess the successes and failures in the conservation landscape, and provide a platform to deliberate and chart a course on the sensitive topic of the prohibition on the sale of ivory before the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora’s (CITES) to be held in Panama in November 2022.

ZELA welcomes this initiative as it provides a platform to discuss the fundamental challenges and opportunities surrounding the conservation of elephants. Zimbabwe has the second highest number of elephants behind Botswana. As we move towards the elephant summit, ZELA advocates for a broad approach to elephant management. Elephant management is not simply a conservation issue, but it has socio-economic impacts on communities co-existing with wildlife. A human rights-based approach, focusing on the environmental, economic, social, and cultural rights of communities should thus be adopted in coming up with elephant management strategies. 

ZELA’s expectations are that the summit will tackle some of the key issues in sustainable wildlife management which include human wildlife conflict, community participation in decision-making on wildlife management, and community benefits from wildlife conservation. The study on the National Trends on human wildlife conflict from 2016 to 2021 conducted by ZELA shows that elephants account for the second highest number of human deaths and injuries in Zimbabwe. Additionally, elephants account for the highest crop raids and loss. Aside from these major costs to communities associated with elephants, the successful conservation story has benefits which include consumptive and non-consumptive tourism. Sustainable utilization of wildlife has the potential of not only promoting conservation but also providing an incentive for communities to co-exist with wildlife. ZELA is looking forward to sharing insights that will promote not only conservation but also community benefits, livelihoods, and food security from wildlife conservation.

For Further Information, Please Contact:

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

26B Seke Road, Hatfield, Harare, Zimbabwe

Website : www.zela.org  |Twitter: @ZELA_Infor | Facebook: Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association | Youtube: Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association |Instagram: zela_infor

Tel: +263 242 573 601-3

Hotline: +263 777 195 006

              +263 719 556 893

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