|Date||28 Apr 2010|
Although positive achievements have been made over the past four years to curb the widespread loss of biodiversity and promote eco-tourism in Kasungu Wildlife Reserve, there are still some serious problems that continue to threaten the survival of critically endangered species of biodiversity and their ecosystem in the project area. The problems range from invasive alien plants (IAPs) which suppress and displace the indigenous biodiversity of both fauna and flora.
Alien invasive species also alter microclimate of the project area and this has resulted in creation of artificial environment which favours the growth and establishment of invasive alien species. Another problem which seriously threatens the survival of species of biodiversity in KWR is poverty among the local communities living around the wildlife reserve. As a result, local communities resort to poaching, unsustainable harvest and collection of medicinal and energy tree species. These have resulted in continued loss of critically endangered species of global conservation concern; loss of suitable habitats and fragmentation; decreased number of wildlife; reduced number of tourists; and loss of income & local jobs related to eco-tourism. These problems have thus, negative impact on the survival of the critically endangered, charismatic and endemic species of wildlife and flora but also on the socio-economic development of the country as Malawi gets 7% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from eco-tourism. In order to effectively conserve the critically endangered native biodiversity in KWR for species genetic preservation and promotion of eco-tourism and livelihoods of local communities, the project intends to:
(b). restore all IAPs infested areas and conserve threatened healthy diverse habitats;
(c). strengthen capacity building of wildlife frontline guards and patrolmen (staff);
(d). promote networking between wildlife frontline staff and established community groups;
(e). establish village cultural tourism and environmental education & information centres; and
(f). promote livelihoods of local communities in all villages in surrounding KWR in both Malawi and Zambia.
It is strongly believed that if these objectives are successfully implemented, they will have positive impact on the lives of local communities and also will have long lasting contribution to biodiversity conservation in and around KWR.
Read about Jamestone previous work http://www.ruffordsmallgrants.org/rsg/projects/jamestone_smion_kamwendo or for more information contact:
Landscape of Kasungu Wildlife Reserve.
Hippos and elephants in Lifupa River in Kasungu Wildlife Reserve.
Partcipants trained on propagation of improved fruit (citrus & mango) trees celebrating during the field demonstrations.