6 March 2007

Zimbabwe: Community-Based Projects Receive Us$70 000 Boost

Harare — COMMUNITY-DRIVEN natural resource management projects got a reprieve yesterday when the Norwegian Government, through the World Fund for Nature, injected US$70 000 to boost operations in wildlife havens around the country.

The pioneers of community-based natural resource management - the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources - were battling to revitalise their operations last year after the expiry of the three-year funding from the Norwegians in 2005.

Campfire director Mr Charles Jonga and the WWF regional representative, Dr Harrison Ochieng Kojwang, signed the grant agreement in Harare yesterday.

Mr Jonga said the funding came at a time when the organisation was facing challenges which included the need to renew attention and confidence of various donors and key stakeholders.

"There is a lot of sustainable tapping of our natural resources that needs to be done in such areas that include Gairezi in Nyanga and Masoka in Guruve," Mr Jonga said.

He said the tapping of those resources involved various challenges that included the need to build capacity of resource monitors, continued enhancement of monitoring strategies and the ability to penetrate all problem areas.

Mr Jonga said this year was very demanding for all natural resource experts as a number of regional and international meetings, which include the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species will take place.

"We have to closely work together to come up with a common position and see how best we could address a few challenges in the wildlife sector ahead of these meetings," Mr Jonga said.

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