Zim, China form wildlife conservation unit

via Zim, China form wildlife conservation unit | The Herald September 3, 2015

China and Zimbabwe have launched the Sino-Zim Wildlife Foundation to raise resources to help the Parks and Wildlife Authority Management with conservation resources and to fight against poaching. Speaking at the launch in Harare on Tuesday evening, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri said the foundation would cement relations between animal lovers from both countries.

She said the primary aim of the foundation was to mobilise resources, train personnel and address challenges faced by the parks authority. Minister Muchinguri said parks faced a myriad of problems, which would be addressed by the foundation. “They include under-capitalisation and deteriorating conservation and infrastructural equipment,” she said.

“Parks has serious resource constrains due to its inability to generate meaningful revenue.” Minister Muchinguri said the parks authority has not been able to successfully commercialise and make profit. She said the few commercial activities that the authority embarked on failed to generate adequate funds to cover capital expenditure and operational costs.

Minister Muchinguri said this failure came at a time non-governmental support to the authority had drastically been reduced due to the negative publicity the country gets, and illegal sanctions imposed by the West.

She said wildlife poaching and illegal harvesting of natural resources remained a problem. Speaking at the same occasion, outgoing Chinese ambassador Mr Lin Lin said China was committed to help Zimbabwe protect its wildlife. “China is very serious and committed when it comes to wildlife protection,” he said. “The Chinese people will make all efforts to assist Zimbabwe in the area of wildlife.”

Mr Lin said there were already some Chinese volunteers working with Zimbabwean authorities in Kariba on an anti-poaching exercise. He said the Chinese government and its people will continue to help develop the Zimbabwean economy in various ways. The Sino-Zim Wildlife Foundation founder Ms Li Song said wildlife in Zimbabwe was being threatened by international poachers.

“Sino-Zim Wildlife Foundation will coordinate efforts of China to mobilise support for conservation in Zimbabwe,” she said. “We are going to work hard to resolutely fight poaching and illegal transportation and sell of animal products.”  The foundation has so far received $200 000 from the Chinese community towards conservation of the environment, while $300 000 more is expected before the end of the year.