Connectivity Counts: Establishing a Conservation and Development Hub in Sebungwe

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Country – Zimbabwe

The Sebungwe region (~17,000 km2) in northern Zimbabwe is a vast, rugged landscape of great beauty which forms the eastern most “arm” of the KAZA TFCA. It describes an area south of Lake Kariba stretching over the four districts of Binga, Gokwe North, Nyaminyami and Kariba. The region encompasses a mix of different land uses, including two national parks (Chizarira & Matusadona), three safari areas (Charara, Chete & Chirisa), two Forestry Areas (Sijarira, Kavira), Bumi Hills State Land and nearly 50 CAMPFIRE Wards in communal land. The region provides a crucial geographic link between KAZA’s core wildlife population in the Okavango-Hwange ecosystem to the Zambezi Valley’s Lower Zambezi-Mana Pools TFCA.

A recent (2017-2019) rapid large carnivore survey organised by CCI revealed a diminishing opportunity for large carnivore connectivity in the region.  Carnivore densities are extremely low and human impact is high.  Encouragingly however there have been recent reports of both lions and cheetah moving through the landscape and we still have opportunity to secure this connectivity with and for the communities living in the area.

The main CCI project in this landscape – to establish a Sebungwe Conservation and Development Hub – was identified as a priority in the KAZA Carnivore Conservation Strategy. Its aim is to join regional conservation and development efforts into a collaboratively coordinated approach amongst stakeholders to ensure strategic and effective project implementation, thus significantly enhancing their collective benefit and impact. The Hub will oversee the development of holistic planning for the area, incorporating socio-economic and human livelihood development, sustainable natural resource management and conservation, while also acting as a fundraising vehicle for regional development initiatives.

The KAZA TFCA Landscape, with Sebungwe shown by the orange arrow

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