WCP Zambia’s Collaborative Conservation Approach to Nature Protection

By Mirriam Nasilele

In the realm of nature conservation, the Wildlife Crime Prevention (WCP) Zambia celebrates its success; highlighting the pivotal role collaboration plays in addressing complex issues like illegal wildlife trade and promoting nature conservation efforts.

WCP has embraced a collaborative ethos, engaging with diverse stakeholders ranging from government bodies and private organizations to NGOs, media outlets, and creative agencies. The synergy created through these partnerships underscores the importance of a collective approach in combating nature crime.

At the forefront of WCP’s strategy is a series of impactful behaviour change campaigns: the “This Is Not A Game” initiative, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism under the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, a popular Zambian telenovela, Mpali, and social media influencers, like Dr Mujajati Aaron, has successfully reached millions, emphasising the dangers of illegal bushmeat consumption. The campaign has also utilised radio shows, social media movements, and Print media. All these efforts have effectively disseminated information to influence positive behavioural changes.

WCP’s commitment to creating opportunities for collaboration is also evident in its association with the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) through hosting the annual Conservation Careers Fair. These fairs not only connect students with potential employers but also provide insights from leading conservationists and their efforts to protect natural resources. So far, six successful events have been held. Last year more partners came on board and provided sponsorship support: HLB Zambia, an auditing company and First Quantum Minerals Limited. While, with continued interactions online, over 123,758 people have been reached on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and More than 300 jobs in conservation have been shared on the conservation careers website and social platforms.

In response to the ever-increasing threat that wildlife crime poses to our environment, economy, and wildlife population in Zambia, WCP, DNPW and Zambia Airport Corporation Limited collaborated and conducted five trainings in Zambia’s four airports, and 240 staff benefited from the training. The training also aided 21 trainers to enable them to conduct similar training in the future. These trainings were conducted to equip airport staff and other personnel who work in the airport on the illegal wildlife trade, how airports are used to traffic wildlife products, and how to identify illegal wildlife products and potential smugglers.

Further to addressing this problem, WCP implemented a reporting mechanism awareness campaign at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) and placed a total of 130 posters in all four airports: Mfuwe (54), KKIA (31), Ndola (30), and Livingstone (15). The posters were placed in frequently accessed areas such as arrivals, departures, and toilets.

Further, to make the campaign more interactive, WCP partnered with a Zambian creative agency, Giraffe Creatives, and designed the “Worth More Alive” campaign which was officially launched on 17 August 2022. The catchphrase emphasizes the need to leave wildlife in the wild where it belongs while highlighting its significant value to our country. This initiative placed at KKIA’s newly built airport, includes the installation of three life-sized wildlife sculptures. Positioned strategically, an elephant graces the drop-off area, a leopard stands proudly at the document verification desk, and a rhino captivates the arrival area. This placement aimed to catch the attention of travelers, urging them to support wildlife conservation in Zambia by reporting and refraining from participating in the illegal trade of wildlife and its products.

Recognizing the media’s influential role, WCP has engaged 10 Zambian journalists in an Environmental Crime Journalism Fellowship. This proactive approach strengthens the collaboration between WCP, conservation organisations and the media, ensuring effective communication of conservation messages to the wider public. This fellowship is in the form of dialogues, master classes and field visits to communities to contribute to a nuanced understanding of environmental issues and their impact on local communities. This community-centric approach adds depth to WCP’s conservation strategy.

WCP’s commitment to wildlife extends to the establishment of a pangolin rehabilitation centre. In collaboration with the University of Zambia, this programme ensures thorough inspection and care for pangolins, addressing not just the consequences of illegal wildlife trade but also the rehabilitation and release of these animals back into their natural habitat.

WCP’s collaboration with government agencies is exemplified by its partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), which showcases the importance of working hand-in-hand with official bodies to effectively combat wildlife crime. Acknowledging the support from government agencies adds credibility to WCP’s endeavours.

The collaborative success achieved by WCP Zambia underscores the crucial role played by donors, partners, and collaborators. Their support has been instrumental in driving conservation efforts and achieving meaningful, sustainable results.

WCP Zambia’s journey so far exemplifies that effective wildlife conservation is not a solitary effort but a collaborative and comprehensive approach. By engaging with various stakeholders, the organization has not only raised awareness but also implemented proactive measures, demonstrating that the preservation of wildlife requires the collective efforts of many players.Top of Form


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