“Wildlife Conservation Initiative Unveiled”

…. The Ministry of Tourism Commences Wildlife Restocking Project at Lusaka National Park

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (11-04-2024) – The Ministry of Tourism has kicked off Phase I of the Wildlife Restocking initiative at Lusaka National Park, signaling a new chapter in conservation efforts.

Rodney Sikumba, Minister of Tourism, addressed journalists during the restocking exercise, highlighting the translocation of various wildlife species, including impalas, zebras, and axis deer, to the park. The release symbolizes a strong commitment to both conservation and tourism development.

Encompassing approximately 4,600 hectares, Lusaka National Park boasts secondary miombo woodland, vital for preserving biodiversity. Challenges such as dense vegetation are being tackled through habitat thinning, ensuring a conducive environment for wildlife.

Aligned with the 8th National Development Plan, the Ministry’s revitalization efforts aim to enhance tourism appeal and biodiversity conservation. Despite setbacks like the loss of a rhino due to natural causes, ongoing initiatives include establishing sustainable water points within the park and augmenting wildlife populations.

Last year witnessed a significant uptick in park visitors, reaching a record 13,000, attributed to initiatives like the Discovery Center and improved accessibility to wildlife experiences within urban areas. Notably, the reintroduction of white rhinos underscores advancements in technology and dedicated staff ensuring their welfare and security.

Sikumba reiterated efforts across Zambia’s parks to introduce species like zebras and elephants, aiming to boost wildlife populations. While Zambia boasts attractions like Victoria Falls, its diverse wildlife remains a major tourist draw, underscoring the importance of conservation.

Initiatives targeting students aim to promote park visits and instill hospitality values, fostering employment opportunities while safeguarding natural resources.

Dominique Chinda, Director of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) in Zambia, expressed gratitude for government support. Highlighting the DNPW’s role in managing wildlife across national parks, he emphasized its commitment to restocking efforts and wildlife conservation.

Through collaboration with stakeholders, the DNPW aims to safeguard Zambia’s natural heritage and promote sustainable tourism development.

Michael Gonzales, British High Commissioner to Zambia, emphasized the importance of preserving Zambia’s natural heritage during a recent event at Lusaka National Park.

Renowned for its rich biodiversity and stunning landscapes, the park serves as a testament to Zambia’s commitment to conservation. Gonzales participated in an event involving the release of animals to enhance wildlife and fauna, underscoring shared dedication to conservation efforts between Zambia and the United Kingdom.

With its unparalleled beauty, Lusaka National Park has the potential to become a significant tourism hotspot. Gonzales expressed ambitions to attract up to 25,000 visitors annually, highlighting the positive impact on the local economy and raising awareness about preserving Zambia’s natural heritage.

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