African Parks, a not-for-profit conservation organisation, has been awarded K2.6 million ($3 552) by the Dutch Postcode Lottery as one of their ‘Extra Awards’ for the restoration of Liwonde National Park and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi.
The funding will be used for the rehabilitation and long-term protection of Liwonde National Park and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, totalling 225 000 hectares in size.
The Dutch Postcode Lottery announced the allocation of the funding at the annual Goad Geld gala held in Amsterdam last week.
Cynthia Walley, African Parks communications manager, said the grant is crucial to one of the most important conservation initiatives occurring on the continent in 2016, including the translocation of approximately 500 elephants from Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park into a sanctuary in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
“Previously home to a thriving elephant population of over 1 000 elephants, rampant poaching has taken its toll on Nkhotakota leaving it devoid of wildlife. Now under the protection and management of African Parks, it is possible to restock the reserve from the two parks that have a surplus of elephants.
“The undertaking is believed to be the largest ever elephant translocation in Africa. In addition, funds from the K2.6 million grant will be allocated to advancing the economic development of communities living outside Liwonde and Nkhotakota through the creation of employment, educational and social services, and tourism opportunities.
“We thank the Dutch Postcode Lottery and their players for this extraordinary and generous contribution to our critical conservation efforts in restoring these two parks and enabling this elephant translocation to happen,” said Walley.
She said the funding will also assist with the reduction in human-wildlife conflict which has proven to be at unprecedented levels compared to other parks in Africa, and will enable African Parks to make a real, positive and lasting difference to the region on many levels.
African Parks has been an annual beneficiary of the Dutch Postcode Lottery since 2010, and this additional funding brings to K8 million the total amount awarded by the Lottery to African Parks to date.
African Parks is a non-profit organization that takes on total responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities.
African Parks manages 10 national parks in seven countries of Rwanda, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic (CAR), Malawi and Zambia.