Germany Technical Cooperation GIZ says communities around game reserves and national parks will stop poaching if they are empowered economically.
GIZ junior tourism expert Sankhani Chimbalanga said this on Wednesday during a Balaka District Council Executive Committee Meeting.
In his presentation titled Improving Livelihoods around Liwonde National Park Project, he said they want to enhance responsible tourism where people have alternative sources of income to reduce dependency on the reserves.
Said Chimbalanga: “There was conflict between human and wildlife in that community dependent on the reserves for income and food which increased poaching, illegal cutting down of trees and encroachment.
“But we promote sustainable development and economic well-being of communities around the park through irrigation farming at Nanthomba and Mwasalale irrigation schemes.”
He also said they are promoting recycling of waste paper by women groups and revamping of Njobvu Village Lodge, a cultural tourism centre around Liwonde National Park.
“GIZ also runs Children in the Wilderness initiative which promotes protection of reserves and parks so that children grow up with the knowledge that caring for wildlife is everybody’s responsibility,” said Chimbalanga.
On his part, Mangochi Diocese Catholic Development Commission (Cadecom) coordinator Peter Nthenda said they are a partner in the public private partnership aimed at reducing pressure on the park.