The Zambezi Society has been commissioned by Zimbabwe’s National Commission for UNESCO to compile a report documenting and evaluating the performance of the Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve in its first 10 years. A team (pictured below) of ecologists and social scientists from the University of Chinhoyi, the Women’s University of Africa and the University of Zimbabwe are working together with the Zambezi Society to undertake this task.

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The Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, was designated by UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme in 2010. Biosphere Reserves are unique in that they not only encompass protected conservation areas, but also settled areas where there is limited economic activity, mainly focused on the sustainable use of natural resources.

Zimbabwe’s Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve covers three provinces (Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West and Midlands) and seven districts (Makonde, Nyaminyami, Hurungwe, Guruve, Gokwe North, Kariba and Mbire). It has two Core Areas - the fully-protected Matusadona National Park and Mana Pools National Park, surrounded by a Buffer Zone (largely Safari Areas (hunting) and former Safari Areas (the Sapi and Rifa non-hunting reserves), three urban settlements (Kariba, Chirundu and Makuti) and a Transition Zone of settled lands (many of which are community wildlife areas under the CAMPFIRE scheme) (see map below).

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The Zambezi Society’s reporting team is carrying out fieldwork to canvas major stakeholders from different sectors of the Biosphere Reserve to try to assess the changes that have occurred within the area in the past 10 years. The results of this work will be compiled together with desk reviews , additional detailed information and GIS mapping to form the basis for our report.

It is essential that the job is well done, to ensure that Zimbabwe maintains this prestigious Biosphere Reserve designation for the Zambezi Valley areas.

We thank the German Commission for UNESCO (DUK-Zimbabwe) which has made funding available to cover some of the expenses of this reporting exercise.

However, the costs are by no means covered. Please consider making a donation to the Society to help us undertake this very important task. CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW.

Zambezi Society