THE Zambezi Elephant Fund Walk for Wildlife trans-Zambezi Expedition 2023 was expected to bring a new lease of life to the Zambezi Valley landscape, Zambezi Elephant Fund (ZEF) has said.
The expedition ran from June 6 to July 6 this year.
The expedition brought together conservation stakeholders and enthusiasts in a collaborative exercise to help address the challenges facing the Zambezi Valley landscape.
The expedition comprised a walking route of more than 330km through an area of 6,3 million acres of diverse habitat and is divided into eight different stages with six different teams.
One of Britain’s richest businessmen Richard Branson participated in this year’s expedition.
ZEF executive director, James Egremont-Lee told NewsDay that the walk was set to increase communication and collaboration between stakeholders.
“It brings fresh attention to the needs of the Zambezi landscape by inviting some key international participants to join us,” said Egremont-Lee.
“We hope the wider benefits of the expedition will improve efficiency of conservation programming, with renewed attention on shared environmental, local community and economic goals.
“The expedition passed through many of the major concessions and national parks of the mid and lower Zambezi region. As a result, the ZEF team was able to discuss the state of conservation in the landscape with a number of key actors, sharing successes and challenges with those interested in assisting Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority with the long-term preservation of the area.”
Stakeholders were able to begin defining shared objectives, which they hope will inform their collective strategic developments and investments in the valley.
“Being the first of its kind, we were able to learn lessons on how to improve the event, should it become an annual feature of the Zambezi calendar in future,” he said. — NewsDay