We are thrilled to share with you that on Monday 02 November, 50 BCP funded community scouts – 16 of whom are female, successfully graduated from an intense 3 month training course through DNPW (Department of National Parks and Wildlife) from Chunga Training Camp in Kafue National Park.
The Pass-out Parade was attended by distinguished guests – Acting Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Arts William Katonga, DNPW Director Dr. Chuma Simukonda, and Mumbwa District Commissioner, Pamela Chipongwe.
“Government is not only ensuring that wildlife is safe, but also injects capital into rural communities by creating employment and opportunities of ownership at a local level. Despite these efforts to empower and motivate local communities the illegal exploitation of wildlife and habitat destruction have continued to seriously threaten our collective effort to grow the sector”
William Katonga, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Arts.
“The biggest challenge that we have is manpower for resource protection, so any form of training regarding resource protection personnel is very much welcome. We really appreciate what BCP has done because that is a way of addressing the biggest challenge that we have about manpower. This training came at the right time”.
Jarton Shawa, Senior Warden, Kafue NP, DNPW.
Of the graduating scouts, 34 will be employed by CRBs (Community Resource Boards) in Eastern Province, and 16 in Lusaka Province. BCP will support the CRBs to cover the costs of Community Scouts. Community scout operations in REDD+ Zones are paramount to safeguarding the wildlife habitat that BCP strives to protect in partnership with communities and Government.
“BCP values our partnership with the Government of Zambia, and are grateful to DNPW, most especially Senior Wildlife Warden, Jarton Shawa’s Kafue training unit. The unit did an amazing job of moulding the Scouts. This training partnership increases the number of community scouts protecting Zambia’s wildlife and habitat for the future of our great nation through REDD+ financing. We look forward to supporting further training to qualify these scouts as Honorary Forest Officers”.
Tim Parker, LCFP Project Manager
The addition of new scouts would not be possible without the valuable funding that BCP received from The Darwin Initiative, National Geographic, and The Lion Recovery Fund. BCP now funds 105 community scouts in partnership with 13 Chiefdoms, which means BCP has almost doubled its efforts to support communities tackle poaching and encroachment in Community Forests. Community scouts now represent over 50% of the people on BCP’s payroll of 205 people. Community members from our Chiefdom partners make up 65% of these jobs. We are proud to be supporting local communities to provide skilled employment and safeguard habitat in this way.
“This is one important way of conserving wildlife, because if we look after our forests we can reduce the impacts of climate change. I am very happy to be working at the forefront of habitat protection in Zambia”.
Joyce Kamunga, BCP supported community scout, Petauke, Eastern Province