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Formation of Gonarezhou Conservation Trust

The Gonarezhou Conservation Project achieved a significant milestone on 30 June 2016: Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority signed an agreement for the formation of the Gonarezhou Trust.

GOnarezhou Trust by German Embassy.jpeg
Mr Ulrich Wilhelm Klöckner (German Ambassador to Zimbabwe), Karen Laurenson (Acting Africa Director, FZS); Honourable Minister Oprah Michinguri; and Mr. Wilson Mutinhima (Acting Director ZPWMA) © German Embassy Harare
Harare/Zimbabwe. On Thursday, 30th June, the Gonarezhou Conservation Project achieved a significant milestone. On that day an agreement was signed between Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, representing the Ministry of Environment, Water and Tourism, for the formation of the Gonarezhou Trust. 
 
The Trust is an exciting and innovative new partnership management model for the Gonarezhou, with the aim of achieving the long-term sustainable and effective management of the Park against rising threats, establishing concrete partnerships with communities leading to shared responsibilities and benefits, and seeing the Gonarezhou take its rightful place as one of the region’s premier wildlife and wilderness destinations.
 
This means that the Park will be administered by a Board of Trustees, with equal representation from FZS and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.  Implementation of the Park plan will be the responsibility of a Management Committee, who will report directly to the Board.  
 
As FZS’s Acting Africa Director, Dr Karen Laurenson said at the signing ceremony:  "FZS is very proud to be part of this initiative, as well as being aware of the privilege afforded to it to take part in the protection and development of one of Zimbabwe’s key natural heritage sites.  This is a responsibility we do not take lightly, and we would like to thank the Ministry for affording us this opportunity.  We look forward to a long and productive partnership with ZPWMA, and we foresee that this new management agreement could well become a model for other conservation partnerships - especially in the light of a future where threats against biodiversity and preservation of natural ecosystems are only set to increase."