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U.S. Embassy and Frankfurt Zoological Society launch The North Luangwa Ecosystem Project

The Embassy of the United States of America to the Republic of Zambia and the German Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) launched the North Luangwa Ecosystem Project (NLEP) at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) headquarters in Mano on December 15, 2016.

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Ranger in North Luangwa National Park. Photo: Norbert Guthier/FZS
The NLEP is a component of the North Luangwa Conservation Programme (NLCP), the 30 year-long joint initiative of DNPW and FZS. U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz kicked off the project with German Ambassador to Zambia Achim Burkart, Ministry of Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary Stephen Mwansa, and Frankfurt Zoological Society Programme Manager Ed Sayer. Local chiefs, DNPW senior staff, and local community members who support and work with the project attended the launch ceremony.

The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), provided $1.8 million for the project, which a consortium of long-standing private donors, who support FZS, have matched equally. The NLEP aims to strengthen community natural resources management, improve resource protection, and enhance mutually beneficial public-private-community partnerships for sustainable conservation enterprise initiatives.

“With funding from USAID for the North Luangwa Ecosystem Project, we are able to greatly enhance NLCP’s reach to the community level”, says FZS Africa Regional Coordinator Dr. Karen Laurenson. “The future of the North Luangwa ecosystem is in the hands of the people who live here. They need greater ownership, assistance, and benefits to manage the natural resources of the ecosystem sustainably”. FZS has been partnering with the Zambian government since 1986 to protect the North Luangwa wilderness through the NLCP.

USAID support to FZS is part of the U.S. Government’s commitment to promoting biodiversity conservation and combating wildlife trafficking so that Zambia’s present and future generations can benefit from the country’s extraordinary wildlife. The U.S. Government is honored to partner with the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of Tourism to help grow this initiative for the benefit of wildlife, Zambians, and wildlife enthusiasts everywhere.