Given the name Bangweulu, meaning “where the water meets the sky”, this community-owned protected wetland in north-eastern Zambia is one of the most extraordinary wetlands in all of Africa.
Bangweulu means “where the water meets the sky” and this community-owned protected wetland in north-eastern Zambia is one of the most extraordinary wetlands in all of Africa. Its unique floral and faunal diversity set the stage for a spectacular display of more than 433 different bird species, including the rare and prehistoric-looking shoebill.
Before partnering with African Parks, rampant poaching and unrestricted fishing had seriously depleted the rivers and decimated the black lechwe antelope population, among other large mammal species. Through effective law enforcement, co-governance and community-driven conservation including the management of sustainable harvesting, together we have helped restore the resources that now sustain both local communities and the natural ecosystem.
The local communities are able to experience the tangible benefits of sustainable management through increased tourism and employment opportunities, which enhance the value of their natural heritage.
Bangweulu is well-positioned for the reintroduction of large mammals. We are confident that they will once again prosper in this fertile habitat. We plan to expand the Shoebill Guard Programme, which employs local fisherman to monitor nests, and to provide beekeeping training to boost community income through the production of honey.
The Bangweulu Wetlands project is managed through a partnership between African Parks, the Department of National Parks & Wildlife (DNPW) and the six Community Resource Boards (CRBs) who have jurisdiction over the area in which the project is located. The Bangweulu Wetlands Management Board was established in 2008 after the communities, through their Chiefs, CRBs and advisors, invited African Parks to be their private sector management partner for the Bangweulu Wetlands Project.
The board comprises representatives of the six local communities, African Parks and the DNPW. This ensures that the stakeholders at the heart of the project, the people who live and work in the community, have a meaningful role to play in managing the area.View Partners
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