FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2015
HUMANITARIAN OPERATIONS PROTECTING ELEPHANTS (H.O.P.E.) AND
ZAMBEZE DELTA SAFARIS SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING TO
CURB WILDLIFE POACHING IN MOZAMBIQUE
Washington, D.C. – Mark Haldane, CEO of Zambeze Delta Safaris, and Scott Throckmorton, CEO of Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants (H.O.P.E.), jointly announced that Zambeze Delta Safaris and H.O.P.E. signed a Memorandum Of Understanding to support and pursue anti-poaching efforts in the Zambezi River Delta of Mozambique.
Both organizations share the goal of conserving Africa’s wildlife by empowering communities to benefit from the sustainable use of their natural resources. H.O.P.E. provides a turnkey solution to poaching activity through professional training, advisory, assistance and procurement services to African anti-poaching units. Zambeze Delta Safaris is one of Southern Africa’s premier hunting outfitters. The company currently fields a 22 man anti-poaching unit, supported by a 4-man element from the Mozambican Army, and facilitates wildlife conservation, the building of schools and other humanitarian efforts over the 2.5 million acres of Mozambique’s Coutada 11.
The looming dry season is historically a time of increased poaching pressure in the Zambezi River Delta wildlife stronghold. To increase the capacity of the ZDS anti-poaching patrols in the area, H.O.P.E. is initially providing the unit with fresh uniforms donated by the Contra Costa County Sheriffs Department and Safari Club International Foundation. H.O.P.E. will also provide the unit with 2-way radios donated by Amerizon Wireless and night vision goggles.
H.O.P.E. is also raising funds to deploy veterans of the U.S. military to train the ZDS unit in tactical communications skills so that the radios provided can have the maximum impact on anti-poaching efforts.
Since 1992, Zambeze Delta Safaris has promoted wildlife conservation through sustainable use. In Coutada 11, their wildlife management program has succeeded in recovering big game herds decimated by years of civil war. Cape buffalo numbers have risen from a low of 1 200 to 21 000 today. The Sable population has increased from a known number of 44 in 1992 to just shy of 3,000 today. During the 2014 national elephant census the area managed by ZDS was the only one in Mozambique to see a net increase in elephant numbers.
“Coutada 11 is the stronghold for big game in Mozambique and Zambeze Delta Safaris are the winning team whose sustainable use based approach is a seed to be sown elsewhere,” said Scott Throckmorton, CEO of H.O.P.E.. “We are looking forward to helping the ZDS anti-poaching team increase their capabilities and capacities so that the Zambeze River Delta does not see the kind of widespread poaching that has plagued other areas in Africa.”
The value of sustainable hunting to wildlife conservation and anti-poaching efforts in Mozambique was recently recognized by the World Bank, who awarded the nation $700,000 to expand its sustainable use programs.
“The game in Coutada 11 and the greater Zambeze Delta of Mozambique has seen an incredible come back – a comeback not seen anywhere else in un-fenced Africa today. This is largely due to good management practices, sustainable utilization and an excellent anti poaching unit. To date, these efforts have been financed by hunters’ dollars and hunters’ dollars alone. ”
With the dry season coming quickly, and increased poaching activity with it, H.O.P.E.’s work to strengthen the anti-poaching work of Zambeze Delta Safaris to conserve elephants and other wildlife in Mozambique is desperately needed.