The US government, through its international development agency USAID, has committed 6 million US Dollars to support a programme aimed to expand the concept of Wildlife Management Areas for communities living next to national parks and game reserves across the country. The move is hoped to provide opportunities for such communities to get into the tourism game and while not fully fledged conservancies will encourage increased tree planting, conservation and protection measures so that tourists can be attracted to visit.
At the project launch it was pointed out that over 30 such wildlife management areas are already in existence while 19 are legally recognized already.
Conservation groups hailed the move as it will create important buffer zones between the national parks and the more populated and farmed areas nearby and create ownership amongst the people living there by being able to tap into the income derived from tourism.
Compiled by Jackie