International Crane Foundation

 

The Ways Forward: our Mission and Goals for Zambezi Delta Management

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The Ways Forward: our Mission and Goals for Zambezi Delta management
Our mission is to help produce a comprehensive, visionary, and realizable management plan for the conservation and sustainable use of the Zambezi Delta Ramsar Site, involving all stakeholders – local community, government agency and administrator, private sector, and NGO – in the management planning process in a way that is meaningful to them and that allows them to use their particular skills and knowledge most effectively.

We seek consensus on the ecological, economic, and socio-cultural implications of different flow scenarios for the lower Zambezi River, with practicable recommendations for implementation of Environmental Flow Requirements to restore the Zambezi Delta, based on expert scientific opinion in corroboration with local communities, stakeholders, and decision-makers.

We seek scientifically-sound quotas established to ensure sustainable levels of wildlife hunting and resource harvest from the Zambezi Delta and repopulation of species that have been severely reduced.

We seek clearly defined water quality thresholds and effluent limits for sugar production facilities, and clearly mapped boundaries for expansion of sugar production fields.

We seek concrete plans for the restoration of the Salone depression to improve the hydrological connection between the Zambezi River and Delta.

We seek significantly increased awareness and acceptance of the ecological functions and values of the Zambezi Delta and need for sustainable management of local resources among community members living and working in the Zambezi Delta.

Finally, we seek meaningful involvement of community members and stakeholders throughout the management planning process via participation in public workshops and forums, opportunities for review and comment on the draft management plan, and opportunities for feedback after implementation of the adopted plan, to be achieved by:

  1. Gaining legitimacy and trust for the planning process from appropriate institutions by working through existing institutions and at all levels (from traditional authorities to national government) and providing regular feedback on project activities.
  2. Disseminating background information early in the planning process to promote a shared understanding of the functions and values of the Marromeu Complex, the present and future pressures likely to be placed on the system, and the opportunities for conservation and sustainable development of the site.
  3. Understanding community perspectives on resources issues that affect their lives, and assist other stakeholders and decision-makers to understand perspectives and livelihood needs of local communities.
  4. Ensuring equitable community involvement in key decision making forums at all levels and ensure equitable inclusion in decision-making.
  5. Building community capacity to interact and to speak on behalf of their interests and engage with other stakeholders by expanding their knowledge, helping them to understand the views and perspectives of others, and exposing them to best practices elsewhere.
  6. Developing shared agendas and objectives for management by bringing together government, community, private sector, and NGO stakeholders in a consensus-building process
  7. Using a cross-sectoral multi-disciplinary approach to collect, integrate, and analyze information on which planning and strategies can be based.
  8. Ensuring that information generated is accessible to everyone, in easy-to-use formats and styles.
  9. Promoting and maintaining communication and dialogue across the system, both vertically (e.g., villager to traditional authority to regional/district authority to national government) and horizontally (e.g., communities to communities, government agencies to government agencies).
  10. Providing appropriate forums and mechanisms for conflict resolution.

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