The Political Science Association of Zambia is proposing to implement the ‘Decentralisation and Effective Wildlife Conservation Project. The project is expected to be undertaken in 12 months. The project is urgently needed to address effectiveness and accountability issues in electoral policing in Zambia. The project is expected to address the impediments to effective wildlife governance conservation in Zambia through decentralisation. It analyses whether the shift of central government power to decentralised government units and the participation of local communities at village level result in more effective and more sustainable management of wildlife in particular in the Kafue National Park. The study uses Itezhi-Tezhi District as a case study. As the examination of the origins and meaning of community-based wildlife management and decentralisation and the analysis of international experiences show, both approaches have been adapted in a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The government of Zambia, with the support of a wide range of donors, is implementing an ambitious Local Government Reform Programme. The Kafue Game Management Area, administered by the Zambia Wildlife Authority, is promoting community-based conservation in villages. Concerning the implementation of the Local Government Reform Programme, the district faces some problems and difficulties. Lack of human capacity and insufficient financial resources constrain the decentralisation process. Up to about 50 villages bordering the game reserve have established their Wildlife Management Areas. Due to insufficient and overdue legislation, the communities in an around Itezhi-Tezhi cannot fully make use and benefit from their wildlife resource. If remained uncorrected in the near future, the sustainability of community-based conservation programmes is threatened

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to improved wildlife conservation through decentralisation. We hope to use this project to influence best international and regional policies and practices on effective wildlife governance and conservation methods electoral policing in Zambia. Ultimately, the project shall primarily benefit at least 10,000 people living in and around Kafue Game Management area including the local council through direct involvement in the research, radio coverage, and access to policy briefs.

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