Zimbabwe occupies 390,757 km² of land in south central Africa, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The land-locked country is bounded by Mozambique to the east, Zambia to the north and north west, South Africa to the south, and to the south west by Botswana. It lies wholly within the tropics and is part of the great plateau which traverses Africa.

The climate of Zimbabwe is temperate. The winter season from May to August is cool and dry, with temperatures between 13 to 20 degrees Celsius. Summer, which is from December to February temperatures vary between 25 and 30 °C and the rainy season normally stretches from November to March. Parts of the country suffer regular periods of drought.The average monthly rainfall is 196mm in summer and 10mm in winter.

Zimbabwe has a population of 12,754,000 (latest census). The official and business language is English, with Shona and Ndebele also widely spoken. Harare is the capital city of Zimbabwe, a vital commercial and industrial business Centre; other centres include Bulawayo and Mutare. Formerly Southern Rhodesia, Zimbabwe attained independence from Britain in 1980. Elections are held every 5 years and the President is the Head of State.

Zimbabwe's economy is dependent on agricultural products including tobacco, cotton and sugar cane. Major export commodities are tobacco and horticulture. Smaller crops like sugar, tea, coffee, cotton, seeds, maize, small grains and oilseeds are also exported. The sector is an important contributor to the country’s export activities, with markets in America, Europe, Africa and the Far East. Mining contributes 4.3 % to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employs 7 % of the country’s labour force and earns 40 % of the foreign exchange. Zimbabwe is richly endowed with mineral resources, over 40 different types of minerals are mined in the country, including the major minerals gold, chrome, asbestos, coal, iron ore, nickel, copper, diamonds and platinum. Other contributors to the economy are industry and cattle farming. The principal manufactured exports include ferro-alloys, clothing, metal products, chemicals, plastics and cotton-lint. Livestock agriculture (cattle) is one of the country’s foremost economic activities. At present Zimbabwe is facing severe socio-economic difficulties including hyper-inflation, negative real interest rates, and a chronic shortage of foreign exchange.

Tourism contributes about 5 % of GDP and directly and indirectly employs over 83,000 people. Zimbabwe has one of the more diversified tourism resource bases in the SADC region. However, despite all its tourist attractions, very limited development has occurred since 1996 owing to inadequate support and few promotional activities for the sector. Wildlife and ecotourism are the mainstays of the sector but, in addition, the majestic Victoria Falls, the Great Zimbabwe National Monument, home tothe ancient rulers of Zimbabwe, the Matopos National Park, Lake Kariba, Mana Pools, and the scenic Eastern Highlands are some of the most favoured tourist sites.

Development of a Joint Training Strategy

The JMB has embarked on a process to develop a GLTFCA Joint Training Strategy underpinned by Training Needs Assessment.  This need was identified by that fact that currently there is no structured way for implementing agencies, project partners and donors to implement, participate in and support joint training initiatives within the GLTFCA. The South African Wildlife College (SAWC) was appointed by PPF on behalf of the JMB to assist with the development of the Strategy.

Learning and Knowledge Exchange Programme

The JMB has embarked on a process to support the development of a GLTFCA Learning and Exchange Programme. In order to support this GLTFCA initiative, the JMB submitted a proposal to the GIZ funded SADC TFCA Learning Partnership Micro Fund in March 2017 and the proposal was accepted. The inaugural learning and exchange visit took place from 5 to 9 August 2019 in Gonarezhou National Park.  Approximately 5 delegates from each one of the GLTFCA Partner Countries participated in this event.

Integrated Water Resource and Freshwater Management Strategy

The JMB has initiated a process to develop a Transboundary Freshwater Resource Management Strategy for the GLTFCA. The rationale is therefore to build on present momentum of recent river management successes through Integrated Water Resource Management and expand the systemic approach of aquatic ecosystem conservation to the entire scale of the GLTFCA. Immediate benefits of this approach are the delivery of resilient transboundary outcomes.

Combating Natural Resource Trafficking in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (Phase 1)

Creation of a standardised CITES Customs enforcment Standard Operating Procedure for customs agencies and frontline law enforcement operating within the KAZA TFCA. 
Training of customs officials and other frontline officials on the SOPs  and establishment of CITES knowledge resources within the agencies.

Isivivane Anti-Poaching Toolbox

The project will focus on collecting this knowledge from the network of partners involved with joint law enforcement within the GLTP. Using this, it will develop a secure, centralized online anti-poaching toolbox to house and disseminate it.

Large Carnivore Conservation and Community Engagement

The African Wildlife Conservation Fund (AWCF) is a small hands-on organisation directly involved with wildlife conservation in Africa. Our current focus is on the conservation of large carnivores in the Zimbabwean part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. Our species of focus is the endangered African Wild Dog.

GLTFCA Joint Security initiative

The project aims to disrupt transnational crime within the GLTP through the standardisation of Joint law enforcement by developing complementary law enforcement plans, facilitating joint law enforcement engagement between law enforcement agencies and boost key capability gaps.

Implementation of Integrated Livelihoods Diversification Strategy

The JMB has developed an Integrated Livelihoods Diversification Strategy with the support of the then USAID funded RESILIM (Resilience in the Limpopo River Basin Program) Programme and PPF. The main outputs of the Strategy development process included the following: 

Packaging of Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area tourism offerings

The Great Limpopo TFCA requires marketing and investment promotion interventions that go beyond conventional marketing, towards market development which focuses on both supply and demand sides, and that adds value to the tourism experience in a manner that expands the benefits of tourism to more than one country. This approach is intended to complement individual Partner Country efforts, while diversifying SADC’s tourism offerings through capitalising on the region’s natural and cultural heritage assets and contributing to socio-economic growth.