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.

Lowveld Biosphere Reserve feasibility study

Specific activities include:

1) Consultations with main stakeholders and officials in the Lowveld regarding the process of developing the concept of a Lowveld Biosphere Reserve (BR).

2) Initial meeting / workshop to reconvene the LOCAL Forum to build on previous initiatives and inform members of the potential for a BR.

3) Assessing potential benefits of BR.

4) Mapping proposed potential BR area and land use/land cover (from satellite imagery).

Combating Wildlife Crime in Namibia and Kavango Zambezi Area Project (CWCP)

The Combatting Wildlife Crime in Namibia and Kavango Zambezi Area Project, hereafter referred to as the CWCP (Combatting Wildlife Crime Project), seeks to counter growing threats from transnational wildlife crime to globally important populations of rhino and elephant found in northwest Namibia and project sites in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA). CWCP is a multi-country, multi-partner initiative being implemented by a Consortium of 11 organizations, with WWF in Namibia providing the lead management and coordination role.

Rapid Action Grant 2020B-042 to International Fund for Animal Welfare Inc

Provide equipment, protective gear and rations to all trained rangers;
Train rangers on SMART CyberTracker software handheld devices and camera traps;
Compile data from SMART CyberTracker software devices into monthly reports to assess patrol efficiency and track species;
Train suitable candidates in the Fence Attendant Program, which will provide locals with employment and engage them in the maintenance of the fence;
Conduct routine veterinary health checks on livestock, and provide treatment when appropriate.

Partnership for improved anti-poaching and compatible land use in community lands of the Lower Zambezi–Mana Pools Transboundary Conservation Area

The Overall Objective of the project is to reduce illegal wildlife trade and habitat conversion in the Lower Zambezi Mana Pools TFCA by establishing models for strengthened community engagement in sustainable natural resource management (NRM), anti-poaching efforts and integrated land use that ensures conservation and compatible land uses.

Co Management

Africa's Coexistence Landscapes

The project has developed a stakeholder knowledge-driven, quantitative model of the dynamics of various sectors - agriculture, forestry, local communities, tourism, water and wildlife - in the landscape. A user-friendly interface is being developed to allow stakeholders and decision makers to interact with the model, interrogate it and test different policies.

AHEAD Program (multifaceted technical assistance on challenges at the livestock / wildlife interface)

Our work is focused on promoting sectorally integrative land-use policy and practice in KAZA. Across much of KAZA, the conservation of wildlife is often in conflict with livestock production; infectious agents that can be carried by wild animals, particularly foot and mouth disease viruses, have made it difficult or impossible for beef farmers to enter the world market, due to restrictions based on the livestock’s proximity to wildlife. However, the current solution—vast fencing to separate livestock and wildlife—interrupts wild animal migration pathways and endangers population survival.

USAID Funded Combating Wildlife Crime Program

Community Development, Anti-Poaching, Improved Prosecution, Improved Communication and Cooperation, Understanding the dynamics of poaching.