To assist in the protection of natural habitats and the flora and fauna they support
Training of Anti-Poaching Units
In mid-2014 ALERT formed a partnership with Chengeta Wildlife to assist them in establishing a wildlife protection programme. This assistance took the form of; helping to publish “A Field Manual for Anti-Poaching Activities”, establishing the governance and operational systems necessary to undertake training of anti-poaching units in Africa, facilitating fundraising, and making contacts with national wildlife authorities to who anti-poaching training could be offered.
Following discussions in June 2015 between ALERT and Chengeta Wildlife, both parties have agreed that Chengeta Wildlife’s anti-poaching training program is sufficiently established that ALERT can now withdraw. Much has been achieved already with training being undertaken in Guinea, Zimbabwe and Malawi, and the number of arrests in areas where training has taken place increasing significantly from pre-training levels. ALERT will be available to assist in the future if needed, and wishes Chengeta Wildlife every success as their training program continues to make a difference in protecting Africa’s natural resources.
2014: During 2014, anti-poaching units have been trained in Guinea, Malawi and Zimbabwe. This year we trained over 120 men, from Director Generals to national trainers to anti-poaching team leaders and of course, to rangers in the front line. Altogether, including the men trained by those trainers, close to 700 anti-poaching rangers have been trained.
In July, the first training course was undertaken in the Gache-Gache area of Zimbabwe; which included 21 rangers from three different anti-poaching organisations, plus members of the Zimbabwean Republican Police and local council. In August / September, we undertook a training programme for senior anti-poaching staff in each of Malawi’s national parks on behalf of the Department of National Parks & Wildlife (DNPW). The Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, Kondwani Nankhumwa, presided over the passing out parade.
In November / December, we moved to Guinea where we assisted with a 2-year pilot initiative to implement a wildlife protection programme in the country - funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in partnership with the Republic of Guinea’s Ministry of the Environment, Water and Forests.
The aim was to support the Ministry in the creation and application of a new corps of rangers in three of Guinea’s protected areas: Upper Niger National Park, Ziama Massif Biosphere Reserve, and Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve. The project was also conceived with the aim of reintegrating ex-combatants, and in providing support to the regular army in the context of regional insecurity. UNOPS are rehabilitating the operational bases of these three sites, and selecting and equipping 38 officers and 290 rangers. If successful, activities may be extended to a total of 4000 rangers across Guinea’s protected area network. This will be the first time anti-poaching operations have been undertaken in the country since 1966.
2015: Training continued in Malawi starting with a focussed session including DNPW Directors in January, followed by 28-day training courses held in Liwonde National Park in February, followed by Nkhotakota National Park in April. In both locations significant increases in poacher arrest rates were achieved. An intensive training course was also undertaken for Wildlife Action Group (Malawi) to support their work in Thuma and Dedza-Salima Forest Reserves.
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia
ALERT, through our partner Lion Encounter, conducts regular anti-poaching patrols with, and under the supervision of, Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) staff. The aim is to remove snares set by poachers that are then handed over to ZAWA to be destroyed.
2010: 352 snares removed
2011: 719 snares removed
2012: 483 snares removed
2013: 106 snares removed
Zambezi National Park, Zimbabwe
Funding derived from tourists visiting the the African Lion Rehabilitation & Release into the Wild Program at Lion Encounter Zimbabwe is provided to support the work of the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit within the Zambezi National Park. Established in 1999 VFAPU's work entails the removal of snares and landmines and the apprehension of poachers. In addition, educational programs in schools and youth groups are undertaken whilst employment is sourced for poachers to provide economic reasons for them to cease their destructive practices. ALERT operates a sponsor an anti-poaching scout program to raise additional funding for this work.
2010: USD 5,638 donated to VFAPU
2011: USD 11,691 donated to VFAPU
2012: USD 11,283 donated to VFAPU
2013: USD 11,814 donated to VFAPU
Bumi Hills Wildlife Area, Zimbabwe
Founded in July 2009, Bumi Hills Anti-Poaching Unit works tirelessly to prevent all forms of poaching against flora and fauna found in and around the Bumi Hills Wildlife Area in the north of Zimbabwe. Their work aims to remove snares to prevent the death and injury they cause, as well as working with communities to stop poaching in the area. ALERT also supports the efforts of the in northern Zimbabwe.
Starting at the end of 2013, ALERT has added a sponsor an anti-poaching scout program to raise funding for this work. £37.63 was raised in 2013, an amount we intend to increase significantly during 2014.
Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
Funding has been provided to The Tashinga Initiative, a wildlife protection project in the Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe. Operating in full collaboration with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA), TTI seeks to address the problem of unsustainable resource use, illegal activity and to enhance operational capacity within ZPWMA.
2009: Following a direct plea from Dr. Norman Monks, the then Area Manager of Mana Pools National Park, ALERT donated funds, along with other organizations, towards The Tashinga Initiative’s Ranger Training Course at Mana Pools. The Park’s Rangers undertook an intensive program in order to better equip them with a practical knowledge on the subject of anti-poaching, how best to deal with armed poachers – a predominant problem in this region, to build team confidence and spirits and training to ensure the safety of each Ranger. The Rangers themselves commented on the training given… ”The course was … life inspiring to me as it gave me an incredible experience. The tracking and ambushing tactics are fundamental.” The Trainers remarked…” [The Rangers] responded very well to this training and have expressed the desire to learn more…each individual has stated that they benefitted much and that it has equipped them with knowledge they never had…”