Friday, November 30, 2007

Unwitting support for dodgy Lion Project in Zambia...

The Editor
The Independent Newspaper

Dear Sir,
Richard Grant’s article of 29 November on the Zimbabwe Walking with Lions Project – will seriously mislead your readers into thinking that it is a conservation project and that it will help save the African lion from extinction. This project has now expanded into Zambia – despite not yet having the permission of the Environmental Council of Zambia to operate in the Mosi oa Tunya National Park and the adjoining Dambwa Forest Reserve, both part of the Victoria Falls World Heritage Site, and recently the front for a major battle between developers, their corrupt lackeys and a small group of people who are determined to protect the integrity of the area.

As the Chairman of the African Lion Working Group said, “The conservation value of the project is very small, and then only because this sort of contact with lions does help people to become supportive of their conservation in the wild, but at best this will be a very small contribution to conservation.” He is being excessively diplomatic. Your readers should take note of for full details of this project – a money making scam and nothing else.
Sadly, once again, the Zambian Government has followed the money and not the principle: the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) having already issued the import permits for 19 lion from Zimbabwe, and the Department of Forestry – already the subject of an investigation for their illegal alienation of at least one National Forest have issued the lion walkers a lease. And the Environmental Council is only now considering the EIA.


I.P.A. Manning