STIFF PENALTIES FOR RHINO HORN AND IVORY
Any person who is convicted for unlawful killing of a rhinoceros or elephant is expected to be sentenced to nine years for a first offender or eleven years for a second or subsequent offender. This is according to an amendment of section 128 of the Parks and Wildlife Act Chapter 20:14 which is contained in No. 5 of the General Law Amendment Act of 2011. The new law will also affect criminals who kill any other specially protected animals gazetted by the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Public Relations Manger Caroline Washaya-Moyo says the law is expected to act as a deterrent to the illegal killing of rhinos and elephants where criminals where receiving light sentences and immediately going back to their wayward activities.
Washaya-Moyo added that Zimbabweans are known to target rhinos and elephants for the consumption of Far East Countries which are fronted by wealth international criminal syndicates.
According to a report produced at the 16th CITES Cop held in Bangkok, Thailand, Benjanse Van Rensburge, Chief of CITES Enforcement, said reliable techniques on wildlife trade tracking and forensic methods were needed to combat organised wildlife crimes, together with stronger punishments.
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is currently facing inadequate financial resourcing which is hampering efforts at wildlife law enforcement.
Washaya-Moyo revealed that recently, Washington Kangarade, Buffalo Masvisva, Romeo Zingundu and Sam Banda were handed nine year jail terms by different Magistrates at different courts in Zimbabwe, for the possession of elephant ivory and hunting specially protected animals.
Press Release for Zimbabwe National Parks
Mana Pools: Zimbabwe's First Carry In, Carry Out Park
Harare, 23 March 2012
Zimbabwe National Parks is proud to announce that beginning 29 February 2012, Mana Pools will officially become a Carry In, Carry Out Park. This means that park guests are kindly requested to take their waste (bottles, cans, stryrofoam and any other non-combustibles) out of the park with them when they leave. Biodegradable items may remain behind. Park guests will receive a complimentary refuse bag when they check in at Nyamepi and will be expected to show this bag to park rangers upon exiting the park. Adopting this policy Zimbabwe is leading the way for the whole African continent in modeling progressive park environmental strategies.
Carry In Carry Out has its roots in the Leave No Trace environmental movement centering around low-impact, sustainable practices that began in the United States in the late 1960s. Many national parks around the world have adopted this ethos- from the Grand Canyon in the United States to Aconcagua in Argentina to Machu Picchu in Peru- but Zimbabwe is one of the first parks on the African continent to implement this policy.
By becoming a Carry In, Carry Out Park, Mana will be able to maintain the pristine beauty that draws visitors to this World Heritage site from around the world.Â This initiative is part of Zimbabwe National Park's mission to improve the sustainability of its parks and to enhance their attractiveness to all parties. Park rangers will be better able to focus on park maintenance and education programmes by not having as much rubbish to collect; additionally, less fuel will be needed to keep the incinerator running, thereby reducing our carbon footprint. We are grateful to Environment Africa for partnering with us in this initiative by launching the Mana Pools Green Fund.
We invite the public to join us in celebrating this step forward in the protection of our parks. If you have any questions or would like more information about the program, please contact Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority on 04-707624-9
Carry In, Carry Out: The less we leave, the more we have.
NO LIONS ESCAPED FROM THE PARK¦
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority says one week investigations that one week investigations that were carried out from the 20 February 2012 to the 25 February 2012 have revealed that no lions escaped from Lion and Cheetah Park. The visit to the Parks by the Authority was prompted by reports that were doing rounds in and around the Park that 10 lions had escaped from the Park. During the visit the Authority also assured the surrounding community that they were safe and urged them to continue with their duties as usual. They were further encouraged to report any wildlife incidences in their areas to the nearest Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority offices, the Police or the Manger at Lion and Cheetah Park.
In an interview with Zimbabwe Broadcasting Co-operation, ZBC, Lion and Cheetah Park Manager had this to say: We would like to take the opportunity to ensure the public that none of their lions have escaped and it is merely a rumor circulating.
All our lions are counted twice a day, housed in electric fences and enclosed within a perimeter fence. We are constantly in close interaction with our animals and it would be impossible for any of them to escape without our knowledge.
We are currently working with the Department Of National Parks And Wildlife Management, the Government appointed mandate to clear up this matter.