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Photo: František Pelc
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Czech experts support development in Zambian national parks

Environmentally-friendly nature-based tourism is globally among the most quickly developing activities; in Africa, it is an important regular financial source for many countries. On the request of the Ministry of Tourism and Arts of the Republic of Zambia (MTA), experts from the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA) and the Czech University of Life Sciences (CULS) have assessed possibilities to establish an ecotourism facility in one of three selected Zambian national parks. 

Representatives both the MTA and all the three visited national parks and local communities welcomed and supported the initiative, carried out as a part of the Czech Republic´s development aid and financed by the Czech Development Agency (CDA).

An analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis) evaluating in total 48 features and a detailed multi-criterial feasibility study confirmed that all the three studied National Parks (Kafue, Sioma Ngwezi and Lower Zambezi NPs) are suitable for further ecotourism development. The significantly most suitable parameters for the pilot project were found in the site located within the Kafue National Park on the confluence of the Kafue and Shishambe rivers. The study outputs as well as a comprehensive background document providing the primary data will be passed on the Zambian partners.

“Not only natural and landscape heritage conservation and management benefits from ecotourism, but the latter directly contributes to economic and social development in regions mostly agriculturally focused regions and to poverty alleviation,” says František Pelc, Director of the NCA.

 “We would like our efforts is not just one swallow not making a summer, but on the contrary it should start a sophisticated programme supported not only by the Czech Republic, but prospectively also by the European Union, United Nations Development Programme or the World Bank,” highlights Professor Vladimir Bejcek, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences of the CULS.  

As a part of the agreement with the Czech Development Agency (CDA), the project of Czech development aid in Zambia is implemented by the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague. The CDA allocated for project's implementation 17,760 EUR.