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Photo: František Pelc
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Czech Republic to support Zambian ecotourism

​In October 2019, representatives of the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic and the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague visited Zambia to conduct a feasibility study for the development of ecotourism in Zambian national parks.

The delegation held meetings with senior representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and Arts and the Zambia Wildlife Authority and visited three national parks - Kafue, Sioma Ngwezi and Lower Zambezi. Based on the conclusions of the study, one of the parks will be selected for a pilot project to promote ecotourism, protect the biodiversity and enhance livelihood possibilities of the local communities. The target is also identify the appropriate financial resources for building the ecotourism infrastructure that could be operated and maintained by local communities.

Based on the agreement signed by the Czech Development Agency, the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic and the Czech University of Life Sciences, the project falls within the framework of Czech development aid in Zambia and follows a request from the Zambian Ministry of Tourism and Arts.

“Development of ecotourism in Zambia is a key precondition not only for biological diversity, protection, and management of natural ecosystems but also for regional economic growth and involvement of local communities in these activities,” says Frantisek Pelc, Director of the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic. The results of the study will be announced before the end of 2019. The Czech Development Agency allocated a budget for implementation of the project of 17 760€.

“We expect that Zambian and Czech students will take part in environmental research at the national parks and exchange of experience, best practices and lessons learnt between State Nature Conservancy authorities and academics from both the countries will be significantly enhanced,” highlights Professor Vladimir Bejcek, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences of the Czech University of Life Sciences.