Veterans for Wildlife are excited to share an amazing new project that will empower communities, support veterans, promote conservation and aid in the prevention of wildlife crime.

Loziba:

Loziba is a brand-new game reserve that is being established in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The reserve will be composed of more than 70% community-owned land and less than 30% privately owned land, ultimately covering an area in excess of 40,000-hectares. Veterans for Wildlife has been approached to develop and manage the security framework of this new game reserve! This will entail recruiting, training and operating a local anti-poaching unit, as well as overseeing the day-to-day security functions.

Community:

One of the primary objectives in establishing this fantastic new game reserve is to work with the local communities; empowering them through various economic and job-creation initiatives. Work in this regard has already begun with the help of Project Rhino and Rhino Art, who have been travelling to schools and communities around the reserve and conducting educational workshops on the importance of wildlife conservation and what the new reserve will mean for these individuals.

By providing stable employment to families in the region, it is hoped that the Loziba initiative will be addressing one of the root causes of poaching - poverty.

The Elephant:

A number of elephants currently call the Loziba area home. The problem is that as Loziba is currently just an open piece of land, these elephants are free to roam wherever they please. On several occasions, these elephants have wandered into local farmlands and communities. Causing issues by damaging buildings and eating crops. The South African Government were forced to interdict and have now issued destruction permits for these elephants, that means they are to be shot! After several meetings with local government representatives, it has been agreed to give the elephants a temporary stay of execution. Giving Loziba time to construct its boundary fences - which is one of the reasons why we need your help so urgently!

Relocating Rhino with WWF:

The WWF Black Rhino Expansion project team also recently visited the land that will ultimately become Loziba; in order to assess its suitability as a habitat for black rhino. The feedback was remarkable, with the WWF team reporting that Loziba has some of the best habitat they have ever assessed for black rhino. In order for WWF to eventually relocate black rhino onto Loziba it has to meet three main criteria:

  • Have a suitable habitat - done
  • Be larger than 22,000 hectares - done
  • Have adequate security in place - work in progress, this is where V4W comes in!

Once the security framework at Loziba is established to the predetermined standard, WWF have agreed to relocate black rhino onto the reserve! 

As part of a long term strategy, WWF runs the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (BRREP) to increase numbers of the critically endangered black rhino as well as relocating groups to new protected areas.

WWF South Africa

Veterans for Wildlife's Role:

Veterans for Wildlife has been approached to set up and manage the security framework of this new reserve. This will involve recruiting, training and operating a local anti-poaching unit, as well as aiding in the development of the reserve's security infrastructure and overseeing the day-to-day security functions.

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