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Zambesia Conservation Alliance

Zambesia Conservation Alliance

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Our Story: The Formation of ZCA

My brother Robin, my wife Suzanne and I co-founded the Zambesia Conservation Alliance (ZCA) in early 2020, when covid was just starting to make its presence felt. The three of us share a deep love for Africa’s wild spaces and surrounding communities. The onset of covid was tough on our tourism businesses, but a blessing in that it gave us the much needed time we required to get our dream of an alliance of conservation active people and organizations together to protect biodiversity, prevent habitat loss, uplift communities and help fight against the Illegal Wildlife Trade.

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ZCA was born and well received in a very short space of time. The obvious need for a collective approach to conservation challenges was very apparent. We took on a bit of a monster though because the area we are focusing our efforts in covers more than a million square kilometers. Coupled with that was the fact that whilst we have a strong network and local knowledge we have been predominantly known for our tourism efforts and not necessarily our involvement in ‘pure’ conservation.

There was natural skepticism about this ‘new kid on the block’ of course… Consistent effort and alignment to our core message of collaboration has helped us win over many partners and gain considerable traction. We have broadly grouped the partners in our alliance into two groups, Outreach and Strategic. Our Outreach Partners (frontline conservation organizations) benefit from the support we channel to them, whilst our Strategic Partners (supporters of conservation) help us buttress the efforts of the outreach Partners that need it most. We have set up both charity and not-for-profit structures in the USA, UK, Zimbabwe and recently Mauritius to facilitate our efforts and create channels for support to flow through both efficiently and effectively.

We are excited by what the future has in store for conservation in the Zambesia region and are confident that our approach will play a key role in shaping this. The ultimate goal is for us to assist the world in recognizing why Zambesia offers the planet so much in terms of its diverse ecology. For example, the area is home to the largest remaining population of African Elephants on the planet and a number of key eco regions. It is still early days in the scope of how natural value is quantified globally, but there is increasing consensus and growing political acceptance that this is absolutely imperative for the very survival of the earth and all those that inhabit it. In tandem with other collective conservation efforts across the world we aim to make a meaningful difference.

Stories From Luke Brown