BATS | STEWARD | Okavango River Basin | Burundi | Congo Basin | Ethiopia | Ghana | Guinea |
Gulf of Guinea | Kenya | Liberia | Madagascar | Mali | Mozambique | Namibia | Nigeria | Senegal |
Sierra Leone | South Africa | Tanzania | Virunga Mountains | Zambezi | African Leadership Seminar
Back to top
Spanning 2700 km in length, the Zambezi River and its tributaries form the fourth largest river basin in Africa. Eight countries fall within its boundaries which encompass approximately 1,352,000 km 2 and include a population of an estimated 38 million people. The Mid-Zambezi River Valley --straddling the countries of Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique --is rich in wildlife and diverse, scenic landscapes. The area encompasses elephant migration corridors, and supports populations of a variety of antelope species and large predators such as lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog. The livelihoods of local human populations are directly tied to responsible and sustainable management of the region's natural resources due to their dependence on agriculture and fishing. Over the years, corridors connecting protected areas within this landscape have become increasingly fragmented, threatening the ecological integrity of the region.
Back to top
In building on a well founded partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) through our collaborative work in Tanzania and the Virunga Mountain region, to protect forest, soil and water resources in critically important African landscapes, the US Forest Service has provided technical expertise to better understand the watershed of this Zambezi River Valley landscape in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. In July 2003, a representative of the Forest Service International Programs office made a preliminary visit to the Zambezi Conservation Center and met with AWF staff responsible for the Kazungula and Zambezi Heartlands. The purpose for the trip was to discuss possible expert requirements in view of the Forest Service's experience working with AWF on Watershed Assessments in East Africa and to determine if the Forest Service could provide assistance to AWF in addressing those issues. The meeting resulted in a follow up mission by a US Forest Service hydrologist and a soil scientist in February 2005 to perform an assessment of the hydrological systems of the Zambezi river and its tributaries in the Heartland region with the goal of determining the conditions of these catchments and to characterize the threats facing them and the resources contained within them. The team also investigated the relationships between local land use practices and the hydrologic conditions and provided strategies designed to improve the conditions of the watershed. The information gathered and perspectives provided by the US Forest Service experts during this technical assistance mission continue to contribute to the production of land use plans; the development of conservation strategies impacting vegetation, wildlife, and local human populations; the enforcement of water use laws; educational campaigns for upstream users; and the reform of policies affecting water use rights. This collaboration was made possible through funding from an interagency agreement between USF Forest Service and the US Agency for International Development, and the dedication of resources and funds from AWF. US Forest Service welcomes the possibility of providing additional technical assistance in the Zambezi River Valley landscape in the future.
USFS Zambezi Watershed Report on FRAME: http://www.frameweb.org/ev_en.php?ID=17093_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC
Back to top