Shaba and Buffalo Springs, Kenya: Operations Director Andrew Parker was in Kenya at the end of the month in an effort to conclude negotiations on the draft agreement, which has since been sent to the Isiolo County Government for final review. Although always difficult to predict, it is likely that the agreement will be signed in December.
Bazaruto Archipelago Marine National Park, Mozambique: The final draft agreement is under review by ANAC (Administração Nacional das Áreas de Conservação), the Mozambican Conservation Authority, and subject to their approval this agreement will be concluded shortly.
Gambella, Ethiopia: As we reported in September, we have now had over four months of stalemate with almost all our activities suspended. We have written to the Government of Ethiopia seeking clarity on African Parks’ continued involvement and requesting a clear way forward. So far no solution has been found to overcome the challenges relating to the Charities Agency, their interference with our personnel and their blocking of our bank accounts. If a response is not received by the end of November, African Parks will withdraw.
Pendjari National Park, Benin: Following the recce made in September by Jean Marc Froment, the Government of Benin has expressed strong interest in concluding a partnership agreement with African Parks for the management of Pendjari National Park and negotiations are progressing rapidly. The park is an integral component of the W-A-P complex (W National Park in Niger, Arly Game Reserve in Burkina Faso and Pendjari National Park in Benin) which is the last remaining relatively intact ecosystem in the whole of West Africa.
Zimbabwe: A delegation from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority visited Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia and Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi to gain practical insight in to the African Parks model, feedback from which has been very positive. Their board has formally invited African Parks to consider up to four national parks in Zimbabwe including Matusadonha, Matopos, Chimanimani and Chisarira.