In 2007, Zimbabwe adopted the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (IEEA) with a goal to support the economic empowerment of indigenous Zimbabweans. Private conservancies in Zimbabwe should integrate the surrounding communities to meet the requirements of the IEEA where feasible. This is the model that has succeeded throughout Africa. User rights must be clarified in a legal framework and responsibilities institutionalised.
AWF conducted field research, a desktop analysis, a legal analysis, community assessments, and consulted with a diversity of stakeholders for this research. While AWF developed a proposed model for conservancies, this model is still under discussion with relevant parties; therefore, is not presented herein.
Zimbabwe was a global leader in conservation and has an opportunity to reclaim this standing by showcasing a viable conservancy and community model at the United Nations World Tourism Organization General Assembly scheduled to take place in Victoria Falls in 2013. Zimbabwe has an opportunity to demonstrate true community empowerment and sustainable conservation solutions.