WCS-AHEAD seed grants


In September 2008, the WCS-AHEAD Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area Seed Grant programme awarded funding to ten research projects (see: http://www.wcs-ahead.org/gltfca_grants/grants.html ). Three project proposals of Competing Claims researchers were awarded funding:

Project summaries                                                                                                      download > 

Alternative sustainable futures for post-resettlement in the Limpopo National Park

The Limpopo National Park (LNP) in Mozambique was established as an important step in the creation of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA).  The park is home to 27,000 people who depend primarily on natural resources for their livelihoods. Human-wildlife conflict and efforts to develop tourism in the park has necessitated the resettlement of eight villages situated along the Shingwedzi river to areas along the margins of the park. The first of these villages has been resettled near the village of Chinhangane in the Massingir district, and will be the location for the activities of this project. Resettlement commonly brings with it a set of risks for both resettled and host communities including impoverishment and natural resource degradation.  This integrated research and development project aims to improve understanding of the changes in livelihoods and subsequent impacts on natural resources of population resettlement. It aims to explore the opportunity for increasing food security through improved seed security and therefore mitigate potential risks of resettlement.  Seed security has been identified through previous research to be one of the key obstacles to attaining food security that does not depend on continued external support.  To explore how residents adjust their livelihood activities in short term response to resettlement we will specifically monitor changes in dependence on natural resources, and livestock health.  In order to put in place measures to improve seed security for both resettled and host residents we will 1) collect and describe local germplasm of agricultural crops, 2) train farmers, SDAE and local NGO staff in techniques of seed multiplication, conservation and participatory varietal selection, among other topics, and 3) initiate a participatory varietal selection process comparing improved and local varieties.  This project also aims to bring together researchers, NGOs, donors and farmers in a coordinated development effort. 

Researchers: Jessica Milgroom, Ken Giller

Balancing Ecotourism And Livestock Production- Implications For Livelihood And The Environment

Diversification of rural livelihoods through ecotourism is a possible strategy to address problems of low income and unemployment in rural households in South Africa. It is however realized that engagement in ecotourism by rural communities in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTCA), exacerbates competing claims on land and capital investment by a range of stakeholders in these areas. The AHEAD conceptual framework highlights the need to balance alternative land based livelihood options through research and community engagement. The main objective of this study is to develop, in consultation with various local stakeholders, a framework for evaluating land-use options and trade offs for improved livelihoods that combines socio-economic and bio-physical considerations. This framework is then applied to evaluate ecotourism and livestock production land use options. The  potential economic benefit of ecotourism is investigated through choice modeling techniques, and then integrated in a bio-economic model to determine possibilities for improved livelihoods, together with data collected earlier on economics of livestock production as a land use possibility. The study area is the Mhinga traditional authority on the north-western side of the Kruger National Park, where livestock and wildlife based tourism ventures are competing for land and capital investment. The key project members are a multidisciplinary team comprising Agricultural and Environmental Economists, Public Health Veterinarians and Animal Production Specialists. The project, which combines key themes in the AHEAD programme is expected to input into sustainable land use decisions at local level and also facilitate capacity building at various levels. Overall this programme will contribute towards better understanding of the range of sustainable socio-economic opportunities available to communities living in the GLTCA.

Researchers: Petronella Chaminuka, Cheryl McCrindle

  1. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is USA organization managing national and international conservation projects, research and education programs. The Animal and Human Health for the Environment And Development (AHEAD) network is an initiative of the veterinary specialist group (VSG) of IUCN, the Wildlife Conservation Society and and other partners, in recognition of the importance of animal health to both conservation and development interests. AHEAD is organized is several working groups, one of them being the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (AHEAD-GLTFCA).


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