Zimbabwe's Game Reserves are managed by the government. They were initially founded as a means of using unproductive land. Little regard was given to modern conservation values, but once these evolved, the country became a world leader in wildlife management.
The first proclaimed Game Reserve
was Wankie (now Hwange
), formed in 1928 and upgraded in the 1949 National Parks Act. The then-Rhodesia's Game section was originally formed in 1952 as a subsidiary of the Department of Mines, Lands and Surveys. This was the nucleus that became the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management
The Parks and Wildlife Act
of 1975 was a quintessential breakthrough for conservation
. The core philosophy of how people perceived wildlife was changed. Under the Act, ownership of wildlife passed from the State to whoever owned the land the animal lived on.
When the landowners (both communal and private) became custodians of the wildlife, a change in mindset occurred. People began to see their wildlife resources as an asset to be nurtured, ensuring their benefits continued into the future. Gradually, fence-breaking elephant and zebra were not viewed as nuisances to be eradicated; herds of impala were no longer a quick, easy meal.
Within the Parks and Wildlife Act, various levels were defined at which state-owned land was to be protected and utilised. Gone was the old Game Department that issued hunting licences which, for a nominal fee, allowed settlers to hunt wildlife in... Read More