AKASHINGA......this is just the beginning

Full name
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

More wilderness needs to be conserved so that more wildlife and nature can be protected. Any solution needs to be built on a tried and tested community-driven conservation model that works with local communities and governments - a model puts back into the local community, creates jobs, builds trust and works towards long term nature conservation.

We have big goals to secure the future of our natural world and we want to do it for you, your children and our future generations…

Rangers out on patrol

Our World's Success Story

The Akashinga model is our world's success story.

In 2017, the IAPF started a trial in Zimbabwe, a small landlocked country in sub-Saharan Africa. We were in a conservation industry which was becoming increasingly antagonistic with local indigenous communities, on a continent which has had a 700% increase in armed conflict in the past decade. All we did was shift the male roles to construction and labor and put women into the power roles of law enforcement, management and decision making. In doing so, we completely de-escalated local tension, brought conservation and community together, while cutting our operational costs by two thirds. The remaining third, invested mostly into women, became the most effective form of community development, while our core business of conservation is more successful than ever. If this was possible here, can you imagine what else is possible?

What is Akashinga?

Akashinga is a community-driven conservation model, empowering disadvantaged women to restore and manage a network of wilderness areas as an alternative economic model to trophy hunting in key ecosystems and ecoregions.

Helicopter view of Zambezi Valley

Expanding into Zimbabwe’s mighty Zambezi Valley

To continue to grow our footprint into new regions, IAPF is proud to announce that we have secured a long-term land lease of a large unprotected wilderness area known as the Songo Conservancy and Kariba Lake frontage in partnership with local surrounding communities and government.

Plane view of the Songo Conservancy

What does this mean?

This is a huge win for wildlife conservation, community development and gender equality. IAPF has already started working hand in hand with the five local communities and local government to resurrect this region which has been one of the hardest hit for elephant poaching in the world. On the shores of Lake Kariba, Songo has some of the largest flood plains in Zimbabwe. Flood plains that poachers and wildlife traffickers have illegally used to pass through undetected, to kill wildlife.

This is a complex and vulnerable landscape that has been left relatively unprotected and lawless for almost two decades, giving poachers freedom to establish effective and harmful illegal wildlife trafficking syndicates. As a result, 75% of elephants in the Sebungwe region of the Zambezi Valley have been lost to poaching over the last 20 years.

As we begin our new journey into Songo, it starts with building an infrastructure that will sustain our teams and allow us to recruit, train, equip and deploy an initial 60 staff as part of the program. This will include the selection process of 80 women, specifically chosen from local communities surrounding the Songo Conservancy. 24 of these 80 who pass the intense selection will go onto to become a professional and cohesive team of Akashinga rangers protecting the natural heritage of the area.

Rangers Marching

Our 5 Year Akashinga Program Goals

1,000 women trained and employed by 2025

Protecting a network of 20 wilderness areas totaling 5 million acres

US$10 million operational expenditure by 2025

The Untold Journey

The Akashinga model is re-shaping the future of conservation and we invite you to immerse yourself in this journey as we expand into new regions and continue our mission to protect nature. You'll be invited into a new world as we take our community through the never before seen day-to-day life of the IAPF Akashinga rangers, navigating through the beauty and challenges of Zimbabwe’s mighty Zambezi Valley, taking you into the unknown.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter (hyperlink) and socials to keep up-to-date as the story of our expansion unfolds.

Rangers protecting elephants

Double Your Impact

Your support plays an integral role in helping us bring to life our expansion plans for protecting nature. IAPF needs increased resources to create more infrastructure and human capital to meet the demands of expanding into new regions.

We need to raise $1,000,000 to ensure that we can protect wildlife in this new area and recruit, train, equip and deploy law enforcement and community development teams in the Zambezi Valley.

The great news is that we are already part of the way there.

Thanks to a dedicated and passionate consortium of generous major donors who believe in our mission, every dollar you give — up to a total of $300,000 by 18th December 2020 — will be matched dollar for dollar.

That means every dollar you give will do TWICE the good.

Your support has a direct and immediate effect on the expansion of the Akashinga model, empowering these pioneering female rangers to be on the frontline of wildlife conservation.

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