LTSER Zone Atelier Hwange - Zimbabwe
LTSER Zone Atelier Hwange
Conservation of biodiversity
Inland surface waters
The LTSER Zone Atelier Hwange (ZAHWG) belongs to LTER-France network and is located in western Zimbabwe, in Sub-Saharan Africa, and is centered around Hwange National Park. The ecosystem is dominated by dystrophic savannas (mostly wooded savannas and dry woodlands) with discrete water sources. Surrounding land-uses include forestry areas, subsistence agro-pastoral farming, private ranches and hunting concessions, and mining. The ZAHG conducts an interdisciplinary research on the dynamics and resilience of this socio-ecological system organised, around a large protected area with re-known large mammal diversity and facing major social and climatic challenges for sustainable conservation
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
The ZAHWG aims at coordinating and developing a body of research on the "Dynamics of biodiversity and sustainable use of anthropic savannas: the role of protected areas in sustaining ecosystem services and rural development". This platform promotes long-term place-based research and uses the framework and connection of a long-term program, HERD - Hwange Environment Research Development, that focuses on the park and its periphery, as well as a French-Zimbabwean research platform "Produce and Conserve in Partnership" (RP-PCP) focusing on trans-frontier conservation areas (TFCA). Hwange belongs to the largest TFCA, the KAZA TFCA (Kavango-Zambezi TFCA). Several key issues serve as umbrella themes for several shorter-term projects: Elephant and biodiversity dynamics, Large herbivore population regulation mechanisms - top-down vs bottom up, People - Protected area relationships, Natural resources co-management and ecosystem services.
The ZAHWG is a facilitating research structure that uses the existing Hwange National Park (created in 1929 and fully gazetted after the WWII), the neighbouring State Forest (Sikumi Forest Area) gazetted in 1968, and a set of rural areas and private ranches which contours are inherited from colonial times. Though the ZAHWG was formally labeled in 2010, the long-term ecological and socio-ecological research works started prior to that, in 1999, through the Hwange Environmental Research Development program (HERD), and was boosted-up by the Zimbabwe based research platform "Produce and Conserve in Partnership" in 2007 which focuses on Trans-Trontier Conservation Areas more broadly.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information