A concept of early detection and rapid reaction was established by Environmental Management Conservation Trust (EMCT) in the Greater Lebombo region. To ensure proper command and control, DAG established a highly effective Forward Operating Base (FOB). Experienced managers and highly qualified ranger instructors were placed on the ground to not only run the operation but train/retrain scouts and rangers.
EMCT was subsequently approached by Peace Parks Foundation and Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas to establish similar operations in support of their anti-poaching in other national parks. The initial focus was on the Limpopo National Park (LNP) while at the same training scouts and setting up other FOB in other reserves. This is an ongoing process not only in LNP, but also in Maputo Special Reserve (MSR), Zinave National Park (ZNP) and Banhine National Park (BNP).
Limpopo National Park
Limpopo National Park (LNP) comprises one-third of the Greater Limpopo Trans-Frontier Park (GLTP), which links LNP in Mozambique with Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa and Gonarezhou National Park (GNP) in Zimbabwe. This area brings together some of the most well-established wildlife expanses in Southern Africa. LNP has furthermore established an Intensive Protective Zone where EMCT’s main counter-poaching efforts are currently focused.
EMCT in Limpopo National Park
EMCT has been directly involved in assisting LNP in counter-poaching operations since January 2018. A concept of early detection and rapid reaction operations has since been established in the park. This has been put in place with the support of PPF, to ensure proper command and control. Colonel Dyck regularly conducts management visits to LNP to evaluate, advise and implement workable and effective counter poaching structures.
A mobile base camp in the park, acting as support of a 30-man reaction force properly equipped and armed for extended ground operations, is commanded and run by the EMCT team.
EMCT has furthermore been able to insert two GEOS funded helicopters into the operation, thus producing instant changes in poacher activity. The addition of the helicopters has been a game-changer and indications are that all poaching routes have been disrupted.