On Friday 23 October, UNDP Zimbabwe learnt with shock and sadness of the unfortunate crash of the aircraft that was conducting aerial surveys in the Zambezi Valley. We express our sincere condolences to the family and friends who lost their loved one in the incident. We wish a speedy recovery to the two survivors of the crash, who are recovering under medical care in Harare. We remain deeply concerned about the Ecologist who is yet to be located and we hope for an imminent and successful conclusion of the search efforts.

We want to thank the Government of Zimbabwe and all the volunteers who have been and remain involved in the search since this weekend and we pledge our continued support.

We wish to confirm that the South African Firm, undertaking the aerial survey, is legally and competitively contracted by UNDP in close collaboration with the experts in ZIMPARKS. Conducting aerial surveys of wildlife is a specialised task, and hence the selection of the contractor was done through a competitive international procurement process.

This baseline aerial survey for Elephants and other large herbivores was commissioned as part of a GEF 6 project entitled “Strengthening Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management and Climate-Smart Landscapes in the Mid to Lower Zambezi Region of Zimbabwe”. The objective of this project is to promote an integrated landscape approach to managing wildlife resources, carbon and ecosystem services in the face of climate change in the protected areas and community lands. The project is being supported by UNDP and executed by the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry through ZIMPARKS, EMA, the Forestry Commission, three Rural District Councils of Mbire, Hurungwe and Muzarabani and various CSOs and CBOs. While this unfortunate event is a set back to the project, UNDP remains committed to support the Government of Zimbabwe and the wildlife sector to achieve the stated objective.

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For more information, please contact communications.zw@undp.org

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