Protecting Elephants in Liwonde National Park, Malawi
Liwonde National Park is Malawi’s most important national park. It is home to about 500 elephants and many other species of wild animals, including black rhinos, hippos and sable antelope. It is a critically important area for biodiversity in a country fraught with highly fragmented habitats, poor land-use policies and numerous socio-economic challenges.
IFAW is working with the Malawi Government's Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) on a five-year program to restore Liwonde as a safe haven for wildlife.
Malawi is a relatively small (slightly smaller than the US state of Pennsylvania) and densely populated country in southern Africa, bordered by Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania.
Intense human pressure has fragmented habitats. This fragmentation is far more pronounced in Malawi than in many other parts of southern Africa: Protected areas in Malawi are islands in a sea of people.
As one of Africa’s poorest countries, Malawi’s reliance on tourism, mainly focused around Lake Malawi and the various national parks, is of paramount importance. However, the government is unable to appropriately support park management because the majority of revenue generated by tourism flows into sectors such as health, education, basic service delivery and poverty alleviation.
That means Malawi is highly reliant on donor funds to support park management and conservation services.
IFAW is helping Liwonde develop and implement systems that improve park security, ease human-elephant conflict and build the capacity of park management. We also assist in identifying opportunities for community advancement.