A kiss of life: Marrying ecology with local livelihoods on private protected lands
There is an increasing acknowledgement of the importance of the private sector to biodiversity conservation strategy throughout the world. However, in spite of the recent proliferation of private protected areas and their increasing role in international biodiversity conservation, their coverage in the literature has been superficial. The slowness in acknowledging the expanding role of privately owned parks means that even their response to the international call for all protected areas to incorporate the livelihood needs of adjacent communities has also not been well researched. This paper assesses the livelihood benefits from a private protected area, Malilangwe Private Wildlife Reserve in south-eastern Zimbabwe, to the adjacent Chizvirizvi community. There has been no research to look into the livelihood benefits of Malilangwe Private Wildlife Reserve to surrounding communities. Various instruments, including a questionnaire, structured interviews, group discussion and observation, were employed in gathering primary data on the livelihood benefits from Malilangwe Private Wildlife Reserve to the Chizvirizvi community. The study identified three main livelihood benefits from Malilangwe Private Wildlife Reserve to Chizvirizvi, namely: household income enhancement, education enhancement and health promotion. This shows that private protected areas in Zimbabwe are contributing positively to local livelihoods.