The Second Gentleman of the United States, Douglas Emhoff, visited Lusaka National Park to see how public-private partnerships are empowering women, promoting climate smart agriculture, and strengthening community conservation efforts in and around Zambia’s national parks.
During his visit to Lusaka National Park, the Second Gentleman welcomed a delegation of business and philanthropic leaders from Africa and the United States to discuss digital and financial inclusion on the continent. He also met with female scouts who are members of Zambia’s first all woman wildlife scout team and saw how Department of National Parks and Wildlife-trained sniffer dogs identify contraband material; such as tusks, animal skins, and bush meat. The Second Gentleman met with Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO), a social enterprise that supports communities in and around game management areas to increase their agricultural yield, sell their goods on the market, and pursue alternative livelihoods.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) partnered with the Government of the Republic of Zambia to recruit and train women wildlife scouts and partners with COMACO, through the Luangwa Livelihood and Conservation project, to provide communities with alternative livelihoods that do not rely on charcoal or poaching. These public-private partnerships show that when governments, NGOs, civil society, and the private sector work together, climate resilience is within reach.
Before departing, the Second Gentleman paid a visit to Grade 3 students from Turnpike Community School who were at the park to learn about conservation, and he encouraged them to become conservation heroes in their own communities.