After a successful pilot program at the Liwonde National Park, the U.K. Ministry of Defence is deploying troops to the Nkhotakota and Majete Wildlife Reserves in Malawi to expand counter-poaching training.
A conservation crisis around the globe is causing the loss of countless species with the illegal wildlife trade being a major factor. In response, British Army troops are helping to train parks rangers tracking skills, infantry skills, bushcraft and information analysis to improve the interception of poachers.
The goal of training park rangers in Malawi is to help them effectively police their parks and respond to the threat of poaching, which is worth approximately £7b to £17b year.
“The MOD deployment to Liwonde in 2017 was very beneficial to the African Parks effort in securing the integrity of this park which was once overrun with poaching,” said Liwonde Park Manager Craig Reid. “The soldiers helped mentor the Rangers as part of the long-term project aimed at ensuring a sustainable law enforcement effort.”
All three parks, Nkhotakota, Majete and Liwonde, are managed by African Parks in partnership with Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife. Training in the two new parks is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund.