The biodiversity assets of Southern Africa are globally recognized as exceptional. The protection of these unique landscapes, and their associated flora and fauna, is a high priority on the political and sustainability agenda. The Diamond Route project demonstrates that, regardless of the industry, businesses need not impose a limit on their efforts to contribute positively to the creation, expansion, conservation, management and restoration of Southern Africa's natural capital base.
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COMACO works with over 80,000 households in Zambia's Luangwa Valley and Eastern Province. It provides them with agricultural inputs (e.g. seeds, tools), training in conservation farming techniques, commodity transport and processing, and access to wholesale and retail markets under COMACO's "It's Wild" brand. Households achieve improved food security, increased incomes, and are incentivized through conditional price premiums and extensions assistance to conserve soils, water, forests, and wildlife.
The focus of the project has been on policy reforms and institutional strengthening at the national level and piloting innovative management options at Bangweulu Game Management Areas. The UNDP supported GEF financed Reclassification and Effective Management of National Protected Areas System (REMNPAS) Project developed a public-private-community partnership with African Parks Network, which led to the formation of the Bangweulu Wetlands Management Board (BWMB) in 2008.