The Dande Anti-Poaching Unit (DAPU) was formed in 2014 to assist National Parks and support community scouts in their anti-poaching activities in northern Zimbabwe. DAPU provides assistance to National Parks in their anti-poaching efforts as well as running their own community-based scout unit. Their community-based approach has reduced elephant poaching in the area.
Dande North, Dande Safari Area and Dande East cover around 200,000 hectares in Mbire District, northern Zimbabwe. Most of this area is communal land.
The poaching and wildlife trade problem
Species affected African Elephant Loxodonta africanaProducts in trade
Ivory for international markets.
Overview of the problem
Elephants are targeted by poachers for their ivory for international markets. Poaching is sometimes carried out by local people, especially in retaliation for crop-raiding.
The anti-IWT initiative
The Dande Anti-Poaching Unit (DAPU) was formed in 2014 to assist National Parks and community scouts in their anti-poaching activities. They use the CAMPFIRE approach to ensure that revenues are channelled to local communities. Their main activity is to support community scouts with a salary and equipment.
Strengthening disincentives for illegal behaviour
DAPU undertakes a number of different activities, including training, paying salaries, and providing rations and equipment for community scouts.
Has the initiative made a difference?
In 2010 forty elephant carcasses were found, but in 2015 this had fallen to just four.
What doesn’t work and why
Challenges include a lack of financial resources, proximity to Mozambique and Zambia, human population increases and lenient wildlife crime sentences.