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US Ambassador to Zambia Eric Shultz and his team recently visited Zikomo Safari Camp to meet and greet Victoria, and some of our team in South Luangwa. His wife and two boys and his staff joined Victoria and Zick and Zikomo Camp staff for lunch.

Ambassador Shultz was appointed to his post last year after a distinguished career in the Senior Foreign Service with his last appointment in the Ukraine. He has also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe and held a position in Madagascar in addition to many other foreign service roles around the globe.

A conservationist at heart, the Ambassador was eager to learn about what we are doing to safeguard wildlife and wild lands in Eastern Zambia. He was particularly eager to begin correspondence with Dr. Tom Snitch who serves on our board and is a leader and visionary in the elephant conservation arena. We shared that Dr. Snitch, through his innovative work with unmanned aerial vehicles, which he deploys in the war against poaching, is making leaps and bounds in the war against poachers.

One of the other things we talked about was how important it is to conduct capacity buildling for local people to complement our high tech anti-poaching program.  Poverty is pervasive in the area and if Nsefu Wildlife Conservation Foundation can help develop opportunities for people to embrace alternative livelihoods, we can not only reduce poverty on a local level, but we can reduce the incentive to poach wildlife for bush meat. 

In the wake of the tragic loss of Cecil the Lion in neighboring Zimbabwe, discussion turned to trophy hunting and the larger issue of conserving Zambia's wildlife and promotion of the ecotourism industry. We want to be champions for ecotourism and reduce the reliance on trophy hunting as a source of revenue, which often ends up in the wrong hands or just a few hands.  We look forward to cultivating a relationship with Ambassador Schultz and his team and we are so honored that he visited Zikomo Safari Camp. Here is Ambassador Shultz's website: http://zambia.usembassy.gov/ambassador.html

Dr. Jordan Schaul is a board member of NWCF and a former contributor to National Geographic's editorial news publication News Watch
http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/author/jschaul/