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Transform a Poacher



An important part of the COMACO program is to help poachers learn alternative ways of making a living so they can discontinue poaching. This program is growing rapidly and is literally saving 1000s of wild animals annually. Candidates are first required to surrender their firearms and attend a 6 week course in alternative trade skills, like carpentry, bee-keeping, poultry husbandry and metal works. When they return home, they are required to identify 2 or 3 other hunters as part of a group they will lead to apply their newly acquired skills. As COMACO staff verifies that these requirements are met, the group then receives a start-up investment of tools and inputs to start their new way of life centered on legal markets COMACO will help to support. In 2 to 4 years, transformed poachers in most cases will be earning more legal income than they were as poachers. Only about 6% of the participants drop out and return to poaching. It has proven to be a highly cost-effective way to reduce the threat of poaching in Zambia and your support could make a huge difference in expanding this program to other parts of Zambia.

It costs conventional law enforcement between $2500 to $3500 to arrest and put behind prison bars a single poacher. The COMACO transformation approach costs only $350 per poacher and is far more successful at preventing recidivism. Costs include an 8 week training in alternative livelihood skills, tools and other inputs, plus initial monitoring and technical support. Your donation to transform a poacher can help save an estimated 23 animals per year, the average number of animals a poacher hunts illegally every year in Zambia.

Your donation will be tracked by our staff to ensure you receive a photograph of the person you supported. Details for contacting this person can also be provided should you wish to congratulate and encourage the poacher you've sponsored. Our staff makes up to three visits annually to ensure compliance of non-poaching and to assess progress in adopting alternative livelihoods. We would like to expand this important program across Zambia's threatened wildlife areas, making it part of the mainstream approach to managing and protecting wildlife in Zambia. Your support is critical for this program to succeed!

Make a Donation and Transform a Poacher