The Matobo Hills support a rich biodiversity and form an important catchment for the Shashe-Limpopo river system (one of the two main catchments in Zimbabwe).
The vast majority of people living in the Hills are subsistence agro-pastoralists with a mean household monthly income of US$80, and a high proportion of households are woman or child headed, which often indicates high vulnerability and increased poverty (Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee Report). High poverty levels and unsound environmental practices frequently go hand-in-hand; the Matobo area is therefore a priority location for long-term, community-driven biodiversity management.
All projects carried out by DWT are created with the aim to provide and locally-relevant solutions based on sound data to achieve the organisation’s mission
“To promote the furtherance of biological knowledge, the conservation of biodiversity, and the sustainable use of natural resources, while integrating conservation across boundaries in selected landscapes in Zimbabwe and adjacent countries”.
In addition, the Matobo Hills is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition that the region has one of the highest concentrations of rock art in Southern Africa dating back at least 13,000 years. As a result, the region has to manage a delicate balance between the conservation of biodiversity with this cultural heritage, the Matobo National Park itself, private wildlife and tourism areas, commercial livestock farms and subsistence agro-pastoralist areas.