The FWHC follows a proven and sustainable model

Hammerskjoeld Simwinga became a conservationist and rural development specialist in 1994 when he joined the North Luangwa Conservation Project (NLCP) established by American zoologists Mark and Delia Owens in 1986 to rehabilitate the North Luangwa National Park (NLNP) and surrounding villages in Northern Zambia. Wildlife there had been decimated by commercial poachers who had been killing 1,000 elephants a year for their ivory, meat and hides and forcing villagers to work as butchers and carriers. Local people had no economic alternatives to poaching or cooperating with poaching cartels. Hammer helped the Owenses expand their rural development loan program that empowered villagers through food assurance, business development, education and health programs. Poaching declined as rural people had sustainable, environmentally sound income, goods and services and there was hope for their wildlife heritage.
Since 1997 Hammer has continued, expanded and perfected these conservation initiatives through his own Zambian non-governmental organization, The Foundation for Wildlife and Habitat Conservation - Zambia (FWHC).

The FWHC main mission

Change adverse living conditions in the rural areas of Zambia through sustainable utilization of natural resources, improved access to education facilities, rural health services and enhanced community capacity to initiate and implement community based programs.

FWHC strategic objectives include:

  • To attain a sustainable increase in household food and seed production
  • To create businesses that provide basic goods and services
  • To increase household income earnings
  • To increase the capacity of FWHC and its local community groups to manage natural resources.

Give poachers an option

FWHC work provides opportunities that give poachers sustainable and legal economic opportunities and give the people a stake in protecting the environment, using sustainable agricultural practices and passing this culture of environmental concern onto the next generation.