CIRAD has been working in Zimbabwe for 30 years with the backing of the French Embassy and with many local partners. Livestock farming plays an essential role in the country’s economy, and health is also a major component of our activities, with the “One Health” approach. Another component covers the management and conservation of natural resources in harmony with inhabitants and farming activities, especially in regions where people, domestic animals and wildlife live in close proximity within zones bordering on conservation areas. Together, we are working towards a common goal of all these scientific disciplines in order to increase the resilience of rural populations to climate change, while developing healthy and sustainable farming in a context of high biodiversity conservation.
Young child eating a fresh (boiled) corn cob, harvested the previous day, as an afternoon snack. © CIRAD, A. Perrotton
Young child eating a fresh (boiled) corn cob, harvested the previous day, as an afternoon snack. © CIRAD, A. Perrotton

Young child eating a fresh (boiled) corn cob, harvested the previous day, as an afternoon snack. © CIRAD, A. Perrotton

Main research areas

  • Conservation and management of natural resources. Wildlife conservation and management of protected areas. Governance systems, regional and local policies, bordering on conservation areas.  
  • Improving food security and the living standards of rural communities, by diversifying their production strategies. 
  • Resilient agriculture and climate change.
  • Agroecological transition, agroecology, farming and natural resource management.
  • Animal health, epidemiology and breeding, emerging diseases, zoonoses and the One Health approach.

Key figures

  • 7 expatriate researchers
  • 40 missions per year
  • 10 to 15 publications per year
  • 45 PhD and masters students supervised per year

Combining protected and conservation areas with human activities

Production and conservation in partnership in southern Africa – RP‑PCP

CIRAD and its African and French partners have developed a research platform in partnership, formalized in 2007. The aim of the platform (“Research Platform – Production & Conservation in Partnership” – RP-PCP) is to strengthen regional and national skills to more effectively foster coexistence between local lifestyles and biodiversity conservation in areas with strong interfaces between protected areas and communal areas. To date, over 140 students from Zimbabwe and the region (Master’s and PhD) have completed, or are in the process of completing, their degrees.

Promoting sustainable livelihoods in transfrontier conservation areas in Southern Africa – ProSuLi project

This project strengthens the sustainable management of four sites inside transfrontier conservation  areas in southern Africa (Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique) through local biodiversity-friendly development, whilst changing the role and attitudes of communities in the collective management of those areas.

Find out more:
ProSuLi project Project fact sheet
One Health at the heart of conservation and development projects Project press release
Podcast | Cohabiter avec la faune sauvage - Faire vivre la biodiversité (3/6) In french
A video reviewing the ProSuLi project

Zimbabwe working towards autonomy in animal disease surveillance

Zimbabwe is strengthening its diagnostic capacities for plant, animal and zoonotic diseases.
See the Pacman project

Cooperation and partnerships

CIRAD in Zimbabwe has a framework agreement with the Ministry for Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Development, which enables it to undertake operations funded by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), Agence française pour le développement (AFD), European Union (EU), the ACP secretariat, the Agence nationale de la recherche française (ANR) and ANRS (emerging infectious diseases).

CIRAD maintains strong and sound partnerships with local universities, Zimbabwe National Parks, along with international partners such as IRD, CNRS, Pasteur Institute, University of Pretoria and Nelson Mandela University (South Africa), Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique), University of Zambia and the Okavango Research Institute (Botswana).