Elephant Cooperation and COMACO Recognize Government Leaders Working to Stop Deforestation in Zambia

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Each official received a commemorative watch and a certificate of recognition for their service

Elephant Cooperation, a 501(c)3 founded by Orange County based entrepreneur Scott Struthers, along with COMACO (Community Markets for Conservation), a wildlife conservation group founded by Dale Lewis supporting 179,000 small-scale farmers in eastern Zambia, today recognized three Zambian government leaders for efforts to stop deforestation in their provinces: Mr. Ignatius Makumba, the Director of Forestry Department, Mr. Bernard Chomba, the Provincial Secretary of Central Province and Dr. Chuma Simukonda, the Director of National Parks and Wildlife. Each leader received a commemorative watch and a certificate of recognition for their service.

“Dale and I wanted to thank these government leaders for their good work in promoting accountability, inclusive partnerships, and innovative solutions to combat deforestation and illegal wildlife trade in Zambia. Elephants need healthy forests to survive and thrive,” said Struthers, the co-founder of home technology company, Sonance. Struthers, along with Elephant Cooperation President Shawn Sugarman and COMACO’s Lewis, all participated in the virtual ceremony.

Lewis created COMACO to combat deforestation and conserve Zambia’s wildlife by taking an innovative and sustainable approach to conservation, focused on reshaping community thinking. COMACO teaches sustainable agroforestry farming, converts poachers into farmers, and provides fuel efficient cookstoves. Their programs allow COMACO to purchase the food from small-scale farmers and create organic foods under its brand, “It’s Wild”.

“The community heroes we recognized today have a passion for protecting Zambia’s natural gifts and have dedicated many hours of service to make a difference. They have forged the partnerships and maintained the high standards needed for conservation efforts to succeed,” said Lewis. “As civil servants, they often do not get credit for their role as conservation leaders. We wanted to make sure they know they are appreciated by all of us in the conservation world.”

Elephant Cooperation and COMACO have been partners in conservation since 2017. For more information about Elephant Cooperation, visit https://www.elephantcooperation.com/. For more information on COMACO, visit: https://itswild.org

About Elephant Cooperation:
Founded in 2016 with the mission of “saving the African elephant before it is too late,” Elephant Cooperation is a unique 501(c)3 focused on finding and funding the most effective ways to help elephants and the communities living near them. Our motto is No Poverty, No Poaching.


COMACO is a social enterprise that supports wildlife conservation and 225,000 small-scale farmers in Eastern Zambia.

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Elena Arney
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