Establishing and Managing Effective Transfrontier (Transboundary) Conservation Areas Networks

28 September 2020

On 31 August 2020, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature co-facilitated the second virtual learning event between the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC) on Establishing and Managing an Effective Transfrontier (Transboundary) Conservation Areas Networks.

The webinar was well attended by participants from the SADC and EAC regions and looked at case studies of effective transfrontier (transboundary) conservation areas, showcasing the examples from the Kavango-Zambezi TFCA and the Greater Limpopo TFCA.

The webinar allowed participants to share experiences regarding the objectives and challenges of transfrontier conservation areas as well as learn from the experiences and progress made in both transboundary conservation areas.

SADC members shared their vision “A community-centered model, regionally integrated and sustainably managed network of Transfrontier Conservation area” and presented the main action areas of the network : policy harmonization & advocacy, sustainable financing, capacity building, data and knowledge management, local livelihoods, climate vulnerability and TFCAs as a marketable tourism products.

Kaza is the world´s largest terrestrial transfrontier conservation area in SADC region, with 444 000 km2 spread over five countries: Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.

KAZA landscape

It is a multiple land use area with coexistence of nature and with several protected area categories (community forest, national parks, game parks, world heritage sites etc). It is an initiative that aims to ensure connectivity among these protected areas to facilitate the movement of wildlife.

According to Nyambe Nyambe, Executive Diretor at KAZA TFCA Secretariat, the treaty establishing its creation was signed in 2011 and the purpose is to have a world-class transfrontier conservation area and tourism destination within the context of sustainable development.

Building on policies that include equitable access by communities to benefits arising from the management of natural resources and transboundary collaboration, among others, the KAZA TFCA is addressing a broad range of challenges such as human and wildlife conflicts, species and habitat loss and freshwater ecosystems degradation.

Critical building blocks and enabling conditions behind the successful establishment and functioning of KAZA include strong institutional arrangements, such a Joint Management Committee, involving national implementing agencies, and the creation of the KAZA Secretariat, and the development of a KAZA Fund.

Other key factors that have contributed to success include a joint vision and partner State ownership, strong inter-governmental support, and the active presence of strategic partners that have invested and contributed with detailed and participatory planning interventions.

The Great Limpopo TFCA (GLTFCA) encompasses areas in Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe and was created in 2002. The core area covers a total of 3,5 million hectares and the broader area is approximately 10 million hectares comprising different conservation management land uses. Some of the treaty objectives are to enhance ecosystem integrity, facilitate the natural movement of wildlife, develop transborder ecotourism, among others.

The current institutional arrangements include a Ministerial Committee, a Joint Management Board and a Joint Park Management Committees.

GLTFCA institutional arrangement

Some initiatives ongoing in the GLTFCA include the development of corridors between protected areas, responsible tourism, development of a transboundary water resource management strategy and other activities to promote livelihood diversification.

Among the achievements that were highlighted, GLTFCA has succeeded in stimulating cross-border collaboration and partnerships to fight wildlife crime and has facilitated wildlife translocation, as part of a programme of re-stocking protected areas.

The recording of this event is available on YouTube here.

Stay tuned to participate on the third event of this series.

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