EASTERN & SOUTHERN AFRICA
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) annual network meeting was held at the Southern African Wildlife College in the Greater Limpopo TFCA. BIOPAMA was one of the regional initiatives invited to take part in this networking opportunity that enhances information exchange, joint learning and collaboration at the sub-regional level.
The SADC TFCA network was formed in 2013 and consists of government representatives from SADC Member States, the SADC Secretariat, and technical partners working in or supporting work in SADC TFCAs in line with the objectives of the SADC TFCA programme and strategy. The main functions of the network are to promote information exchange, joint learning and information management, resource mobilization and enhanced collaboration. Importantly, the network also makes recommendations to the SADC Technical Committee on Wildlife (TCW) which is in turn mandated to present technical proposals and provide advice to the SADC Council of Ministers.
During 2014-2017 some of the functions of the network were partly funded from the first phase of BIOPAMA. The priorities of the network align well with the broader regional priorities identified during the BIOPAMA inception phase and are incorporated into the workplan for 2018-2023, particularly as relates to capacity building and data management.
The meeting was well attended by government representatives from Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia & Zimbabwe and donors as well as SADC Secretariat (Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR)). IUCN NGO members represented included African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-South Africa, Peace Parks Foundation (PPF), Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC), Western Indian Ocean Marine Sciences Association (WIOMSA), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Mweka Wildlife College. Donor organisations present included GiZ, the World Bank, GEF and Tebogo Matlhare from the EU delegation in Botswana. BIOPAMA was represented by Leo Niskanen and Sue Snyman.
There were a wide range of presentations on projects and programmes operating in various TFCAs in the region, first by government representatives and then by the technical partners. Common themes emerging from all presentations include the need for stronger capacities for community and stakeholder engagement, support needed for developing more effective governance models at landscape level, urgent need for sustainable financing and the requirement for effective and extensive engagement with other sectors – agriculture, infrastructure, finance. All of these themes align with the BIOPAMA workplan and proposed activities. There was also a presentation on the SADC TFCA M&E Framework which has been approved by the TCW and will be implemented in 2019. Sue presented on how the IUCN’s implementing partners, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), can assist with data for some of the indicators in this framework.
A SADC TFCA Symposium held in 2016 discussed the need for assessment of different models of collaborative and delegated protected area management in the region and how these could be applied at scale in TFCAs. Subsequently, a paper was published documenting different experiences and summarizing pros and cons of different protected area governance types, based on the IUCN framework. The results of this work were presented and discussed at the meeting, including through a panel chaired by Sue. It is clear that there is much need for capacity building and awareness raising across the region on the advantages and disadvantages of the different protected area governance models and how these can be best used in a TFCA matrix.
BIOPAMA was presented on the third day of the meeting, with the presentation focusing on the proposed workplan for 2018-2023; which is well aligned with priorities of the SADC member states and the work of the network.
The next SADC TFCA Network meeting is planned for March 2019.