Southern African Peace Parks
The establishment and development of peace parks is a dynamic, exciting and multi-faceted approach to jointly manage natural resources across political boundaries. It is an exemplary process of partnerships between governments and the private sector - an African success story that will ensure peace, prosperity and stability for generations to come.
By its very nature it is a process led by governments and supported by organisations such as Peace Parks Foundation. Peace parks are about co-existence between humans and nature, about promoting regional peace and stability, conserving biodiversity and stimulating job creation by developing nature conservation as a land-use option.
As Dr Mandela has said: “I know of no political movement, no philosophy, and no ideology that does not agree with the peace parks concept as we see it going into fruition today. It is a concept that can be embraced by all. In a world beset by conflict and division, peace is one of the cornerstones of the future. Peace parks are building blocks in this process, not only in our region, but potentially in the entire world.”
Peace parks are also known as transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs). The Southern African Development Community(SADC) Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement of 1999 defines a TFCA as "the area or component of a large ecological region that straddles the boundaries of two or more countries, encompassing one or more protected areas as well as multiple resource use areas". The Protocol commits the SADC Member States to promote the conservation of shared wildlife resources through the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas.
The successes thus far have been thanks to the vision of the SADC political leaders and the dedication of the many government officials, international coordinators, programme managers and field staff, as well as the tremendous support of the donor community. Thanks to our combined efforts, peace parks are becoming a reality that will benefit generations to come.
Southern Africa’s transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) are being marketed by a number of regional organisations.
Notable among these are the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (Retosa) and Boundless Southern Africa.
Retosa markets and promotes tourism in Southern Africa, in close cooperation with the region’s national tourist organisations and the private sector.
Nine southern African countries have elected the Boundless Southern Africa brand as a means of showcasing the various transfrontier conservation areas. They are united through their passion for nature, culture and community. Through Boundless, these countries offer tourists so much more in terms of experiencing wildlife and scenic beauty in pristine destinations. Boundless also affords tourists the opportunity to engage directly with local communities and learn about their culture, history and sustained conservation of the environment and cultural heritage.