Engaged Partnership Fund
Peace Parks Foundation has been facilitating the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs), often referred to as peace parks, since 1997. While the peace parks concept is not unique to southern Africa, the region has taken the lead in realising the vision of linking more than a million square kilometres of protected areas and ecosystems across international borders to create a network that will preserve southern Africa’s biological diversity, re-open ancient wildlife migration routes across manmade borders, and promote regional peace and stability between people, wildlife and nature.
Over the years, the TFCA concept has gained a significant amount of traction and interest from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, donors, non-governmental organisations, collaborating partners and critics. More than €300 million has been mobilised for TFCA development in southern Africa, with promises of substantially more funding becoming available. The financial resources mobilised for TFCAs are by far the largest and most significant source of conservation finance in SADC over the past decade.
Peace Parks Foundation has now developed an exciting new facility to provide supporters of the peace parks concept with a strategic approach to philanthropy – the ENGAGED PARTNERSHIP FUND – with ease of administration and the opportunity for tactical input.
The concept behind an Engaged Partnership Fund is that the donor is able to select the project or programme to which the funds will be directed, as well as participate in bi-annual meetings at which priorities are determined and allocations agreed to. The mechanism uncouples the timing of the charitable tax deduction (minimum $1m) from the granting, with disbursements and reporting managed by Peace Parks Foundation. Donors can also bequeath a charitable legacy, with an appointed representative participating in the management of that legacy.
The first Engaged Partnership Fund was established in 2013,with three partners: the COmON Foundation, the government of Mozambique and Peace Parks Foundation. The selected project is the Community Development Facility (CDF) in the Usuthu-Tembe-Futi component of the broader Lubombo TFCA. The fund serves as a financing mechanism to unlock community enterprise and socio-economic development opportunities that are aligned with the strategic objectives of the TFCA and further support the development objectives of the Mozambican government.
“It has been a privilege for COmON Foundation to see, first-hand, the positive change its funding is making to the livelihoods of people where its projects are being implemented. This is not just funding projects, but being involved in their implementation and being part of seeing communities reap the benefits – a very rewarding partnership.” – Board, COmON Foundation.