Latest News13 March 2013
Another €15.5 million for Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) TFCA
The Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area is situated in the Okavango and Zambezi river basins where the borders of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe converge. It is the world's largest transfrontier conservation area, spanning approximately 520 000 km2 (similar in size to France).
It includes 36 national parks, game reserves, community conservancies and game management areas. Most notably, the area will include the Caprivi Strip, Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta (the largest Ramsar Site in the World) and the Victoria Falls (a World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World).
Kavango Zambezi promises to be southern Africa's premier tourist destination with the largest contiguous population of the African elephant (approximately 250 000) on the continent. Conservation and tourism will be the vehicle for socio-economic development in the region.
A memorandum of understanding towards what is set to become Africa’s biggest conservation area and the world's largest transfrontier conservation area was signed in December 2006. To guide its development, the five governments had commissioned a pre-feasibility study, facilitated by the Foundation. A Secretariat was appointed to steer KAZA TFCA’s development.
On 18 August 2011 at the SADC Summit in Luanda, Angola, the Presidents of the Republics of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe signed a treaty which formally and legally establishes the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA).
KAZA TFCA was officially launched on 15 March 2012 when the ministers responsible for the environment, wildlife, natural resources, hotels and tourism of the republics of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe hosted various stakeholders in the town of Katima Mulilo, Namibia, and unveiled the KAZA TFCA treaty.
Good progress was made with developing integrated development plans (IDPs) for the partner countries, with the IDPs for Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe being completed and ready for implementation. The IDP for the Zambian component was finalised in 2008 and the projects that were identified during the integrated planning process – relating broadly to natural resource conservation and use, community development and benefits, and planning and infrastructural requirements – have since been implemented.
The IDP process is a comprehensive and participatory planning process that aligns the planning and development of the different tiers of government with those of the private sector and communities. It also informs the national development strategy of that particular area. The five separate IDPs, as well as an IDP for KAZA TFCA as a whole, will promote the sustainable and equitable development, utilisation and management of KAZA TFCA.
In November 2012 the KAZA ministers approved collaboration with the World Bank to develop a KAZA visa, using the UN World Tourism Organisation general assembly meeting in the Victoria Falls area from 24 to 29 August 2013 as an opportunity to pilot the concept. The World Bank is funding the development of the visa, which will allow visitors free movement across the borders of the five partner countries within the confines of the TFCA, with $850 000. At the same ministerial meeting, Zambia concluded its term of two years as the coordinating country and transferred the responsibility to Zimbabwe.
See also the work being done in the Simalaha Community Conservancy and the Sioma Ngwezi National Park and visit the KAZA TFCA website for more information.