General

Annual TFCA meeting

On 18 and 19 April 2011, Peace Parks Foundation held its annual meeting with all staff, including the international coordinators and programme managers based in the various peace parks and in the implementing agencies of the relevant partner countries.
A total of some 70 personnel members and invitees from the Ministry of Tourism of Mozambique and the South African Department of Environmental Affairs participated in the meeting.

The purpose was to discuss the status of the development of Southern Africa’s transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) or peace parks, with a focus on the following elements:
The performance management audit system that endeavours to structure the approach to optimal TFCA development;
Understanding the complexities and sensitivities of TFCA planning;
The information requirements of TFCA development;
Advances made on the TFCA tourism development strategy; and
An overview of TFCA projects.

Much time was spent on sharing experiences and lessons learnt, with time given to share information on the development of a plan for tourism commercialisation in Limpopo National Park in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park; the Kavango Zambezi TFCA regional development model; and the Mozambique national TFCA development model.

Information on the Foundation’s support programmes was also shared with the colleagues based in the field. These programmes have been designed to do exactly what it states, to support the development of TFCAs. The support programmes include the SA College for Tourism and its Tracker Academy, the Southern African Wildlife College, Ecosystem Services and the Climate Change Programme, the TFCA Veterinary Programme and assistance with communicating the messages of TFCAs.

What was especially useful to all attendees, was an informal workshop where the staff could learn from each other. Discussions centred around policy harmonisation in the various TFCAs to ease implementation and assist in law enforcement strategies; land-use planning; people-centred conservation; joint law enforcement; the Natural Information Collection Kit; and fundraising support.

The two days spent together were extremely useful to all concerned and staff left with a clear vision for the year ahead.
Peace Parks Foundation CEO, Mr Werner Myburgh, said that the annual TFCA meeting with all staff and key invitees had become vital to the Foundation’s work in optimally supporting the various governments.
*Thank you to Distell and Protea Hotel for their support!

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