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The German government is providing EUR 4 million to the world’s largest transfrontier conservation area (TFCA), the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) TFCA, to mitigate the devastating repercussions of COVID-19 in four of the partner states – Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This grant comes in addition to COVID-19 relief funding for Namibia under the bilateral programme of German Development cooperation.
The pandemic threatens to negatively impact on decades of conservation work in KAZA and has placed a strain on thousands of livelihoods in vulnerable communities. Dr Nyambe Nyambe, the Executive Director of the KAZA TFCA Secretariat, stated:
“The funding made available by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through KfW Development Bank to the KAZA partner states, aims to bring relief to the economic hardships faced by the communities, to mitigate job losses experienced in the tourism sector, and bolster the management of protected areas in the various KAZA conservation areas. On behalf of all the partners, the KAZA Secretariat extends our sincerest gratitude to the German Government, whose generous support will have a significant impact on safeguarding community livelihoods and conservation efforts within this landscape.”
There will be urgent initiation of activities through the EUR 4 million COVID-19 relief funding, with the intent to create immediate and lasting results over the next 12 months. Partner states, with the coordination and facilitation of the KAZA Secretariat, identified key priority interventions to be supported under this fund. Peace Parks Foundation, the implementing agent and financial manager of the German grant, will assist the KAZA Secretariat with the execution of the grant.
For these interventions to have swift and effective impact, collaborating organisations identified by the partner states have subsequently been contracted by the KAZA Secretariat with support from Peace Parks to assist with the management and implementation of relief efforts. Each collaborating organisation will deploy custom interventions, targeted to provide the most benefit for their country and area of operation.
Various projects will be enabled, with the main efforts directed at the critical protection of livelihoods, by keeping employment in place at community and conservancy level, as well as implementing work programmes to strengthen food security and minimise the increase in subsistence poaching.
Peace Parks Foundation CEO, Werner Myburgh, says, “From the onset of the pandemic, we knew as an organisation that we needed to act quickly with critical interventions to mitigate the severe threats posed by COVID-19. The incredible generosity of the German government has made it possible to not only support vulnerable communities in caring for their physical health, but also put programmes in place to safeguard the livelihoods of hundreds of families living in and around transfrontier conservation areas. This global catastrophe has made it clear that threats to biodiversity, such as the eradication of natural landscapes or the illegal and unregulated trade in fauna and flora, have dire repercussions on humanity. It has now become more important than ever, to join together as humankind and work towards a future where we can thrive in harmony with nature.”
Germany’s COVID-relief support to transfrontier conservation areas extends across southern Africa. EUR 1 million was made available by BMZ through KfW for relief efforts in the Mozambique components of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area – a programme that will create approximately 396 jobs across Limpopo, Banhine and Zinave national parks over 10 months. The initiatives under this grant will be implemented by Peace Parks in partnership with the Mozambique Government’s National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC).
COVID-19 relief funding of 1 million EUR for Covid-19 relief initiatives has also been made available by Germany through KfW to Malawi. The interventions here will focus on Nyika National Park and Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, where Peace Parks has an operational footprint and is working closely with Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife.