Further support from KfW for Africa's largest transfrontier conservation area
The German Government, through its development bank, KfW, has been closely involved in the development of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation area since its inception in 2006. This week, KfW demonstrated its continued commitment to the development of this significant conservation area, through the signing of a new funding agreement of €15,5 million for the period 2018 to 2022. read more
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 includes the Zambezi Region, Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta 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 for the establishment of Africa’s biggest conservation area and the world’s largest terrestrial transfrontier conservation area, Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) TFCA, was signed in December 2006. To guide its development, the five governments commissioned a pre-feasibility study, facilitated by Peace Parks Foundation. In June 2010 the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through KfW, committed funding for KAZA TFCA’s development. Peace Parks Foundation was appointed as implementing agent by the partner countries to provide financial management and technical and co-financing support to the KAZA secretariat. The Netherlands Directorate-General for International Cooperation also supported various projects.
On 18 August 2011 the presidents of the republics of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe signed a treaty that formally and legally established the TFCA. The Kavango Zambezi TFCA was officially launched on 15 March 2012 when the ministers responsible for the environment, wildlife, natural resources, hotels and tourism of the five partner countries hosted various stakeholders in the town of Katima Mulilo, Namibia, and unveiled the KAZA TFCA treaty. In 2013 BMZ, through KfW, donated further funding for KAZA’s development. In 2014, Oryx The International Journal of Conservation published a study proving that a population of zebra undertake the longest big-mammal migration in Africa. The zebra travel along a 500 km round-trip route in an almost direct north-south axis between Namibia and Botswana in KAZA TFCA.
In 2014 Botswana’s Okavango Delta became the thousandth site inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
In 2015 the KAZA TFCA master integrated development plan (IDP) was approved by the partner countries and, along with the five country-IDPs, will guide the development of the TFCA. Six wildlife dispersal areas that emphasise the interconnectivity of the various protected areas, were identified for development: Kwando River, Zambezi-Chobe floodplain, Zambezi-Mosi Oa Tunya, Hwange-Kazuma–Chobe, Hwange-Makgadikgadi-Nxai and Khaudum-Ngamiland. Following the adoption of the KAZA TFCA master IDP, KfW donated funding for its implementation.
On 8 April 2016, the KAZA Secretariat and Peace Parks Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding to formalise the long-standing cooperation and partnership in the development of KAZA TFCA. The MoU provides direction on areas of collaboration.
On 2 September, traditional leaders from four of the five partner countries met in Livingstone, Zambia. This was the first time that these leaders had met as a collective grouping, not confined to the sovereign borders of the five individual countries, but united by common challenges facing the communities they represent. In a noteworthy step towards developing the TFCA, the government of Botswana, through its Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, and the KAZA Secretariat signed a hosting agreement, which will allow the secretariat to operate as a legal entity, with the ability to sign contracts, raise funds and appoint staff. This is the first peace park in Africa that now has its own legal persona.
The KAZA univisa, first introduced as a one-year pilot project in November 2014, was relaunched in December. The visa allows visitors access to Zambia and Zimbabwe for the duration of one month. It also covers access to Botswana for day trips through the Kazungula border post.