origin of the Peace Parks Foundation
On 27 May
1990, Anton Rupert, the President of WWF South Africa (then called the Southern African
Nature Foundation) had a meeting in Maputo with Mozambique's President Joaquim Chissano to
discuss the possibility of a permanent link being established between some of the
protected areas in southern Mozambique and their adjacent counterparts in South Africa,
Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The concept of transborder protected area co-operation through the
establishment of "peace parks" was not a new one. The World Conservation Union
(IUCN) had long been promoting their establishment because of the many potential benefits
associated with them (Hamilton et al, 1996; Westing, 1993). In 1988, IUCN's
Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas had identified at least 70 protected
areas in 65 countries which straddle national frontiers (Thorsell, 1990). As a result of
Rupert's meeting, WWF South Africa was requested to carry out the relevant feasibility
study, which was completed and submitted to the Government of Mozambique in September 1991
(Tinley and van Riet, 1991). The report was discussed by the Mozambique Council of
Ministers, who recommended that further studies were required to assess fully the
political, socio-economic and ecological aspects of the feasibility study. The Government
of Mozambique then requested the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank to
provide assistance for the project, which was granted. The first mission was fielded in
1991, and in June 1996 the Bank released its recommendations in a report entitled Mozambique:
Transfrontier Conservation Areas Pilot and Institutional Strengthening Project (World
suggested an important conceptual shift away from the idea of strictly protected national
parks towards greater emphasis on multiple resource use by local communities by
introducing the Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) concept. In short, TFCAs
were defined as relatively large areas, which straddle frontiers between two or more
countries and cover large-scale natural systems encompassing one or more protected areas.
Very often both human and animal populations traditionally migrated across or straddled
the political boundaries concerned. In essence, TFCAs extend far beyond designated
protected areas, and can incorporate such innovative approaches as biosphere reserves and
a wide range of community based natural resource management programmes (World Bank, 1996).
(The Peace Parks Foundation subsequently adopted this new paradigm.)
As a result of the
political constraints prevalent in southern Africa at the time of the initiation of the
GEF funded programme in Mozambique, only limited attention could be given to the
development of formal links between the three main participating countries i.e.
Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and unfortunately this persisted throughout the
duration of the study. Two years after the election of Nelson Mandela, South Africa was
experiencing a rapid and significant growth in its nature-based tourism industry, but very
few of the benefits associated with this growth were being made available to Mozambique.
These concerns prompted Anton Rupert to request another meeting with President Chissano,
and this was held on 27 May 1996. At this meeting, Rupert emphasized the significant
economic benefits that could accrue to Mozambique if the proposed TFCAs were implemented.
The Maputo discussions were followed by a Transfrontier Park Initiative meeting in
the Kruger National Park on 8 August 1996 under the joint Chairmanship of Mozambique's
Minister of Transport and Communications, Paulo Muxanga, and South Africa's Minister of
Transport, Mac Maharaj, where it was agreed that the two countries, together with Zimbabwe
and Swaziland, should co-operate to realize the economic benefits of the proposed TFCAs.
Towards the end of
1996, it became clear to WWF South Africa that interest in the peace park concept was not
only growing within the country, but also in the neighbouring states. For the first time, southern
Africa was being seen as a tourist destination, not just South Africa or other countries
on their own, and an integral part of this vision was the development of TFCAs or peace
parks involving all of South Africa's neighbouring countries (de Villiers, 1994; Pinnock,
1996). There was a growing recognition that tourism is the one industry that has the
potential to be the most important economic engine to create the jobs that are so urgently
needed in the sub-continent (see Annex 1).
Committee of WWF South Africa came to the conclusion that unless a separate body was set
up to co-ordinate and drive the process of TFCA establishment and funding, these areas
would not receive the attention that was required to make them a reality on the ground.
Accordingly, the Peace Parks Foundation was established on 1 February 1997 with an initial
grant of Rand 1.2 million (US$ 260,000) from the Rupert Nature Foundation to facilitate
the establishment of TFCAs in southern Africa.
the Peace Parks Foundation
The Peace Parks
Foundation has been constituted and established in South Africa as an Association
incorporated under Section 21 i.e. a company "not for gain". It has
virtually all the powers of a normal company, but cannot have shareholders, and no profits
can be paid to supporting members. The Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors under
the Chairmanship of Dr. Anton Rupert, and has seven Honorary Patrons, namely President
Mogae (Botswana), His Majesty King Letsie lll (Lesotho), President Muluzi (Malawi),
President Chissano (Mozambique), President Nujoma (Namibia), His Majesty King Mswati lll
(Swaziland), and President Mugabe (Zimbabwe). Nelson Mandela (South Africa) is Patron
Emeritus. To assist with technical advice in the transfrontier conservation process and to
provide a forum for discussion of significant cross-border issues, the Peace Parks
Foundation has formed an Advisory Committee and invited representatives from the wildlife
authorities of the SADC countries to serve on this body. The members of the Advisory
Committee are: George Hughes (Actg. Chief Executive, KwaZuluNatal Nature Conservation
Service); Walter Kanhanga (Actg. Director: Zimbabwe Dept of National Parks & Wild Life
Management); Holger Kolberg (Specialist Support Services, Namibia Ministry of Environment
& Tourism); Samiro Magane (Mozambique Directorate of Forestry & Wildlife);
Joseph Matlhare (Director: Botswana Wildlife & National Parks); Lota Melamari
(DirectorGeneral, Tanzania National Parks); Sedia Modise (Facilitator,
Dongola/Limpopo TFCA); Bore Motsamai (Principal General, Lesotho National Environment
Secretariat); Mavuso Msimang (Chief Director, South African National Parks); Henry Mwima
(Director: Operations & Research, Zambia Wildlife Authority); Leonard Sefu (Director,
Malawi National Parks & Wildlife Dept) and Jameson Vilikati(Director: Swaziland
mission of the Foundation is to facilitate the establishment of Transfrontier
Conservation Areas in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) supporting
sustainable economic development, the conservation of biodiversity; and regional peace and
a unique level of international cooperation between the participating countries,
particularly on sensitive issues related to the opening of international boundaries and
within each region, thus support from the top political level is required. The Peace Parks
Foundation has received endorsement from the highest political levels in order to further
the first phase of its programme, which involves Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi,
Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Specific objectives
include the following:
Raise and allocate
funds to projects (essentially of a capital nature) which will further the establishment
and management of TFCAs. These projects will have been approved and recommended to the
Foundation by the relevant conservation agencies responsible for managing the TFCAs.
Assist with the
identification of land to be acquired for the development of the TFCAs, taking into
account the rights and circumstances of communities living on such land. The Foundation
will then: purchase the land for leasing to the various conservation agencies, or
negotiate with private landowners and residents of communal lands for leasing on a
Negotiate loans to the
TFCA conservation agencies for approved projects.
governments and semi-government bodies with regards to political and land tenure/ legal
issues associated with TFCAs.
Promote the development
of TFCAs on a commercial basis (including private sector development) as and when
appropriate within the parameters imposed by environmental and conservation practices and
principles, and whenever possible and practical, involving local communities.
Promote the case for
TFCAs nationally and internationally in terms of their economic viability, ecological
sustainability, and their contribution to the conservation of global biodiversity. Every
effort will be made to promote the recognition of TFCAs as World Heritage sites if
applicable. Special attention will be given to promoting broad-based education programmes
for residents in or adjacent to the TFCAs.
support required for the establishment of TFCAs
For TFCAs to
become a reality, support is required at five levels, namely:
TFCAs involve a unique level of international cooperation between the participating
countries, particularly on sensitive issues related to the opening of international
boundaries. An open commitment by each Head of State is an essential prerequisite for the
TFCA to succeed.
ii) Regional. Within
each region, the relevant international bodies have a key role to play in facilitating the
process. SADC's support for the TFCA process is of paramount importance.
Within each TFCA all the relevant "technical" responsible agencies must be
consulted and involved, including the conservation departments and government departments
responsible for immigration, police, home affairs, customs, health, etc.
communities. All local communities in and adjacent to the TFCAs must be consulted at
the start of the development process and every effort should be made to make them partners
in the business opportunities that will open up.
Financial. TFCAs are expensive to establish and run successfully. Financial support
must be forthcoming from the State, with perhaps the bulk of the funding coming from
private sector investments and bilateral and multilateral aid agencies.
discussions in South Africa with the Boards of the KwaZulu Natal Nature Conservation
Service (Natal Parks Board) and South African National Parks (National Parks Board), and
with conservation agencies in neighbouring countries, eight potential TFCAs have been
identified for initial support by the Foundation in southern Africa (Map 1). The
Foundation has also recently extended its activities to include the Lake Malawi / Nyasa
TFCA. In the text that follows, the first six are listed from the west to the east of the
region, followed by the Maloti/Drakensberg TFCA to the south and ending with the Lake
Malawi / Nyasa TFCA.
Conservation Areas supported by the Peace Parks Foundation
1. Richtersveld /
Ai-Ais TFCA. This proposed TFCA spans some of the most spectacular scenery of the arid
and desert environments of southern Africa, incorporating the Fish River Canyon (often
equated to the Grand Canyon in the USA) and the Ai-Ais hot springs. It is 6,222 km2
in extent of which about 1,902 km2 (31%) are in South Africa, and the remainder
(69%) in Namibia (Map 2). It comprises the Richtersveld National Park in South Africa,
which was proclaimed in 1991 as South Africa's only fully contractual National Park, and
the Ai-Ais Nature Reserve in Namibia, which was proclaimed in 1986.
Dissected by the
Orange River, which forms the border between the two countries, the TFCA is one of the
most diverse parts of the species-rich Succulent Karoo biome, partly the result of two
different rainfall systems and climatic zones. The list of Red Data Book and endemic plant
species is impressive, making the TFCA one of the most species-rich arid zones in the
world, an undisputed hotspot of biodiversity. Many of the species of fauna found in the
area are adapted to withstand the harsh, arid climate (between 15 and 300 mm of rain each
year, and summer temperatures well over 40oC). Fifty-six species of mammals
have been recorded, of which eight are Red Data Book species, including the aardwolf Proteles
cristatus, the brown hyaena Hyaena brunnea and Hartmann's mountain zebra Equus
zebra hartmannae. Six species are endemic to the southern Africa sub-region, a
particularly common example being the dassie rat Petromus typicus which is confined
to the South West Arid Zone where there is suitable habitat of rocky terrain. The mountain
ground squirrel Xerus princeps has a similar range to the dassie rat, excepting
that the only place in which it has been recorded in South Africa is in the Richtersveld
National Park. Along the Orange River predators such as leopard Panthera pardus,
caracal Felis caracal and black-backed jackal Canis mesomelas still occur in
reasonable numbers. However, with the exception of klipspringer Oreotragus oreotragus
ungulates are uncommon. There are at least 194 species of birds, 23 of which are endemic
to southern Africa. The TFCA is particularly noted for its herpetofauna, the diverse
microhabitats of the area being populated by a large variety of lizards (35 species) and
snakes (16 species) (Acocks, 1988; Gelderblom et al., 1997; National Parks
Board, 1996; Powrie, 1992; van Jaarsveld, 1981).
conservation authorities have been approached informally by the South African National
Parks Board on the subject of the formal establishment of the proposed TFCA, but no
agreement or joint management plan exists. A formal liaison committee needs to be
established between the two countries to advance the process, and to address one of the
main challenges associated with the implementation of the TFCA, namely the rehabilitation
of diamond mining areas on both sides of the Orange River and the recently announced
expansion of diamond mining in Buffelsbank Diamante at Sendelingsdrift within the
Richtersveld National Park. The two designated conservation areas involved are relatively
recent acquisitions to southern Africa's network of protected areas, and their combination
in the TFCA will make a significant contribution to the consolidation of protected land in
the Namib Desert biotic zone (Meester, 1965) and the mammals associated with it.
The TFCA has
limited visitor facilities. In the Richtersveld National Park, there are five unserviced
campsites and three guesthouses. The Ai-Ais Hot Springs and the Fish River Canyon has much
more extensive tourist accommodation facilities. The whole of the TFCA is closed to
visitors during the hot summer months (November to March). The opening of the TFCA would
greatly facilitate movement from the Richtersveld to the Fish River Canyon and Hot
Springs, but there is a limited potential for a significant increase in tourist numbers.
2. Gariep TFCA.
This is the least developed of all the proposed TFCAs, and is still at the concept
stage. As with the Richtersveld/ Ai-Ais, the area is also centered along a stretch of the
Orange River which forms the international boundary between South Africa and Namibia. The
proposed TFCA is 2,774 km2 in extent, of which 2,007 km2 (72%)
are in South Africa, and a further 767 km2 (28%) in Namibia (Map 3). It
comprises an arid area characterized by broken terrain with deep sandy dry river gorges
flowing down to the Orange River from both sides. The river itself has unique clusters of
islands in several places, creating a similar effect as found in river deltas. These
islands support untouched stands of riverine bush, a representative of the Orange River
Nama Karoo vegetation type, only 1.5% of which is presently conserved. Inland on the South
African side are relatively untransformed areas of typical Namaqualand Broken Veld, with a
unique "forest" of Aloe dichotoma covering 9km2, and made up
of an estimated 30,000 individual plants (Acocks, 1988; Bezuidenhout, 1997; Gelderblom et
Unlike all of the
other proposed TFCAs, land on both sides of the border is privately owned, and at present
has no conservation status. The Namibian conservation authorities have accepted the
concept, but no formal discussions have taken place. In 1997, irrigation development for
the production of table grapes extended into the heart of the proposed TFCA, causing
significant land transformations, and this will necessitate a revision of the proposed
boundaries. The Peace Parks Foundation funded a feasibility study of the proposed TFCA,
which was completed in June 1998 (Jardine & Owen, 1998). The Foundation is waiting for
advice on this matter from the Board of South African National Parks before any further
action is taken.
significance to conservation of mammalian biodiversity is the potential of this TFCA as a
major new sanctuary for the black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis and possibly for
Hartmann's mountain zebra. Black rhino have declined from an estimated 100,000 in 1960 to
approximately 2,400 in 1995 (AfRSG, 1996). The Gariep TFCA contains extensive areas of
ideal black rhino habitat, and introduced animals would be relatively easy to protect (by
virtue of being surrounded by commercial farms and the TFCA's remoteness from areas of
significant human population). Threat of agricultural development within the proposed
transfrontier conservation area led to an urgent need for an environmental overview. This
was funded and managed by the Foundation in association with the University of Cape Town
and South African National Parks. The preliminary findings of the study indicate that
portions of the river are under extreme and immediate threat due to a recent supply of
electricity to the region, which fundamentally alters the agricultural potential of some
farms. The overview will enable authorities to re-focus their energies towards the most
vulnerable portions of the river.
In June 1992
representatives from the South African National Parks Board and the Department of Wildlife
and National Parks of Botswana set up a joint management committee (Transfrontier
Management Committee). This has addressed the formalisation of the verbal agreement, and
has produced a management plan that sets out the framework for the joint management of the
area as a single ecological unit. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park Management Plan was
reviewed and approved by the two conservation agencies early in 1997. The Plan provides a
basis for co-operative tourism ventures, and proposes the sharing of entrance fees equally
by both countries. An integral feature of the new agreement is that each country will
provide and maintain its own tourism facilities and infrastructure, giving particular
attention to developing and involving neighbouring communities (NPB (South Africa) and
DWNP (Botswana), 1997). The Transfrontier Management Committee is in the process of
establishing a Section 21 company "The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park Company" to
manage and control the financial aspects of the programme.
ratification Botswana and South Africa have set into motion plans to upgrade and develop
the park for tourism. This is promising as the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park acts as a
prototype for future TFCAs in Africa showing the potential of transfrontier parks to not
only protect biodiversity, but to also encourage tourism developments and thereby job
creation in these often impoverished and undeveloped areas. An essential prerequisite for
the new park is the development and construction of a new border post and an entrance gate
on the border between the two countries. Furthermore, a communication system is being
developed to provide an integrated two-way radio communication system for the park. This
project is envisaged to significantly aid in the day-to-day management activities of
personnel in the field and will contribute to the safer management of tourists visiting
the more remote areas in the Park.
In order to
appreciate the importance of this historic event, one needs to understand that the
southern Kalahari represents an increasingly rare phenomenon in the world: a vast
ecosystem, 37,991 km² in extent, relatively free of human influence. The absence of
man-made barriers, except to the west and the south, has made possible a conservation area
large enough to maintain ecological processes that were once widespread in the savannas
and grasslands of Africa. These processes are: the large scale nomadic and seasonal
movements of wildlife, and predation by large free-roaming mammalian carnivores. The 60
mammal species recorded include large herds of ungulates, mainly gemsbok Oryx gazella
after which the national park gets its name, springbok Antidorcas marsupialis, and
blue wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus, and to a lesser extent red hartebeest Alcelaphus
buselaphus and eland Taurotragus oryx. These ungulates and an abundance of
rodents support many carnivores and the TFCA has built up a deserved reputation as one on
the few ecosystems in southern Africa where a variety of large predators can be
maintained. Leopard, brown and spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta, lion Panthera leo,
cheetah Acinonyx jubatus, bat-eared fox Otocyon megalotis and the highly
endangered wild dog Lycaon pictus are all well represented. A total of 264 bird
species have been recorded, including many species endemic to the arid southwest region of
southern Africa. Shrubby Kalahari Dune Bushveld predominates, with the Thorny Kalahari
Dune Bushveld dominating along the Nossob and Auob Rivers (Acocks, 1988; Eloff, 1984;
Gelderblom et al., 1997; Main, 1987; Mills, 1991; Mills & Haagner, 1989; NPB (South
Africa) and DWNP (Botswana), 1997).
There are three
rest camps on the South African side of the TFCA run by the South African National Parks,
each with chalets and camping facilities. At present, only camping facilities are
available on the Botswana side of the border. The Management Plan recognizes the
importance of expanding visitor facilities, but the capacities for each of the zones and
the siting of new camps has still not been decided.
4. Dongola /
Limpopo Valley TFCA. This proposed TFCA is 4,872 km2 in extent, of which
2,561 km2 (53%) is in South Africa, 1,350 km2 (28%) is in Botswana,
and 960 km2 (19%) is in Zimbabwe (Map 5). The TFCA is centered at the
confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers. It is made up of a complex mosaic of land
ownership, including land owned by the state, South African National Parks and private
landowners in South Africa, privately owned land in Botswana (including the Northern Tuli
Game Reserve and cattle/game ranches), and a mixture of communal lands, privately owned
stock and game farming operations and a government owned safari area in Zimbabwe.
In South Africa,
after a long and often acrimonious debate dating back to 1944 (Carruthers, 1992), an
agreement that paved the way for the proclamation of a national park in the vicinity of
the LimpopoShashe confluence was signed on 9 June 1995 between the central
government, the Northern Province and the Board of South African National Parks. The
government-owned Tuli Safari Circle in Zimbabwe was gazetted in 1963. The Peace Parks
Foundation has been involved in working with South African National Parks and with the
private landowners to establish an agreed South African position on land ownership issues
related to the proposed TFCA. The consolidation of the farms in this area will help create
an essential corridor between two of the biggest conservation areas within the TFCA,
namely the Northern Tuli Game Reserve (NOTUGRE) in Botswana and the Venetia Limpopo Nature
Reserve in South Africa, which will provide a corridor for SANP to link their eastern and
western Dongola properties. Should the properties ultimately form part of the proposed
transfrontier park, this coupled with the transfer of the farm Greeswald to the SANP, will
give them sufficient land to proclaim the Dongola National Park. Most of the private
landowners on the Botswana side have indicated their willingness to participate in the
TFCA, and they have the support of Botswana's Department of Wildlife and National Parks.
Prospects appear equally encouraging in Zimbabwe. The South African authorities have had
preliminary discussions on the implementation of the TFCA with their counterparts from the
two neighbouring countries, but no formal agreements have been concluded, and no joint
development plan exists.
The TFCA has
excellent potential as a "big five" conservation area. Viable populations of
lion, leopard, and cheetah still occur, and the population of 600 elephants in Botswana is
the largest population on private land in Africa. Ungulates already present include eland,
impala Aepyceros melampus, blue wildebeest, Burchell's zebra Equus burchelli,
Sharpe's grysbok Raphicerus sharpei, and steenbok Raphicerus campestris, and
there is suitable habitat for both black and white rhino Ceratotherium simum. The
area also has 19 Red Data Book mammals. No detailed information is available on birds,
reptiles and amphibians found specifically within the TFCA, although the area around the
confluence of the two rivers is known to have a great diversity of birdlife. Three main
vegetation communities are recognized in the region: the riparian fringe occurs along the
main rivers and their tributaries, the Acacia-Salvadora community occurs on the
Limpopo flats and vlei areas, and the mixed western mopane veld occurs on ridges and flats
south of the riparian fringe and flood plains. Twenty-six Red Data Book plant species have
been recorded in the area. Large areas of the proposed TFCA have been severely disturbed
and degraded due to previous intensive agricultural farming activities in the core area.
mammals into the Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve include 44 elephants from 1991-1994, 10
roan Hippotragus equinus, 10 sable Hippotragus niger and 20 tsessebe Damaliscus
lunatus in 1994, and 15 wild dog in 1992. All the introductions have been successful
except the wild dog, which increased to 27 in 1992 before disappearing completely the
following year (Mark Berry, pers. com.). A major constraint to the movement of
animals in the area is the presence of the veterinary cordon fence and an electrified
military barrier on the South African side of the Limpopo River, and this needs to be
addressed urgently. Once established, this TFCA has the potential to be a significant
sanctuary for wild dog, black rhino and elephant and for the 16 other Red Data Book
species. Wild dog and elephants in particular would benefit from the larger area of the
Dongola/Limpopo Valley TFCA with its wealth of wildlife and scenery and its
cultural/historical assets has the potential to become a major new tourist destination in
southern Africa. Existing tourist facilities are mainly restricted to a small number of
privately run lodges in Botswana (which already attract about 20,000 visitors each year),
and an even smaller number within South Africa. In Zimbabwe, the Tuli Circle Safari Area
in Zimbabwe is used extensively for hunting by permit. The proposed national park on the
South African side of the TFCA could attract 30,000 additional visitors per year. All
three counties have potential for private sector investment in ecotourism development.
5. Gaza /
Kruger / Gonarezhou TFCA. In a joint media statement issued on 2 May 2000 the
Ministers responsible for natural resources (Environmental Affairs, Wildlife, Forestry,
Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining) in Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe
declared their intention to consolidate plans for what could become the biggest TFCA in
the world. This TFCA is 95,712 km2 in extent, of which 69,208 km2 (72%)
is in Mozambique, 19,458 km2 (21%) in South Africa, and 7,019 km2
(7%) in Zimbabwe (Map 6). With more species of big game than any other tract of land of
equivalent size, the TFCA has the potential to become one of Africa's premier ecotourism
destinations. The South African side will incorporate Africa's first national park, the
Kruger National Park, which was proclaimed on 31 May 1926, and a number of privately owned
areas on the western boundary of the park. Zimbabwe's portion of the TFCA will include the
Sengwe communal land and the Gonarezhou National Park, which was proclaimed as a national
parks in 1972. In Mozambique the TFCA will incorporate the Coutada 16 Wildlife Utilization
Area immediately adjacent to the Kruger National Park, the Zinave National Park, which was
originally proclaimed as a national park in 1972, Banhine National Park established in
1972, and a large area of state owned communal land with a relatively low population
Park alone is one of the major areas of vertebrate diversity in southern Africa, with 147
species of mammals, 505 species of birds, 51 fish, 35 amphibians, and 119 reptiles. It is
one of the few protected areas in southern Africa capable of maintaining a natural large
carnivore/prey system, which will be enhanced considerably once the whole TFCA is in
place. Significant populations of mammals include 1,500 lion, 2,000 spotted hyaena, 8,320
elephants, 2,200 white rhinos, 250 black rhinos, 32,000 Burchell's zebra, 2,200 hippos Hippopotamus
amphibius, 5,000 giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis, 1,500 warthog Phacochoerus
aethiopicus, 16,640 buffalo Syncerus caffer, 3,500 kudu Tragelaphus
strepsiceros, 1,500 waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus, 14,000 blue wildebeest and
over 100,000 impala. Other ungulates include eland, nyala Tragelaphus angasii,
bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus, roan, sable, tsessebe, steenbok, mountain reedbuck Redunca
fulvorufula, Sharpe's grysbok, klipspringer, suni Neotragus moschatus, oribi Ourebi
ourebi, red duiker Cephalophus natalensis and common duiker Sylvicapra
grimmia. Within the park alone are 18 Red Data Book mammal species. Unfortunately,
there has been a recent increase in tuberculosis due to Mycrobacterium bovis in
several of the mammal species in addition to buffalo, which could delay the implementation
of the proposed TFCA.
National Park has a similarly diverse vertebrate fauna, although the total number of
species and of individuals is lower. Elephants and several species of ungulates used to
move freely between South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe before fences divided the area.
Unfortunately, the many years of civil war in Mozambique coupled with recurrent droughts
and a serious lack of management capacity has resulted in the decimation or even complete
elimination of most of the large and medium-sized mammals from Zinave and Banhine National
Parks and from the intermediate areas. The extent of the decline is difficult to determine
because no systematic surveys have been carried out in this part of Mozambique for over 20
The plant life of
the proposed TFCA is equally as diverse, varying from tropical to subtropical with some
temperate forms occurring at higher altitudes. Nearly 2,000 species of vascular plants
have been collected in the Kruger National Park alone. The proposed TFCA is also of great
cultural-historical value, as underlined by the recent discovery of archeological sites at
Thulamela Hill in the Kruger National Park from the gold and ivory culture which prevailed
from about 1200 to 1640 AD (Branch, 1988; Carruthers, 1995; Gelderblom et al., 1997;
Greyling & Huntley, 1984; Jacana Education and the National Parks Board, 1996; Nel,
1996; Sinclair & Whyte, 1991).
settlements will be incorporated into the TFCA, and no attempt will be made to force
people to relocate to other areas. Rather, every effort will be made to develop outreach
programmes to offer people opportunities to work with conservation and/or tourism
development activities. Communities living in and around the Park have never been
consulted on the Park's development before. This is therefore a crucial exercise to ensure
that all role-players are in agreement to the future development of the Park. On request
of the Mozambique wildlife authorities, Direcção Nacional De Florestas e Fauna Bravia
(DNFFB), the Peace Parks Foundation through its Peace Parks Development Programme (PPDP)
is currently supporting a household survey to assess the needs of the communities, and a
survey of other potentially affected parties, including NGOs and government departments.
From this, projects will be developed to ensure that the economic potential of the Park
will be maximized to the benefit of conservation and the communities living in and around
In South Africa,
the Makuleke people lodged a successful land claim for land between the Luvuvhu and
Limpopo Rivers from which they were removed in 1969 to make this area part of the Kruger
National Park. The claim involves the Makuleke people regaining formal title to some 22
000ha of land, and at the same time committing this land to remain part of Kruger National
Park. The land will in future be known as the Makuleke Region of the Kruger National Park.
The community aims to use nature tourism as a main vehicle for development, economic
growth and job creation. In essence, the plan envisages the eventual development of six
lodges at key identified sites in partnership with professional operators from the private
With 72% of the
proposed TFCA in Mozambique, considerable investment will be required in infrastructure
development and capacity building before the area can realize its enormous potential as
one of the world's greatest sanctuaries for biodiversity conservation and for nature-based
tourism. With the removal of fences from the eastern boundary of the Kruger National Park,
there will be a gradual and natural restocking of mammals in the areas immediately
adjacent to the Park, but both the Banhine and Zinave National Parks in Mozambique will
require substantial restocking programmes.
There is already
an extensive and well developed tourism infrastructure within the Kruger National Park,
with 25 rest camps of various sizes providing 4,056 beds as well as 405 caravan/camping
sites. These are complemented by the more "upmarket" accommodation provided in
the numerous private conservation areas adjoining the park. Facilities generally are far
less developed in Gonarezhou, with just one rest camp providing 21 beds, and a small
number of camping sites. In Mozambique, Coutada 16 has a small tourist camp operated by a
private contractor. There are no facilities in Zinave or in Banhine National Parks, and
access is difficult. There is great potential for commercial tourism development on the
Mozambique side of the TFCA, but this will not succeed unless coupled with a significant
effort to make progress with the priority activities mentioned above.
TFCA. Development of the Lubombo TFCA was given further momentum with the signing of
the Lubombo Transfrontier Trilateral Protocol between Mozambique, South Africa and
Swaziland at the World Economic Forum summit on 22 June 2000. This proposed TFCA
straddles the border between South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland. It is situated on a
low-lying coastal plain between the Lubombo Hills in the west and the Indian Ocean in the
east, and offers a unique combination of big game, extensive wetlands and coastal areas.
The TFCA is 4,195 km2 in extent, of which 317 km2 (8%) is in
Swaziland, 2,783 km2 (66%) is in Mozambique, and 1,095 km2 (26%) is
in South Africa (Map 7). In Swaziland, the King holds all the land in trust for the
nation. The proposed TFCA will eventually incorporate Hlane National Park, and the
Mlawula, Simunye and Mbuluzi Nature Reserves, Lubombo Conservancy, a small section of Sisa
Ranch and Malahleni dispersal area, all of which are in the process of being incorporated
into a new conservancy. The Maputo Elephant Reserve in Mozambique was established in 1932,
and was subsequently increased in size in 1969. All the remainder of the land in the
country is state owned communal land, with a relatively low population density.
Approximately 8,000 people live between the Maputo River and the coast. In South Africa,
the Ndumo Game Reserve was established in 1924, and the Tembe Elephant Park in 1983.
area will be particularly important for elephant conservation. Tembe (90 100
elephants) and Maputo Elephant Reserve (approximately 200 elephants) are the only
indigenous populations remaining on the coastal plains of southern Mozambique and
KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) in protected areas, and the two areas would be linked
together. A study is being initiated to measure the ecological and population variables
that will play a key role in restoring the former coastal plains elephant population,
which is today separated into two discrete populations, one in Maputo Elephant Reserve in
Mozambique and the other in the Tembe Elephant Park in South Africa.
The 102 species of
mammals in the proposed area include both black and white rhino, and other Red Data Book
mammals include samango monkey Cercopithecus mitis, suni and red duiker.
Unfortunately, severe poaching has reduced or even eliminated several species of large
mammals from the Mozambican side, presenting an important opportunity for mammal
restocking programmes, particularly of buffalo, hippo, tsessebe, Burchell's zebra, blue
wildebeest, roan, sable, oribi, waterbuck, eland, kudu, impala, bushbuck, steenbok, suni,
and nyala, only to name a few key species. When ungulates are established, cheetah and
wild dog can follow. Of the more than 427 bird species found in the area, four species and
43 subspecies are endemic to the Maputaland centre of Endemism. In the Ndumo Game Reserve
alone, 416 bird species have been recorded. The 112 species of reptiles include the
loggerhead and leatherback turtles, which nest along the extensive beaches. The vegetation
of Maputaland falls within the savanna biome, and consists primarily of Subhumid Lowveld
Bushveld and Natal Lowveld Bushveld, with limited Coastal BushveldGrassland, a
complex mosaic of savanna, sand forest, grassland, dune forest, floodplain, pan systems
and swamp communities. The conservation of these sand forests and their associated fauna
in particular is important, as this habitat type is very limited in extent. The world's
largest remaining area of sand forest (5 km wide and 20 km long) lies to the north of
Ndumo Game Reserve in Mozambique. This area alone has tremendous potential for tourism
because of its rich birdlife. The proposed TFCA is one of the most striking areas of
biodiversity in the world. It contains an exceptionally high number of species of fauna
and flora, and is a zone of sharp transition, representing the southernmost extent of the
East African flora and fauna, and the northernmost extent of many of the southern African
species. It also contains many endemics spread over the whole taxonomic spectrum. The
proposed TFCA is the core of the Maputaland centre of endemism, which was recently
recognized as the only centre of plant diversity in Mozambique. The TFCA also has a strong
cultural history. In Swaziland, near the proposed TFCA, archeologists have made several
interesting discoveries, including a very rare record of modern man dating back 110,000
years, as well as many Early and Middle Stone Age remains (Acocks, 1988; Bruton &
Cooper, 1980; Gelderblom et al., 1997; Mountain, 1990; van Wyk, 1996; World Bank,
biodiversity of this TFCA, coupled with its magnificent scenery, makes this area yet
another potentially significant new southern African tourist destination. Existing tourist
facilities are concentrated on the South African side of the border. Ndumo Game Reserve
has a good network of roads, seven three-bed cottages, and a small luxury lodge. Tembe
Elephant Park has adequate roads and three tented camps. In Swaziland, Hlane National Park
has good roads, one small camp offering rustic accommodation and a more modern camp with
three self-contained cottages. Two camping sites are available in the Mlawula Nature
Reserve. In the Maputo Elephant Reserve, access is at present restricted to 4x4 vehicles.
There are many opportunities throughout this TFCA for private sector investment in the
7. Maloti /
Drakensberg TFCA. The Drakensberg is the highest region in South Africa. The proposed
TFCA is 8,113km2 in extent, of which 5,170 km2 (64%) is in Lesotho
and 2,943 km2 (36%) is in South Africa (Map 8). It will contain the largest and
most important high altitude protected area in the subcontinent, supporting unique montane
and subalpine ecosystems. The area has spectacular scenery, as well as being an important
centre of endemism for montane plant species. The high altitude streams, oxbow lakes and
wetlands, coupled with the high annual rainfall (800 mm at lower altitude to 2,000 mm near
the escarpment) make a major contribution to the provision of water for the urban and
industrial complexes in the South African provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga, and this
will be further enhanced through the Lesotho Highlands Water Project which is presently
under construction in Lesotho. On the South African side of the border, a number of
provincial nature reserves have been combined together with state forests, wilderness
areas and nature reserves proclaimed in terms of the Forest Act to form the Natal
Drakensberg Park. This is now being managed by the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation
Service as a statutory protected area, incorporating Giants Castle Game Reserve, Royal
Natal National Park, Loteni Nature Reserve, Vergelegen Nature Reserve, Rugged Glen Nature
Reserve, and the state forests at Cathedral Peak, Monks Cowl, Highmoor, Mkhomazi, Cobham
and Garden Castle. The continuity of the protected area on the South African side of the
border between the Royal Natal National Park and Cathedral Peak is broken by the amaNgwane
Tribal Area. However, several members of the resident local community have already
expressed interest in having the Tribal Area developed for a variety of ecotourism
progammes which would be compatible with the activities within the Natal Drakensberg Park.
On the Lesotho side, the Sehlabathebe National Park ranks as a schedule IV protected area
in terms of IUCN protected area categories. Portions of the alpine belt of Lesotho have
been earmarked as a Managed Resource Area in terms of the Managed Resource Order No.18 of
1993. The proposed TFCA is home to a variety of ungulates, including bushbuck, eland,
reedbuck Redunca arundinum, mountain reedbuck, grey rhebok Pelea capreolus,
klipspringer, black wildebeest Connochaetes gnou and oribi, although numbers are
generally low. About 246 species of birds have been recorded, of which 14 are listed in
the Red Data Book. The Tsoelikana River harbours the highly threatened Maloti/Drakensberg
minnow Oreodaimon zuathlambae which was thought to be extinct. The vegetation of
the TFCA falls within the grassland biome, and consists mainly of Alti Mountain Grassland
with some Moist Upland Grassland in the lower-lying areas. An estimated 30% of the plant
species within this biome are endemic to the Drakensberg. There are also several areas of
Afromontane forest in the sheltered valleys. Both sides of the border contain important
archaeological sites in the form of some outstanding examples of San cave paintings and
artefacts. With the combination of these exceptional natural and cultural features, the
whole TFCA deserves nomination as a World Heritage Site. The entire Natal Drakensberg Park
has already been accepted for listing under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of
international importance. The harsh climatic conditions have deterred permanent settlement
within the TFCA with the exclusion of a few recent isolated exceptions, although the
Lesotho side is used in the summer months for domestic cattle grazing. (Acocks, 1988;
Bainbridge and Motsami, 1995; Gelderblom et al., 1997; Hilland and Burtt, 1987;
IUCN, 1990; Smith, 1997).
of the TFCA has been under negotiation since 1982, and the negotiations are ongoing.
Initially these took place under the aegis of an Intergovernmental Liaison Committee. This
was halted in 1993 after the election in Lesotho, but was continued in 1996 by the
KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service working closely with the National Environmental
Secretariat of Lesotho. In the same year, the Natural Resources Institute of UK's Overseas
Development Administration prepared and submitted a proposal for European Union funding
for a major conservation programme in a 1,000 km2 pilot area of the TFCA within
Lesotho (Natural Resources Institute, 1996). Expected key outputs will be comprehensive
strategies for livestock husbandry, natural resource conservation, ecotourism,
environmental education and extension, and sustainable land use. ECU 2 million was
subsequently granted from the Lome III Indicative Programme. In July 1997 a meeting was
held in Maseru with representatives of the Natal Parks Board and the National Environment
Secretariat, where it was agreed that a formal Project Steering Committee should be
established to drive the initiative forward. One of the primary goals of the Steering
Committee would be the establishment of a Section 21 company for the TFCA.
The South African
side of the border has an extensive network of accommodation facilities, with the best
developed being in the Royal Natal National Park and the Giant's Castle Game Reserve. All
the reserves have campsites and self-catering chalets. The higher mountains have a number
of caves that are used by overnight hikers and mountaineers. In Lesotho, limited
accommodation is available only at the Sehlabathebe National Park.
- 3. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
President Mogae of Botswana and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa formally opened
the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park on 12 May 2000. This followed the signing of the
Bilateral Agreement on 7 April 1999, in which the two countries agreed to manage their
adjacent national parks as a single ecological unit. The TFCA is 37,991 km2 in
extent, of which 9,591 km2 (27%) are in South Africa with the remainder in
Botswana (Map 4). This TFCA has been de facto in existence since 1948 through a
verbal agreement between South Africa and Botswana, and is comprised of the Kalahari
Gemsbok National Park in South Africa (proclaimed in 1931), and the Gemsbok National Park
in Botswana (proclaimed in 1971), and subsequently extended to incorporate the Mabuasehube
8. Lake Malawi/Nyasa TFCA. At a trilateral meeting in May 1999
held in Dar es Salaam, attended by representatives of the governments of Malawi,
Mozambique and Tanzania, as well as development agencies, donors and NGOs, an ambitious
plan was unveiled. Delegates endorsed a proposal to create a TFCA stretching from Lake
Malawi/Nyasa to the Indian Ocean, spanning an area of over 100,000 km2, and
incorporating designated protected areas in all three countries (Map 9). In Tanzania, it
includes the Selous Game Reserve (a World Heritage Site), Livingstone Mountains, Mbamba
Bay on the shores of Lake Malawi, the proposed Mtwara Corridor linking the Lake to the
Indian Ocean as well as the proposed Mnazi Bay Marine Park at the mouth of the Ruvuma
River. In Mozambique, it incorporates the Lago Niassa Game Reserve and marine areas in the
north of the country. In Malawi, it includes Malawi and Liwonde National Parks, several
forest and game reserves, the Nyika Plateau and riverine areas of the Rukuru, Ruangwa, Bua
and Shire Rivers.
During the Dar es
Salaam meeting, the stakeholder states recognised the need to involve and consult with all
the stakeholders at community and national level. From the 14th to 15th
of October, a Malawi National Consultative Workshop was held at Nkopola Lodge. At the end
of the workshop a task force was formed to take the consultative process forward and
implement the recommendations agreed at the workshop. Tanzania hosted a local consultative
workshop in Makambaku, Iringa District, and a National Consultative Workshop in Dar es
Salaam. The consultative workshops for Mozambique have been postponed since the dates
coincided with those of the political campaigns. A Strategic Planning Workshop was held in
Benoni, Johannesburg from 13 15 December 1999. A Facilitator employed full-time to
assist the three countries participating, as well as the three Interim Steering Committee
(ISC) members representing Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania attended. They identified the
goal of the strategic plan as that of "securing the commitment of the participating
governments to collaborative management of the natural resources within the Lake Malawi /
Nyasa / Niassa Basin and Catchment Area" (Wahome, 2000).
The proposed TFCA
has areas of magnificent scenic beauty, as well as an array of culturally diverse
communities, and a large number of species of conservation significance across the
taxonomic spectrum. The Lake itself is a shared resource among the three countries and is
home to an estimated 1,000 species of fish belonging to 11 different families, including
over 400 documented species of cichlids, many of which are endemic. The cichlids are
particularly vulnerable to extinction from over-fishing, pollution, and other
environmental hazards. The only area set aside for the protection of the cichlids is the
94 sq.km Lake Malawi National Park (LMNP), which adjoins and extends into the southern
portion of the Lake. The LMNP established in 1980 as the first freshwater, underwater
national park in Africa, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The communities in
the Lake Basin live in abject poverty, deriving their livelihood from the natural
resources of the area. Small-scale fishermen using simple methods within 2km of the
shoreline catch about 90% of the Lake's fish, which account for about 70% of the animal
protein consumed by the population of Malawi. The fishing industry employs about 40,000
people directly, and supports another 250,000 in related activities. Development of the
TFCA must therefore involve these communities as custodians of the natural resources,
partners and stakeholders.
The Peace Parks
Foundation's fundraising strategy
initial stages of the growth and development of the Foundation, funds will be raised by
the following three main methods: 1) Membership of the Peace Parks Club. The
Foundation has launched a Peace Parks Club, and His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the
Netherlands has accepted the appointment as the President of the Club. A package of travel
and accommodation benefits is available for Club members for a period of ten years on
receipt of a one-off payment (Peace Parks Club, 1997). One thousand individuals are being
invited to become Individual Founder Members (US$ 5,000 each), together with 100 Corporate
Founder Members (US$ 50,000 each). 2) Grants from bilateral and multilateral aid agencies,
and 3) Grants and donations from individuals, corporations, Trusts and Foundations.
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