Southern Africa: Region’s Kaza Project Wins Global Admiration

by Mar 17, 2011Wildlife News

IF realised, the trans-boundary conservation initiative between five SADC countries will be “the world’s icon for conservation”, says the head of the World Wildlife Fund in Germany.

Eberhard Brandes, the chief executive officer of WWF Germany, told The Namibian recently that the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KaZa-TFCA) is a unique conservation project with five countries involved.

“If realised, it will be the world’s icon for conservation. Not because of its size but it is fascinating that five countries can come together for conservation. It will be a win-win for nature conservation,” said Brandes.

The Namibian caught up with Brandes at the opening of new facilities in the Bwabwata National Park in northeastern Namibia on March 4. The park forms part of the KaZa-TFCA.

Brandes said WWF Germany started supporting the project a year ago, through the WWF offices in the region, on issues such as human-wildlife conflict.

The KaZa-TFCA is a massive trans-boundary conservation project between Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Angola and Zimbabwe.

It is based on the wetland ecosystem of the Zambezi and Okavango rivers and the KaZa area includes 22 protected areas and has the size of 280 000 square kilometres.

World-class tourist attractions such as Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe (a World Heritage Site), Popa Falls in Namibia and Okavango Delta in Botswana are part of the initiative.

The five countries believe that the project will foster regional cooperation, leading to the protection of the fragile environment for sustainable tourism development.