Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs)

HISTORY AND PRESENT STATUS

Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) are defined as relatively large areas, straddling frontiers between two or more countries and cover large-scale natural systems encompassing one or more protected areas. TFCAs involve a unique level of international co-operation between the participating countries, particularly issues related to the opening of international boundaries and within each region. For TFCAs to become a reality, support is required at five levels, namely:

Political: TFCAs involve a unique level of international co-operation 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.

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.

Technical: Within each TFCA all the relevant "technical" responsible agencies must be consulted and involved, including the conservation departments responsible for immigration, police, home affairs, customs, health, etc.

Local 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.

OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND COOPERATING BODIES

Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
South African National Parks
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry

GENERAL COMMENTS

The creation of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park on 12 May 2000 opened the first chapter on TFCAs in Southern Africa. Parks that are presently being considered are:

Richtersveld/Ai-Ais TFCA
Gariep TFCA
Limpopo/Shashe TFCA
Gaza/Kruger/Gonarezhou TFCA
Lubombo TFCA
Maloti/Drakensberg TFCA
Lake Malawi/Nyasa TFCA

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa