Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area

Darter Chobe and Zambezi Rivers
Victoria Falls, Zambezi River, Zimbabwe
African Fish Eagle, Chobe River
Ngonye Falls, Visitor’s Center, Zambia (Supported by DGIS and PPF)
Chili Production HWC, Namibia
KAZA TFCA Landscapes
Hippopotamus, Chobe River, Botswana
Traditional Dancers, Botswana
KAZA TFCA office-Sesheke Zambia (supported by WWF Netherlands and WWF Germany)
Infrastructure development (Sioma Ngwezi HQ)
Impalas, Chobe National Park
Traditional Dancers, Namibia
Chobe River Sunset
African Elephant, Chobe River, Botswana


This is not an exhaustive list of project activities being conducted in the TFCA. While some of these projects pre-date the KAZA process, they nevertheless contribute significantly to the overall goals and objectives of the TFCA.

1. Protected Area infrastructure development in Angola, Botswana and Zambia

A component of funds pledged by the German Government through KfW will be used to develop and improve upon existing protected area infrastructure in Angola’s Luiana Partial Reserve, Botswana’s Chobe National Park and Zambia’s Sioma Ngwezi National Park. This improvement in capacity for the protected area authorities is required to complement the harmonisation of natural resource management approaches across the partner countries and ensure attainment of set goals.

2. Ecological linkages

The network of protected areas and the ecological corridors linking them form the initial core, or anchor, of the KAZA TFCA. It is now generally recognized that the world is far from possessing sufficient resources to conserve all the species that are under threat and that the national parks and game reserves have vitally important roles to play in the in situ conservation of viable species in natural ecosystems.

Protected areas are increasingly put under threat by human-induced land transformation and illegal harvesting of natural resources.

The well-established theory of island biogeography indicates that when an area loses a large proportion of its original habitat and especially when the remaining habitat is fragmented, it will eventually lose some of its species.

It is thus clearly in the interest of species conservation to join together fragmented habitat patches into a continuum, a vitally important objective of TFCA establishment. In addition there is a need to incorporate in the TFCA, areas of high biodiversity or areas including endemic, rare or endangered species.

3. Simalaha Wildlife Recovery Area Project, Zambia

This project is a result of the Integrated Development Plan process for the Zambian component of the KAZA TFCA and is a joint collaboration between the Chiefdoms of Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta of Sesheke district and Chief Sekute of Chundu Kuta on either side of the Kasaya River.

The project was proposed by the two Chiefdoms who are looking to protect their culture while simultaneously unlocking the economic and tourism potential of their region, and by using a different approach to wildlife management, hope to see a return to the wildlife numbers in the area as existing in the 1970s. The project is being supported by the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA).

The project area covers approximately 200,000ha and consists of areas that seasonally flood as well as areas that could serve as a refuge to wildlife during flood episodes.

The area provides an important ecological link with the Chobe National Park through the conservancies in Namibia through to Kafue National Park and is part of a wildlife corridor.

The aim is to prepare development plans and implementation plans for the area and by working with ZAWA and Namibian conservancies across the border, to secure the wildlife corridor so as to replenish the wildlife numbers in the region. Longer term objectives are to see a reduction in wildfires, development of tourism, income generation through trusts, and investment in self insurance schemes and educational programmes. The project entails a component of exchange visits from identified conservancies across the Namibian border.

4. Kazangula Heartland Programme by AWF

The project area encompasses approximately 40,000km2 characterised by multiple land use, globally significant conservation and tourism areas, a high elephant population, widespread rural poverty and an important freshwater system.

The project has five focus areas on which activities are tailored, namely;

  •  Land and habitat conservation
  • Capacity building and leadership development
  • Policy support
  • Conservation enterprise
  • Species conservation and applied research

An important aspect of the project is creating linkages between conservation anchors across borders such as Chobe National Park and Sioma Ngwezi National Park; Chobe National Park and Kafue National Park; and Chobe National Park and Hwange National Park.

Some objectives include, reversing landscape fragmentation; improving biodiversity health and integrity; and providing communities with incentives to adopt conservation as a complementary land use.

5. Improved forest management intervention by the Climate Change programme of PPF, Zambia

The Zambian component of the KAZA TFCA holds some of the nation’s most pristine forests which are under the threat of deforestation and degradation. Since these forests absorb greenhouse gases, they have a pivotal role to play in the Climate Change programme.

On 24 June 2009, the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Peace Parks Foundation to jointly implement such a programme comprising of two aspects:

  • The development of land use change activities on the ground which include avoiding deforestation, and improving fire management, that provide benefits to the local communities through alternative livelihoods, private sector investment and employment opportunities.
  • The development of a financial vehicle that will ensure the inclusive, transparent sale of generated carbon offsets and the flow of generated income streams to deserving parties on the ground.

6. Proposed joint policy on Natural Resource Management for the KAZA TFCA

One of the Key Performance Areas for the development of TFCA’s into a functional unit is the harmonization of policies and approaches between the partner countries. A study by Conservation International already exists which analyses the policies and approaches in the five partner countries with regards to wildlife conservation, protected areas, forestry, tourism and community rights to natural resources.

This study highlights potential areas of conflict and synergy and will be used to propose, in consultation with legal and technical experts and local level practitioners from the partner countries, a joint policy for the KAZA TFCA on Natural Resource Management (NRM).

The policy will address issues relating to consumptive and non-consumptive uses of natural resources; fire management; fisheries; forestry; veterinary health; cross border law enforcement; community rights over Natural Resources etc. This activity to be sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS) will effectively complement the work of KfW with SADC to develop protocols and sectoral strategies at the regional level.

This project will also complement another proposed SADC project which aims to develop a TFCAs policy focusing on cross border activities, by producing such a policy for a specific case study. Once the KAZA treaty is signed, the proposed policies can be advocated and once adopted will be key in effecting legislative reform in the five partner countries and ensuring harmonized practical management of NR in the region.

7. Evaluation of the Protected Area status of the southeast Kuando Kubango Landscape, Angola

In 2007 and 2008, as a result of a request from the Implementation Committee of the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kuando Kubango Province (an initiative of the Angolan Government, the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission – OKACOM, and USAID), the Okavango Integrated River Basin Management Project (IRBM) conducted an evaluation and review of the protected area status of approximately 69 700 km2 of land in southeast Kuando Kubango.

Scientific data was collected through field based assessments of vegetation, mammal species and land use; analysis of satellite imagery and aerial photography; review of past studies; and collection of social data using participatory rural appraisals. Three options were then provided as a revision to the current protected area network for the focus area.

A full list of proposed conservation projects for the KAZA TFCA can be found in the Indicative Development Framework.