The International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) of the United States of America hosted a reception on the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday, 21 September 2023.
The reception was graced by His Excellency, President Eric Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana who acknowledged the role of transboundary collaboration in the establishment and development of KAZA. Dr. Masisi pledged to continue working closely with his counterparts to address common challenges in KAZA, including human wildlife conflict and disease risks to animals and humans. He also appealed for innovative solutions to address human wildlife conflict, and the need for global assistance to advance the concept of One Health in KAZA as a strategy to mitigate disease risks to animal and or human health.
Ms Monique Barbutt, the special envoy of the President of France on climate and biodiversity, acknowledged efforts of the KAZA Partner States, and appealed for greater support to KAZA and other large landscape initiatives to promote biodiversity conservation, enhance climate resilience and promote innovative financing.
Speaking at the same event, Dr. Nyambe Nyambe, Executive Director of the KAZA Secretariat spoke about results of the KAZA Elephant Survey published in August in Livingstone Zambia. Dr. Nyambe described the elephant population in KAZA as stable and the survey report as a significant scientific output that will inform future conservation actions and priorities.
ICCF hosted the event in part to strengthen the commitment of national caucuses in supporting KAZA. ICCF has over the years supported the establishment of non-partisan structures, namely conservation caucuses in different parts of the world, including the KAZA Partner States.
Dignitaries included parliamentarians from Angolan, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, Ministers, senior government officials, and ICCF leadership led by the Chairman, Mr. David Barron and the President, Mr. John Gantt. The reception was attended by several invited representatives of different conservation organisations, donors, researchers, and policy makers.