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Friday, 12 April 2019 15:03

KAZA / TFCA Minister Meeting

JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: 11th April 2019, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls – We the Ministers responsible for Environment, Wildlife, Natural Resources, Water, Climate, Hotels and Tourism, of the Republics of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, met in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on 11th April 2019 to review progress and challenges experienced in the development of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) into a world class conservation area and implementation of activities for the benefit of the region and protection of its natural resources.

We reaffirm our commitment to conservation and sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations of local communities. We also embrace our joint responsibilities as stewards that should ensure good management of our natural resources (such as wildlife, fisheries, forests etc.) within the landscape. Natural resources are the capital for various economic opportunities that local communities and stakeholders in general should utilise. The clarion call is for the communities to be actively involved (continuously) in the protection and conservation of the pristine environment and biodiversity.

We congratulate Namibia and Zimbabwe for the awards received at the recently ended International Tourism Bourse held in Berlin, Germany. Namibia was awarded for its Safari Management while Zimbabwe got the   most Sustainable Destination and its Minister, the African Tourism Minister of the year.

We further applaud Angola for performing the coordination role of KAZA TFCA from 2016 to 2018, and congratulate Botswana for taking over the coordination role. The handover to Botswana led by Minister Mokaila who was one of the pioneer Ministers of the KAZA TFCA gave other KAZA Ministers the assurance that Botswana will effectively lead the TFCA landscape with diligence. In his acceptance, the Botswana Minister reaffirmed the country’s commitment to the KAZA vision and unity of purpose.

We note the significant progress made and resolutions adopted in the following areas, among others:

  1. An elephant management and planning framework was developed to assist the KAZA TFCA Partner States to manage elephants in the landscape as one contiguous population through harmonised approaches.
  2. The Ministers further issued a joint statement in support of conservation, sustainable utilisation and effective management of elephants which is aligned to the KAZA elephant management framework.
  3. Acknowledging the need for collaboration and partnerships, four Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) the KAZA TFCA Secretariat and Namibia Nature Foundation, Giraffe Conservation, Green Tourism Certification Programme and Wild Bird Trust were approved.

We commend Zimbabwe for demonstrating strong commitment to the KAZA Vision and agenda despite past restrictions. We commit to ensuring that country financial contributions to the KAZA Fund are made timeously to enable the continued operation of the KAZA Secretariat. We further agree on the need for a KAZA TFCA Heads of State summit.