KAZA meetings enter day two Permanent Secretaries and Representatives of Environment and Wildlife Ministries from Kaza region

Leonard Ncube in LIVINGSTONE, Zambia

IT is day two of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (Kaza TFCA) technical meetings this Tuesday as experts continue to deliberate on the state of wildlife conservation ahead of the Ministers meeting on Wednesday.

The Ministers Meeting will culminate into the Heads of State Summit on Friday where all five Presidents from the Kaza member states are expected to attend.

Wildlife, conservation and tourism experts are attending the meeting which started on Saturday with pre-summit meetings.

Representing the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife Permanent Secretary Professor Prosper Matondi, the Director for Wildlife and Forestry Resources Management in the Ministry Mr Tanyaradzva Mundoga said Kaza should remain the best managed conservation area in the world.

“This programme started on the 24th with technical meetings of technical officials where we were having a deep dive in terms of key issues. On Monday we had a session on a number of issues related to how we are implementing Kaza and managing the wildlife resource and ensuring that communities are benefiting for the betterment of our people.

“What we witnessed Monday was a build-up to the Kaza Heads of State Summit on 31 May and what we intend to do now is to crystallize issues for Ministers Meeting which will then distill the issues coming out of the technical meetings for the Heads of State Summit. We are expecting that our Heads of State will reaffirm their commitment so that Kaza becomes a success and still maintains the position as the best managed conservation area not only in Africa but in the whole world,” said Mr Mundoga.

He implored Kaza member states-Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe to join forces to address conflict together as a region.

“We are saying we need to seriously consider the financial position of Kaza and not to depend on donor support but also provide for our communities using our own resources. We have serious challenges with human-wildlife conflict in the Kaza landscape so we also need to learn from our counterparts.

“As a country we are talking of coming up with our own policy framework on providing relief to human-wildlife conflict victims and we have to learn from the region and ensure that our communities benefit, at the same time making sure that wildlife are protected,” he said.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Permanent Secretary Dr Takaruza Munyanyiwa said Monday was a reflection of what Zimbabwe has done in terms of wildlife conservation through various programmes such as the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) where communities are involved as decision makers.

He said for Zimbabwe the summit looks at the wildlife cluster, sustainable tourism development and promotion.

“Being part of this five country bloc helps us in conservation and gives us a diversified product for promotion. Day one was really a scene setting meeting that looked at reflections of where we are coming from as Kaza, challenges, opportunities and reflections. This is in preparation for the Ministerial meeting on day two which is going to lay the ground for the coming in of Heads of State, the summit.

“This meeting is going to look at a number of issues that will obviously improve mobility among the countries, improve packaging, improve product access and all this hinges on working with communities. The issue of communities came out prominently that we should not leave communities behind, being the Zimbabwe mantra of leaving noone and no place behind,” said Dr Munyanyiwa.

The KAZA TFCA is a conservation area, spanning five Southern African countries and is centred around the Caprivi-Chobe-Victoria Falls corridor.
It has a total of 520,000 km2 across five countries namely Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe to join forces to address conflict together as a region.

“We are saying we need to seriously consider the financial position of Kaza and not to depend on donor support but also provide for our communities using our own resources. We have serious challenges with human-wildlife conflict in the Kaza landscape so we also need to learn from our counterparts.

“As a country we are talking of coming up with our own policy framework on providing relief to human-wildlife conflict victims and we have to learn from the region and ensure that our communities benefit, at the same time making sure that wildlife are protected,” he said.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Permanent Secretary Dr Takaruza Munyanyiwa said Monday was a reflection of what Zimbabwe has done in terms of wildlife conservation through various programmes such as the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire) where communities are involved as decision makers.

He said for Zimbabwe the summit looks at the wildlife cluster, sustainable tourism development and promotion.

“Being part of this five country bloc helps us in conservation and gives us a diversified product for promotion. Day one was really a scene setting meeting that looked at reflections of where we are coming from as Kaza, challenges, opportunities and reflections. This is in preparation for the Ministerial meeting on day two which is going to lay the ground for the coming in of Heads of State, the summit.

“This meeting is going to look at a number of issues that will obviously improve mobility among the countries, improve packaging, improve product access and all this hinges on working with communities. The issue of communities came out prominently that we should not leave communities behind, being the Zimbabwe mantra of leaving noone and no place behind,” said Dr Munyanyiwa.

The KAZA TFCA is a conservation area, spanning five Southern African countries and is centred around the Caprivi-Chobe-Victoria Falls corridor.

It has a total of 520,000 km2 across five countries namely Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe with a population of three million people and 227 900 elephants.

About 70 percent of land is under conservation and there are 103 wildlife management areas, 85 forest reserves and three world heritage sites in Kaza.

Kaza states signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2006 resulting in the Kaza Treaty 2011.Ending on Saturday, the summit is being held under the theme: “Leveraging Kaza’s natural capital and cultural heritage resources as catalysts for development of the eco-system.

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