Recently, over 400 delegates have gathered in Zambia for the inaugural Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (TFCA) summit.

About KAZA-TFCA Summit

  • Event Overview: The five-day event brings together representatives from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, along with wildlife, conservation, and tourism experts, to review the initiative’s progress and plan for its future.

KAZA-TFCA Background: The KAZA region is 520,000 square kilometers of wetland across five southern African countries, including the Okavango and Zambezi river basins.

  • It hosts a high concentration of wildlife species, including the world’s largest elephant population.
  • The KAZA states signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2006, leading to the KAZA Treaty in 2011 and its subsequent implementation.
  • The partnership aims to conserve biodiversity through integrated transboundary management and promote rural economic growth via nature-based tourism.

Theme: The theme of the summit is “Leveraging KAZA’s natural capital and cultural heritage resources as catalysts for inclusive socio-economic development of the eco-region.”

Conservation Efforts and Achievements: Approximately 70% of KAZA land is dedicated to conservation, comprising 103 wildlife management areas and 85 forest reserves.

  • This area also includes three World Heritage sites: Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River, which forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and both the Okavango Delta and Tsodilo Hills in Botswana.
  • A 2022 elephant census revealed a stable population of nearly 230,000 elephants in the KAZA area.

Key Issues of Discussions: The summit will have a discussion to address elephant overpopulation, Western country’s bans on wildlife hunting trophy imports, CITES’ ban on elephant product trade, and the impact of climate change on regional conservation efforts.

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