The following is taken from an article reported by MONKAGEDI GAOTLHOBOGWE, a Mmegi Online Staff Writer.
At a meeting hosted by Namibia recently, the countries developed a draft treaty, which provides the basis for national consultations with stakeholders. Besides Namibia and Botswana other countries in the venture are Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. At the Namibia meeting, Botswana was represented by Wildlife and Environment Minister Kitso Mokaila. Ministers responsible for Environment, Wildlife, Tourism and Natural Resources in Botswana, Angola, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe form the steering committee of the project. A communiqué released after the meeting said that regional body SADC and the governments of Botswana and Germany have signed a Financing and Project Agreement for Û8 million to support the KAZA-TFCA.
It added that the Peace Parks Foundation has already facilitated the implementation of the integrated development plan in Zambia. The next meeting of the steering committee will be held in June next year in Zambia.
This is great news. If you don’t know about Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area or KAZA TFCA, here is some background:
Kaza TFCA is a conservation park that will be created by the African countries of Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. It should be operational by 2010. At 280,000 square km, it will be the largest national park in the world. Tourists will be able to move through the park freely, without passing any border controls.
Also proposed is a single visa system to cover the whole of the park. Now that is good news. The giant national park will join 14 proclaimed national parks, game and forest reserves as well as game and wildlife management areas
The biodiversity of KAZA is as phenomenal as the project itself Savannah, miombo and mopane woodlands, wetlands, approx. 3000 species of plant life (of which some 100 are endemic) and more than 500 species of birds.
The park was created in cooperation with Peace Parks Foundation and the World Wide Fund for Nature. It will comprise Caprivi Strip in Namibia, Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the Victoria Falls.
Relevant to the KAZA initiative are the provinces of Moxico and Cuando Cubango. Beginning in Angola, the Cubango river forms part of the border between Angola and Namibia before flowing into Botswana (where it is known as the Okavango river), draining into the Moremi wildlife reserve.