Germany pledges €15.5m to African conservation area

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By Gaongalelwe Dinale

The German government has committed a further €15.5 million in funding to the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area.

The financing agreement was signed last week in Botswana by the German Ambassador to Botswana and Special Representative to SADC, Ralf Breth, and Botswana’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Thato Yaone Raphaka. The signing was done in the presence of ambassadors from partner states.

“This is a long-awaited development, as it will go a long way towards operationalising the agreement. Some of the poorer communities in our country reside in that area and some of the very sensitive ecosystems are located within the transfrontier conservation area, all of which require strategic intervention for sustainable management of the environment for sustainable development of the countries” said Raphaka.

Breth said the KAZA Transboundary project was one of the flagship projects in the German Co-operation agreement. He said: “In a global sense the project is for the good of the world because we are desperately defending the natural environment which is being threatened by many developments.”

KAZA Executive Director, Dr Nyambe Nyambe, said the funding would mainly be used for the development of wildlife dispersal areas, and there was a need to spend more on community development, as the previous phases had focused on infrastructure and institutional development. He said emphasis would be placed on getting the support of the communities, as they were the ones on the ground.

The KAZA TFCA is the largest terrestrial transfrontier conservation area in the world, spanning five southern African countries – Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

It hosts three World Heritage Sites: the Okavango Delta, the Victoria Falls, and Tsodilo Hills. The KAZA TFCA is a world-class tourism destination that attracts local, regional and international tourists and supports a growing tourism industry. – http://www.tourismupdate.co.za

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