KAZA’s maiden summit to track progress 

Home National KAZA’s maiden summit to track progress 
KAZA’s maiden summit to track progress 

KATIMA MULILO- The Kavango, Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA-TFCA) will be hosting the first-ever summit, to take place on Friday in Livingstone, Zambia.

Notably, the summit will review and track progress in the establishment and development of KAZA-TFCA since the partnership was forged through the signing of an agreement in 2006, which culminated in the KAZA-TFCA Treaty.

Namibia’s ministry of environment spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said this week the summit will be a technical meeting followed by a ministers’ meeting. Both sessions are open to delegates. KAZA is comprised of five member countries, namely Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is also expected that the heads of state from the member countries will be participating.

The event will be held under the theme ‘Leveraging KAZA’s Natural Capital and Cultural Heritage Resources as Catalysts for Inclusive Socio-Economic Development of the Eco-Region’.

Originally, the summit was planned for mid-2020, but was rescheduled due to the Covid-19-induced global lockdown.

Hence, the 2024 KAZA summit will be the first ever since the KAZA-TFCA Treaty was signed.

The plan to host the summit was announced at the end of the Kasane Elephant Summit on 7 May 2019. Through the TFCA programme, SADC is promoting efforts to, among others, enhance transboundary collaboration and coordination in many areas, including wise use of shared natural resources, community participation and beneficiation, sustainable management and use of natural resources, and tourism development.

The summit will also help reset priorities, where necessary, in anticipation of evolving challenges, and reposition KAZA-TFCA to better leverage existing and emerging opportunities.

Central to the summit is a shared desire to build the resilience of the people and biodiversity and strengthen institutional arrangements in pursuit of the KAZA-TFCA vision and objectives.

The Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Trans- FrontierConservation Area (TFCA) was established following the signing of the
KAZA Treaty on 18 August 2011.

KAZA is the largest land-based TFCA in the world, covering approximately
520 000 km2, located in parts of the Okavango and Zambezi River basin regions of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.Vision: To establish a world-class transfrontier conservation area and tourism destination in the Okavango and Zambezi River basin regions within the context of sustainable development.

The partnership centred around a common vision to conserve biodiversity at scale through integrated transboundary management, and to market the landscape’s biodiversity using nature-based tourism as the engine for rural economic growth and development.

Accordingly, the KAZA-TFCA mission is to sustainably manage the Kavango
Zambezi ecosystem, its heritage and cultural resources, based on the best conservation and tourism models for the socio-economic well-being of the communities and other stakeholders in and around the eco-region through harmonisation of policies,
strategies, and practices.

Additionally, the summit will aim at reaffirming the political commitment to regional cooperation and integration in the further development of KAZA-TFCA.

The summit will be a high-level event organised to review progress made thus far, and challenges faced in the establishment and development of KAZA-TFCA. It will also identify and agree on high-level strategic actions to leverage emerging opportunities, and address constraints to the further development of KAZA TFCA.

Further, it aims to note the status of elephants in KAZA-TFCA, and review the progress made in the implementation of the Kasane Elephant Summit communique.

Senior officials from respective partner states will lead the country’s delegations to the technical meetings.

The technical meetings will comprise presentations, breakaway sessions, keynote presentations and panel discussions. A key output of the technical meeting will be an issue paper combining the deliberations and recommendations.

At the summit, the heads of state will receive the ministerial report, which will synthesise the issues and make recommendations on various matters related to the KAZA-TFCA.

A communiqué will be developed for the summit.

The summit will attract official representatives of the five partner states, SADC, international cooperating partners, communities, the private sector, non-governmental organisations and academia.

An estimated 400 participants are anticipated to be in attendance.