INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS & TRANSFRONTIER CONSERVATION AREAS

INTRODUCTION

The establishment of International Conventions and Transfrontier Conservation Areas Department is a new development in the Authority. This Department oversees the development of Transfrontier Conservation Areas and implementation of International Conventions and other bilateral or multilateral protocols

The international community is facing many challenges that are global in nature, mostly environmental issues, and unless the global community cooperates to solve the problems, there will be bigger challenges that no individual country can solve on its own. Wildlife conservation in the 21st century require collaborative efforts to meet the most pressing challenges including international conservation politics, security and law-enforcement, trade and economics.

Zimbabwe is not immune to the challenges confronting global conservation/environmental governance issues outlined in various treaties and protocols. Such challenges are best resolved through international and transnational cooperation and diplomacy. International Organizations and Conventions are becoming ever more important as the world becomes more interconnected.

 

Department Key Result Areas (KRAs)

KRA 1: Improving understanding and Implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and Transfrontier Conservation Areas

KRA 2: Strengthening relationships and building partnerships with International Organisations for supporting Zimbabwe’s conservation Agenda

KRA 3: Increasing local stakeholder awareness-of and participation in MEA processes and building capacity for effective and efficient administration of key MEAs and TFCAs in Zimbabwe.

 

OVERVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS

International conventions on environmental issues or Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) are agreements or treaties between three or more states relating to the environment. Zimbabwe ratified a number of MEAs which have obligations for Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) as an implementing/ Lead agent on behalf on government. These include the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), The World Heritage Convention (WHC), Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) among others. A few key conventions important for the Authority are summarized below.

 

Convention on Biodiversity (CBD)

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a comprehensive, binding agreement covering the use and conservation of biodiversity. It was created and adopted by governments at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, when world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for “sustainable development” – to meet current needs while ensuring a living planet for future generations. Signed by 193 governments the CBD sets out commitments for maintaining the world’s biodiversity which directly supports the livelihoods of billions and underpins global economic development. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives: (i) The conservation of biological diversity (ii) The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity (iii) The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) meets every 2 years to look at new issues and adopt targets and work programmes to address biodiversity loss. Signatory governments to the CBD are required to develop national strategies and action plans based on COP decisions and report back on implementation. Focal point is within Ministry of Environment Water and Climate. The Authority participated in the 13th CoP to CBD that was held in Mexico from 4th to 17th December 2016. The Authority is contributing to the implementation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan.

 

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention (CITES) is a legally binding multilateral treaty for the protection of endangered wild animals and plants. CITES aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and it accords varying degrees of protection for the listed species under three Appendices (I, II, III) according to the degree of protection they need. CITES is one of the largest and oldest conservation and sustainable use agreements in existence since 1973 and Zimbabwe ratified this treaty in 1981. Each party to the Convention designates one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering the required licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advice on the effects of trade on the status of the species. CITES permits are processed at Head Office, Bulawayo Regional Office and Victoria Falls Town Office. ZimParks has a dual function under CITES as the Management and Scientific Authority.

In 2016, the 17th CITES Conference of Parties (CoP17) was convened in Johannesburg, South Africa where a number of resolutions were made. The Zimbabwe delegation to CoP17 conducted 3 review meetings in 2016 for stakeholder (internal and external) updates to strategise on the road-map to CoP18 in Sri-Lanka. All short-term plans were successfully implemented and the Authority is currently driving implementation of the medium and to long-term strategies. Four thematic committees for stakeholder participation in Zimbabwe’s road-map to CoP18 and these are: (i)Plants and Animals, (ii)Communities, (iii)Security and Law enforcement, (iv)Trade, Policy and Resource Mobilisation. Two stakeholder meetings were successfully held in January and June this year and various initiatives to implement the strategy are underway.

 

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. Zimbabwe became a Party to the Convention in 2012. CMS brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range. Emphasis is on the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes. The Convention brings together the countries though which migratory species move in order to promote coordinated, cross-border conservation of such species. Focal point is within the Ministry of Environment Water and Climate (MEWC). The principal implementing agency for this convention is the Authority. Preparations are currently underway for the forthcoming Conference of Parties for this Convention that will be held in the Philippines in October 2017.

 

The World Heritage Convention (WHC)

The 1972 World Heritage Convention defines the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the world heritage list. Zimbabwe became a Party to the Convention 1982. The Convention sets out the obligations of Parties in identifying potential sites and their role in protecting and preserving them. By signing the Convention, each country pledges to conserve not only the World Heritage Sites situated on its territory, but also to protect its national heritage. Manapools National Park, Victoria Falls Rainforest and Matobo National Park are among the world heritage sites in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has a National Commission for UNESCO that is chaired by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education and Focal point is within ZimParks. Key implementing agencies for this convention are Department of National Museums and Monuments and ZimParks.

 

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Zimbabwe became a Party to the Convention in 2013. There are presently 162 Contracting Parties to the Convention. Within the Parks Estate, Victoria Falls, Manapools, Lake Chivero and Chinhoyi Caves are among the 7 designated Ramsar sites in Zimbabwe. The other sites (Driefontein Grasslands, Monavale Vlei and Cleveland Dam) are also designated under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The Focal point is within Environmental Management Agency (EMA) of Zimbabwe. The key implementing agencies for this convention are EMA and ZimParks. Zimbabwe is fully paid up in terms of annual membership subscriptions.

 

Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC)

The Convention on Climate Change entered into force on 21 March 1994. It sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.  It recognizes that the climate system is a shared resource whose stability can be affected by industrial and other emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Parties to the Convention continue to meet regularly to take stock of progress in implementing their obligations under the treaty, and to consider further actions to address the climate change threat.

Focal point is within MEWC where a Department has been designated to coordinate issues of climate change. Zimparks attended the UN Climate Change Conference convened from 7 to 19 November 2016, in Marrakech, Morocco.

 

Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Water birds

The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Water birds (AEWA) is an intergovernmental treaty dedicated to the conservation of migratory water birds and their habitats across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago. Zimbabwe became a Party to the Convention in 2012.

Developed under the framework of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), AEWA brings together countries and the wider international conservation community in an effort to establish coordinated conservation and management of migratory water birds throughout their entire migratory range.

 

TRANSFRONTIER CONSERVANTION AREAS

The SADC Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement defines a TFCA as an “area or the component of a large ecological region that straddles the boundaries of two or more countries which may encompass one or more protected areas, as well as multiple resource use areas”.

The concept of a Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) as practiced today in Southern Africa is that of land areas shared by two or more countries under an ecosystem-based management regime, incorporating both sustainable use zones and core areas of globally or regionally significant biodiversity value.

The fundamental goal of TFCAs is to attain collaborative landscape–level conservation of healthy ecosystems while capitalising on those shared natural and cultural assets to improve the quality of life for communities living within and around a particular TFCA, through planning and development of sustainable socio-economic development projects.

 

THE TFCA LEGAL FRAMEWORK

The Transfrontier Conservation Area Programme is founded on the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Wildlife Policy and Development Strategy (1997), SADC Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement (Maputo 1999). Numerous other protocols complement these legal instruments in providing the legal basis to establish and develop TFCAs. The SADC Protocol on Tourism (1998), SADC Protocol on Shared Water Courses (Maseru 1995), the World Heritage Convention (1972), and Convention on the Conservation of Wetlands of International Importance (1971) are just some of the enabling legal pillars.

 

OBJECTIVES OF TFCAS

Some of the main TFCA objectives are outlined below.

  1. To foster trans-national collaboration and cooperation between and among States through the establishment, development and management of TFCAs;
  2. To promote cooperation in the management of biological natural resources by encouraging social, economic and other partnerships among Government, private sector, local communities and non-governmental organizations;
  3. To enhance ecosystem integrity and promote natural ecological processes by harmonizing wildlife management procedures across international boundaries and striving to remove artificial barriers impeding natural movement of animals;
  4. To develop frameworks and strategies whereby local communities can effectively participate in and tangibly benefit from the management and sustainable use of natural resources that occur in the TFCAs and
  5. To promote trans-border eco-tourism development as a means for fostering regional socio-economic development.

 

 TFCA PROGRAMME INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

The Zimbabwe TFCA Programme is coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate. The Ministry has delegated most of the TFCA Programme functions to the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) as the Implementing Agency.

Zimbabwe has a National TFCA Steering Committee and thematic National TFCA sub-committee covering issues of Safety and Security, Tourism, Conservation and Veterinary issues.

 

TFCAs Role in Implementation of regional Protocols and Strategies

TFCAs are incubation grounds for regional integration strategies in conservation and development whilst supporting the implementation of various projects that contribute to the attainment of sustainable development goals.

Following the adoption of the SADC Law-enforcement and Anti-poaching Strategy (SADC LEAP) on the 3rd of February 2017, a national Law-enforcement and anti-poaching strategy was developed with multi-stakeholder input. Zimbabwe successfully hosted the 3rd Multi-lateral meeting on Defense and Security Chiefs on 7-9 June in Victoria Falls. Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia participated at the meeting and all these countries are partner countries in the KAZA TFCA initiative.

There are several other initiatives supporting conservation and also benefitting local communities that are being spearheaded through the TFCA programme. Currently Zimbabwe is pursuing six TFCA initiatives at various stages of development as outlined below.

WITH TREATY SIGNED: Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park GLTP) / Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA) and Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) TFCA;

  1. WITH MoU SIGNED: Chimanimani TFCA and Greater Mapungubwe TFCA;
  2. AT CONCEPTUAL STAGE: Lower Zambezi-Mana Pools LZMP (TFCA) and Zimbabwe-Mozambique-Zambia (ZIMOZA) TFCA.

 

TFCA PROGRAMME ACTIVITY HIGHLIGHTS, JANUARY TO JUNE 2017

GREAT LIMPOPO (GL) TRANSFRONTIER PARK (TP) AND TRANSFRONTIER CONSERVATION AREA (TFCA)

This TFCA involves South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park (southeastern lowveld) is in the core area of this TFCA initiative.

 

Great Limpopo (GL) Transfrontier Park (TP) and Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) Ministerial Committee Meeting: A Great Limpopo (GL) Transfrontier Park (TP) and Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) Ministerial Committee Meeting was held in Maputo, Mozambique. The Ministers endorsed the work of the Joint Management Board (JMB) and approved some projects recommended as part of the GLTP Programme Implementation.

 

GLTFCA Research Platform-Production Conservation Partnership Conference: A coalition of civil society organisations led by the Research-Platform and the Production Conservation Partnership successfully convened a TFCA Conference in Chiredzi (GLTFCA), focusing on Protected Areas and Communities in May 2017. This was a follow-up to a similar event which was hosted in Hwange (KAZA TFCA) in 2014. Participants presented papers on the TFCA Programme, with community perspectives playing a central role in reviewing the regional TFCA Programme.

 

Great Limpopo Cultural Fair: The Great Limpopo Cultural Fair was successfully hosted in Mhalnguleni, Chiredzi in July 2017. This fair is an annual event which is very instrumental in bringing communities together for cultural heritage celebrations and appreciating the role of culture and communities in TFCA development

 

GLTFCA cross border tourism initiatives: The Authority is worked closely with various stakeholders on the planning and implementation of the Pafuri Wilderness Guided Walking Safari and the Shangani Cultural Festival which were hosted successfully in July 2017 in GLTFCA.

 

GREATER MAPUNGUBWE (GM) TFCA

This TFCA involves Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s Tuli Circle Safari Area (southwestern lowveld) is in the core area of this TFCA initiative

Greater Mapungubwe TFCA Trilateral Technical Committee (TTC) Meeting

A Greater Mapungubwe TFCA Trilateral Technical Committee (TTC) Meeting was held in Johannesburg in February 2017 and Zimbabwe handed-over GMTFCA Coordination the Technical Officials level.

Greater Mapungubwe TFCA Coordination Hand-Over Meeting

A Greater Mapungubwe TFCA Bilateral Hand-Over Meeting took place in Harare on 11 May 2017 and Zimbabwe completed the GMTFCA Coordination Hand-Over process when the Zimbabwean Ministry’s Acting Director of Environment and Natural Resources presented the Hand-Over Report Pack to Botswana’s Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism.

 

Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Wildrun

GMTFCA successfully hosted the 3rd edition of the annual cross-border marathon event from 10 to 14 May 2017. Several Wildrun Marathon event preparatory meetings were held in Harare and Beitbridge. The meetings brought together representatives of Ministries and Departments as well as other relevant stakeholders, including the Local Community.

The Mapungubwe Wildrun Marathon participants stayed at the Maramani Community Camp and launching the wilderness escapades into the local community area and the Sentinel Ranch including cross-border runs into Botswana and South Africa. This is part of the GMTFCA Cross-Border Tourism Development Strategy and the local Community is comprehensively integrated into the benefit-sharing arrangements.

 Tour de Tuli-Mapungubwe Cycling Event Preparatory Meetings

GMTFCA successfully hosted the 2017 edition of the annual cross-border cycling event ‘Tour de Tuli’ Several Preparatory Meetings were held in Harare and Beitbridge, bringing together relevant role players. The first Harare TdTM Meeting witnessed the participation of the senior members among the organisers, i.e. Children in the Wilderness and Wilderness Safaris representatives. The meetings facilitated review of the 2016 Event and also presented opportunities for the role players to discuss and prepare adequately for the 2017 Event.

 

KAVANGO-ZAMBEZI (KAZA) TFCA

This TFCA involves Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, Zambezi and Victoria Falls National Park & World Heritage Site (northwestern Zimbabwe) are in the core area of this TFCA

Bilateral Wildlife Management Collaboration with Namibia: The TFCA Unit is working with other Departments in the Authority and other external stakeholders to contribute towards addressing issues which came out of the 8th Session of the Zimbabwe-Namibia Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) which was held in Harare from 22 to 24 April 2017.

Zimbabwe-Namibia Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Collaboration MoU: Consultations have begun on a Draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) developed by Zimbabwe on Fisheries and Aquaculture Development between Zimbabwe and Namibia as part of the wider cooperation referred to above.

Hwange-Kazuma-Chobe WDA Planning consultative workshop: A Hwange-Kazuma-Chobe Wildlife Dispersal Area (WDA) planning consultative workshop was held in Hwange in June 2017, with participants from Zimbabwe and Botswana. The workshop focused on validation, prioritization, and implementation modalities and budgeting for the Transboundary projects identified through a stakeholder engagement and participatory process.

KAZA TFCA Funding Swap Project: The TFCA Unit participated in a number of meetings on the KAZA TFCA Funding Swap initiative. The Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, the WWF Zimbabwe Programme Office, the CAMPFIRE Association and the Authority deliberated on some mechanisms for Zimbabwe to access some of the KfW Phase 1 and 2 Funds held at the KAZA TFCA Secretariat. The WWF Zimbabwe Office has been authorized to receive the resources and facilitate their availability to Zimbabwe for project implementation.

KAZA Univisa Meetings: Several KAZA Univisa Meetings were held in April 2017 to evaluate progress and charting the way forward. Some issues discussed included the integration of the KAZA Univisa and National Border Management ICT Systems to address the challenges identified during the KAZA Univisa Pilot Phase, assumption of full responsibility of the visa sticker procurement and financing arrangements.

KAZA Univisa Marketing and Promotion: The KAZA TFCA Liaison Officer for Zimbabwe assisted with the production of marketing and promotional banners for KAZA Univisa and these were deployed to the key ports of p entry in the Zimbabwean component of the KAZA TFCA.

KAZA TFCA Marketing and Branding consultations: The Tourism Stakeholders in the five KAZA TFCA Partner Countries are undertaking consultations on the KAZA TFCA Marketing and Branding Strategy Development. Zimbabwe is being represented by the Authority, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

Kavango-Zambezi TFCA Communities Forum: Work is in progress with Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe are working towards the, Establishment of Kavango-Zambezi TFCA Communities Forum.

Kavango-Zambezi Golf Classic 2017 Tournament: KAZA TFCA successfully hosted the 2017 edition of the KAZA Golf Classic. Several Preparatory meetings and planning discussions were held and a lot of ground work done to host the golfing Tournament.

Proposal on Joint Law Enforcement: Work has started on the consultations towards the Development of a Proposal on Joint Law Enforcement between Zambia and Zimbabwe in response to cross-border resource plundering challenges reported on Zambezi River, especially along the stretch between Victoria Falls and Binga.

KAZA TFCA Transboundary Lion Movement Project: The preparations for the launch of the KAZA TFCA Transboundary Lion Movement Project are underway. Application for the requisite Permits to deploy the collars were submitted.

KAZA TFCA KfW WDA Phase 3 Funding Budget Prioritisation: Work is being prioritised to finalize modalities for the KAZA TFCA Wildlife Dispersal Area WDA Phase 3 Funding arrangements.

Fire Management and Monitoring Project: Work is continuing on the Hwange District Fire Management Project with emphasis on monitoring. The project will be part of Zimbabwe’s starting points in the implementation of the Fire Management Component of the Wildlife Dispersal Area Project Execution Strategy. 

KAZA TFCA Community Livelihood Enhancement Project: The TFCA Programme players are also undertaking consultations as part of the Development of a Community Livelihood Enhancement Project for possible funding by the KAZA TFCA Secretariat.

 

LOWER ZAMBEZI-MANA POOLS TFCA

This TFCA involves Zambia and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s flagship Mana Pools National Park & World Heritage Site as well as surrounding Safari Areas such as Sapi and Chewore (mid-Zambezi Valley) are in the core area of this TFCA. The TFCA Unit has engaged Zambia as part of efforts to finalise the Lower Zambezi TFCA Draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) document.

ZIMOZA TFCA: This TFCA is still at conceptual stage and includes Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It covers the Dande Safari Area and several communal areas in the lower-Zambezi valley.

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Zimparks guns down hippo in Nyanyadzi

August 31, 2017August 31, 2017
Inset from Zimpapers. THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority last week shot dead a hippopotamus that was damaging winter wheat in Nyanyadzi. The hippo, which had a calf, is believed to have escaped from Save Conservancy. ZPWMA ordered the shooting of the hippos after traditional leaders in the area reported that it was damaging crops and endangering lives. ZPWMA officer, Mr John Danfa, said they were still hunting for the calf which is believed to have found habitat along Save River. “Usually hippos move up and down rivers during the rainy season. We believe the two escaped from Save Valley Conservancy. They were both females and they do not usually click if there is no male. “They are believed to have separated. We received reports from traditional leaders in Hot Springs and Nyanyadzi that these hippos were feeding on wheat and crops in their fields.” “People’s lives were endangered so the authorities ordered its killing. The first time we attempted to kill it, it was in the company of so many cattle and could not do anything. Our officer teamed up with villagers to track it until last week when it was shot down in Nyanyadzi”. The officer is said to have fired 12 shots before the hippo died. The meat was shared by villagers. One of the villagers in Dirikwe village, Mr Tapiwa Munyati, said: “This hippo was becoming a threat to human lives in the area. It was being spotted near homes at night. “There are vegetable gardens along one of Save River’s tributaries where it was being spotted.“We were told that hippos do not like light and the danger was that lives would have been lost.” “A villager survived death by a whisker recently when the hippo strayed into his homestead.“He went out of his house to investigate when his dogs were barking. He had a torch and the hippo advanced towards him. “Fortunately he managed to escape the attack and notified other villagers and the village head. We are appealing to the responsible authorities to make sure that the remaining one is also killed,” said Mr Munyati.