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Zimbabwe to take over KAZA chairmanship

by Staff reporter
30 May 2024 at 08:35hrs | Views
Zimbabwe is poised to take on the role of coordinating chair for the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) this year.

Covering five Southern African countries - Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe - the KAZA TFCA spans a vast area with a significant population and wildlife, including over 227,900 elephants, centered around the Caprivi-Chobe-Victoria Falls corridor. With 70 percent of its land under conservation, the area comprises 103 wildlife management areas, 85 forest reserves, and three world heritage sites.

Established through a Memorandum of Understanding in 2006 and formalized by the Kaza Treaty in 2011, the KAZA TFCA has evolved significantly over the years. In a ministerial meeting preceding the 2024 Kaza Heads of State Summit, KAZA executive director Dr. Nyambe Nyambe announced that Zimbabwe will assume the chairmanship for a two-year term until the end of 2026. This responsibility entails overseeing the day-to-day operations of the KAZA secretariat, currently based in Botswana. Zimbabwe succeeds Zambia, whose Tourism Minister Rodney Sikumba served as coordinating chair since 2022.

The rotational nature of the chairmanship underscores the principle of collective ownership and commitment among member states, in line with the treaty's objectives. The upcoming summit, originally scheduled four years ago but postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, highlights the political will and dedication of the five Heads of State towards the KAZA agenda.

The ministerial discussions emphasized the importance of enhancing governance, sustainable financing models, community involvement in decision-making, climate change mitigation, and addressing human-wildlife conflicts. Zimbabwe's Minister of Environment, Climate, and Wildlife Sithembiso Nyoni stressed the need for inclusive conservation efforts and homegrown financing mechanisms. Ministers advocated for leveraging the region's natural capital and cultural heritage as catalysts for sustainable development.

As the KAZA TFCA continues to evolve, collaboration among member states remains paramount to realizing its conservation and socio-economic objectives. The 2024 KAZA Heads of State Summit, themed "Leveraging KAZA's natural capital and cultural heritage resources as catalysts for development of the ecosystem," serves as a platform to reaffirm commitment and chart a collective path towards a resilient and prosperous future for the region.

Source - The Herald
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